Preseason dread

Posted: August 26, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Football starts this week for realzies, as the kids say, with some Thursday night college games. Who’s excited?

I, for one, am not, although it has nothing to do with the sport. It’s just that football means fall and fall means winter is coming – at least that’s the way it works in my miserable brain.

I’m dead serious: The dread of winter begins to creep in at the summer solstice. The days start getting incrementally shorter, the nights grow chilly (present week excluded). And the knowledge of what’s coming bums me out weeks to months in advance.

I can feel the energy of summer slipping away – the festivals, the vegetation, the lack of protective clothing – and the weight of the workload beginning to increase. Ditto for my wife, too, an elementary school teacher.

Now, it’s no secret that the weather impacts people’s moods. But shouldn’t I be used to this by now, having lived all of my 34 years in the Upper Midwest? Yes, yes, I should. But I’m not.

So many things are harder or more involved in the cold of winter. Got to bundle up the kids. It’s painful to try to get up at 5 a.m. and go to the gym when the temps are below zero. Shoveling the driveway is so much less enjoyable than mowing the lawn.

The whole thing is depressing, to the point that I wonder if we’d all be better off living in warm climes. And I’m not talking about moving from Sioux Falls to Los Angeles; there are safe and affordable mid-sized cities in the permanently thawed parts of the country, too. Or so I’m told.

Then again, maybe it’s just me. Because I’ll concede to breaking surly – it’s the only way to explain how annoyed I get about the backslapping that so many sports media types do on Twitter. (Don’t get me started.) Plus, extreme heat feels better to me than extreme cold – you’ll never hear me complain about 95 degrees; sweating is one of my favorite hobbies.

No, the universal idea, if there’s one to be found in this monologue probably relates to comfort: We all strive for it in terms of finances, clothes and air temperature. Life is most enjoyable, attitudes more optimistic in times of comfort. Winter is not that, and fall leads us there like the seasonal version of a prison transporter.

Soon, I’ll be frozen and miserable for real rather than in anticipation. And it’s all football’s fault.

  1. shawnfury says:

    New York winters are tropical compared to some of the ones that happen in the upper Midwest so my dread isn’t what it once was. Temps aren’t bad and when you don’t have to drive in the snow it lessens anxiety from storms by about 99 percent. The other thing that’s always helped me — and my dad — is that winter at least means basketball season.

    And I guess it could be worse. You could have written this about baseball. “Sure, you people are enjoying the start of spring and anticipating summer, but don’t you see that snow and cold is now only seven months away? Doesn’t that bother you?”

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