Something was wrong with me yesterday.
The day didn’t start out great. I received a call at 7AM. A coworker was sick and I was needed at our other office for the day. This meant instead of going
to my usual office, tucked nicely in the financial district of lower Manhattan, I had to travel all the way up to mid town, near Grand Central Station, which is not nearly as convenient to my Brooklyn apartment and is a crowded mess of professionals and tourists.
This turn of events, coupled with the minor hangover I had from the previous nights Super Bowl festivities, did not put me in a fantastic mood, I admit. Still, I wasn’t feeling grumpy because of my disrupted routine or the minor headache I was trying to shake off. In fact, I didn’t feel grumpy at all.
I felt, well, sad.
I couldn’t explain it. I just felt, really, really down. I noticed as much around midday, just after a finished compiling a monster blog post about Derrick Thomas and the 10 year anniversary of his death.
“Maybe that’s it,” I thought. “You’re just bummed out rereading all those old articles about Thomas and it made you think about the fragility of life, which always gets you down.”
I assumed the feeling would pass fairly quickly. It did not.
As the afternoon stretched on, it occurred to me that I was feeling bummed out well before I started the piece on Thomas. I decided I just needed to blow off some steam and that maybe banging out an article for Arrowhead Addict would do the trick.
15 minutes later, I was still staring at the blinking cursor in Microsoft Word. I had nothing. Moreover, I didn’t feel like writing.
“Whatever,” I thought, “I got nothing on football today.”
Then it hit me. I had a hangover that had nothing to do with the four six beers I had the night before. I had the Super Bowl Hangover.
With the possible exception of July, a month in which almost nothing seems to be happening in the NFL, this 2nd week of February, right after the Super Bowl, might just be the most unbearable time of the entire year for a football fan.
Think about it. The combine is still a couple of weeks away. Free agency isn’t until March. Most of the major coaching decisions have been made and no major player acquisitions are likely to take place for about 3 weeks. Valentines day is in a few days so you are preparing yourself to deal with that mess. If you are in a relationship you have to worry about what you are going to do for your BF/GF and about how you can avoid screwing it up.
If you aren’t in a relationship you need only to walk in to the store to be reminded by the cutouts of pink and red hearts and the mountains of chocolates, that your life is an empty, meaningless shell and that when it is all said and done, you are going to die alone. To top it all off, you don’t even have football to help you through your misery. It is going to be a long, long, six months until the 2010 kickoff…if you even make it that far.
My bad mood lasted all night. I was down while I cooked dinner, down
because the new episode of “House” featured way too much Dr. Cuddy andnot enough Dr. House, which I found curious, seeing as the show is called “House.” The writers reminded us all WHY the show is called “House” and not “Cuddy” and I hope it is another 6 seasons before they write another episode featuring any character not making non-stop dry witticisms.
I turned in an hour earlier than normal, figuring if being awake sucked so much, being asleep couldn’t be any worse. Just before I dozed off into a slumber in which featured a dream that Jason Voorhees, or as I now like to call him, “The NFL Off-Season,” was trying to kill me with a machete, I got the idea for this article.
It was like the usual Chiefs off-season.
A glimmer of hope, then darkness.
Be honest. You are feeling it too. The Chiefs were out of the playoff hunt by about week 4. Week 4 is way to early to give up on your season but we Chiefsfans have been there before. We transitioned from “Ludicrously Optimistic Mode,” to “There’s Always Next Year But Let’s Watch These Guys Develop Mode” way back in October.
Still, through all of our frustration of another losing season, we didn’t get too down. How could we? There was too much good football being played around the NFL. Win or lose we still got to see out team play every week. We were still treated to high points like the win over the Steelers and the emergence of Jamaal Charles. There
were ups and downs (mostly downs) but if you are a sports fan, you can’t help but be sucked in by the NFL. It is our Coliseum. We gather round the Lion Pit every Sunday and watch the Gladiators do battle. It is exhilarating.
The NFL brings something extraordinary into our lives during football season. We pick our sides and cheer on our heroes. Nowhere was the power a football team can hold over a city more evident than on Sunday in New Orleans.
Today, around 6PM (EST) the Saints will board a float and travel through New Orleans in their victory parade. I think it is great they are holding the parade so late. This victory parade is about the city more than it is about the Saints. Everyone should have the chance to get off work, throw on some Saints gear and go see the team that exemplified perseverance. A team that showed their fans, no matter how bad things get you can fight back and be on top of the world.
You see, I realized today, it isn’t silly to be sad about the end of a football season. When you root for your team you are rooting for yourself, your friends and your city. It is a chance to feel a little bit of glory and greatness. It is the same feeling folks around the world get when they have an Olympic champion standing on the top of the podium, their countries anthem blaring. The champion represents the entire nation. Everyone gets a taste of the gold.
Now that I think about all that, I find my mood improving. The Super Bowl was a celebration of the end of something but also, the beginning of something else. The Saints are the champs, the Colts are licking their wounds but the season is over. All the NFL teams are 0-0 again. The Chiefs are square with the house.
Sure, there are a few dead weeks ahead where I have to wait for the NFL combine to get here and for the leagues official new year to begin. It might lead to a couple of boring weekends but hell, I write for a sports blog. I can read AA and analyze the draft. I can debate with other Chiefs fans about our need for a LT vs. our need for an impact player on defense. Before I know it the combine will be here and the Chiefs news will be flowing once more as the team scouts players and signs free agents. I have a feeling everything is going to be OK. In fact, I think the Chiefs have a decent show at making a playoff run next year, what with a softer schedule and a fantastic coaching staff. With a few key player acquisitions, KC may have a chance to take the AFC West and as we all know, once the playoffs start, anything can happen.
“Ludicrously Optimistic Mode,” stage 1, is about to begin!