Cheap Seats: Memories
By: Les Barnhart 
Posted: 2004-09-09
Category: Washington Redskins News
Well, it's that time of year again. It's that time of year that you kiss your wife and kids goodbye on Friday after work and then hope that they welcome you back on Monday morning, with the understanding that not only will you be leaving them for a few hours Monday night, but that you will be repeating this cycle every week at least until Santa comes calling. It's that time of year in which guys tell more lies about their high school career than any other. No, not about the wild dates or parties, but rather the Friday nights under the lights playing the greatest sport in the world. Of course I am talking about football. Football. Ahh, what a beautiful word…say it with me. Foot…ball.

Just saying the words brings back memories. Whether it be memories of childhood days of tackling hay bales dressed in football jerseys in your backyard or the pick up games every night after school played until dark. Maybe it is the feel of the slick, cool grass under the lights on a Friday night and the sounds of the band mixed with anxious parents shouting encouragement and the overexcited squeals of the cheerleaders. Or perhaps it is the days of watching games with your dad and brother while you scored countless touchdowns on the carefully constructed blanket football field on the living room floor with the sofa cushions and pillows serving as your teammates and defenders. Or maybe it is the first time your own kid strapped on the gladiator gear and ran out on the field like you and so many others before you. Then again, maybe it was the first time your child said those magic words that every father wants to hear…”Wanna watch the game with me?” No matter what it conjures up, football is responsible for a lot of memories for a lot of people.

While the NFL, NCAA and high school football seasons are just getting under way, for some of us, the season simply never ends. When you are watching football this season, just think of the memories being created before your very eyes. Somewhere, maybe in your own house, a youngster is watching Lavar Arrington or Clinton Portis show off their God given talents and thinking to himself that someday it will be him that others watch play this wonderful game. For the high schoolers, it will only be a matter of time before they are standing around the copier at work reflecting on that game in which they had 20 tackles or ran for 200 yards, passed for 300 yards or carried 6 defenders into the end zone on what was their fifth touchdown of the game. With each passing year since those glory days, the stats from those games grow exponentially to the point where you actually start to believe you were that good. That is until you try to float one of your stories to someone with whom you actually played. Some may let you tell “your” story and then after you leave that same guy will dress you down for the true player you were and then others will allow it to pass as long as you add them into the fray and credit them with a sack or a game altering play (or two). Either way, guys will lie as much about their on field exploits as they do about their “off field” exploits.

So you see, for this one time Friday night gladiator, this is the simply the greatest time of the year. When you have football starting on Thursday nights and lasting through Tuesday morning, it is hard to argue. Now, hopefully this is the season in which I get to hear those magic words and perhaps so too will those of you blessed with remote/beer/snack fetchers…err, kids. I sure hope my wife isn’t reading this.

By the way, football season is here, my brothers and sisters. Real, God’s honest football is here. I may have to stop and wipe the tears of joy from my eyes.

Be sure to stop back next week and check the view from the Cheap Seats….

-- Wingman
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