It's still hot as hell down here, but there's little hints that something else is around the corner. There've been periods of cool, the effects of a rainstorm linger a bit longer, the sun is rising perceptibly later and the morning light is a bit thinner.
I love fall down here; I first moved to Atlanta in late October and was amazed by the beauty. The rich colors, the crisp air. You can imagine my disappointment to find that this was countered by pissy damp winters and suicide-inducing summers.
We're entering into what is prime sports season for me, too. The two sports I give my heart to are hockey (really!) and pro football. The latter's regular season starts this week, and at the risk of sounding sappy, that marks a milestone in each year. I don't follow football as much as I used to (as those who are in my fantasy league can attest), but there's a certain ritual surrounding it that I find reassuring and comforting.
Perhaps more than any other sport, people who aren't football fans hate it. Maybe it's the overinflated machismo, maybe it's the stop-start pace, maybe it's the often non-intuitive rules. It was never an issue for me; starting early in childhood, Sunday found me in front of the TV with Dad, watching intently.
I think that once-a-week thing is what set football apart -- you've got the entire week to build up to the game, and then on the day of rest, you sit down and watch. From childhood (church then football¹) to Colorado-adulthood (roller hockey then beer and football at the Hungry Toad), it's given a certain order, an anchor to the week.
This is the first fall in years that I've had Sundays off -- you're damn right I'm excited (at least until they change my schedule). This Sunday, I'll be parked in front of the TV, gorging myself on beer and wings. Weird that it's taken this long for me to need to research Atlanta's sports bars.
Soon after football, of course, comes hockey. Looking at the Thrasher's schedule and my days off, it's looking like if I want to see a game in the first two months of the season, it's gonna have to be in Russia or the Czech Republic. Feh.
¹ When the Broncos were in the playoffs during the '80s, the church I attended would often have special prayers for the Broncos, or cut sermons short so that we could go home early and watch the games. Given the Broncos' Super Bowl futility in that decade, it's no wonder I turned away from religion.