Labor Day and the Rise of the Couch Potato

September 7, 2015

The Labor Day weekend marks the start of a wealth of sports for fans and the media machine.  Television viewership goes way up, beer sales implode, recliners and big screen TV sales increase, antacid purchases soar upward well past New Year’s Day.

College football starts the whole parade off by pushing alumni, parents of players, students, gamblers, networks and college towns into a frenzy of fanaticism and psychoanalysis.   Something about college football drives average everyday folks into a person who wears bad color combinations and pledge their allegiance to a place that they are still paying off their student loan. Obviously, college football can offer something that the NFL cannot and that is nonprofessional athletes that compete for no money. Somebody gets rich off the sport but it’s not the players who risk their wellbeing for either a slim chance at a pro gig or the fun of being on a college football squad.  One percent of the college players in America will make it to the NFL, so the other 99 percent will have to reminisce about their glory days.

The NFL cranks up in the second weekend and the start the of fantasy football, endless radio talk show banter and beginning of new controversies such as wiretapping of those headsets or tainted Gatorade. But it’s the train wreck we cannot stop watching and it gets into are homes more and more every year.  I cannot help but chuckle at the flag post that people have in their yard with their football team flags waving alongside Old Glory. I have seen cars and RV’s transformed into football team mascot mobiles and wonder what s next, NFL beer. They just partner up with Budweiser and slap the NFL logo on it and fans would be draining can after can.

Lost in the shuffle of all of the football frenzy is Serena Williams and her quest for immortality at the US Open to win a Grand Slam in one tennis season. Most sporting fans don’t know about her attempt and this one of a kind record, but then again, most people don’t know that the US Open is held in September.  If she achieves this monumental endeavor, she will be able to take away the press and attention from football for maybe one day.

Of course, we have the scramble for the playoffs in Major League Baseball. For the ten teams that have a realistic chance, the fans will be feverishly waiting and hanging on every pitch. Not really but they will want now the score every few innings while they get back to watching football. So, two thirds of the league’s fans are looking at next year’s free agents and wondering who should be traded away while one third is gearing up for the fall classic and seeing baseball in forty-degree weather.

Lastly, I couldn’t help mentioning that the World Cup of Rugby is happening in late September and I personally will try to watch it if I can find which channel it may be on. I might have to find a pub and drink an ale while seeing the sport that impresses me more each time I watch. You see, as an American, we have been fed a small plate of sports on television. Since the heyday of Wide World of Sports, I have not seen motorcycle ice racing, demolition derbies, weightlifting or heard from Jackie Stewart. I think the time is ripe for a new version of that show and the second coming of Howard Cosell. Cheers, enjoy the month!