Have you noticed lately? I haven't written worth a damn lately mostly because I'm just too cranky to write about anything worthwhile. I have about 15 articles 70% written, but without ending. They're bland, boring, helpless. Most have gone beyond the point of expiration and I leave them lying around because sooner or later they'll come back in style. Like that one about the ass-kicking we took against Kansas. It might come up again when we play them in Lawrence a couple weeks. Then there's another one about bell-bottom jeans.... oh well.
Like today, for example. I'm driving between customer sites, turn on the radio and listen to Keith Obermann blather on with Dan Patrick about the affect that Joe Namath had on the whole world. He wore white shoes when the rest of the world was wearing black. He wore nylons when no other man was wearing them (publicly, at least). He was an attention-grabbing, outgoing guy when all of the other quarterbacks that ever existed were bland, boring statuesque guys who did nothing but play football, looking like your dead great-grandfather while they did it. Blah blah blah de friggin' blah blah.
Super Bowl coverage - it's like seeing "Hitler's Henchmen' in it's 243rd running on the History Channel and trying to convince yourself that there is still something left to learn from it. Where's good ol' Art Donovan when you need him most? He could tell the same story 300 times and it'd still be interesting.
This funk happens every year, so you might as well get used to it. Some might blame the winter weather (the high Saturday might be two below), but that's just an excuse. It's because it's not football season any more. Oh, there's the NFL Pro Bowl, as if that counts. There's the 'Texas versus the Nation' bowl this Friday night which features Buddy Ryan as a head coach. The only way this will resemble football is if Buddy Ryan finally goes Woody Hayes all over some kid on the sidelines. At least the guys who are organizing the game recognize the ailment some of us are going through and are trying to do something about it.
There's recruiting. It's not football, either. It's a make-believe little world in which people arbitrarily assign gold stars to high school kids. Those lgold stars mean as much as they did when you were a little kid in second grade. They were important when you got them because it proved you were better than everyone else, and when you didn't get them you went around making excuses about why you didn't. Same crap now. We'll clamor about a high-ranking recruiting class or player, paying a subscription fee to a web site to read up and then go around talking about the five star guys as if we've already won the next national championship.
But don't kid yourself it has anything to do with football because it doesn't. It has more to do with that subscription fee you keep paying. I don't blame you for it, but it doesn't do anything for me. Maybe it keeps you out of the funk that I'm in, and if it does, good for you.
The only thing I've found that really works is NCAA Football 2006/7 on the PS2. I play dynasty mode, mostly. I can take any team in the nation and turn them into a powerhouse in a few years. I kid myself that I'm teaching myself something all the while, and I pretend so hard that it's real that I type my recruiting classes into a word processing document so I can track them over the years. Rather pathetic, isn't it? On the bright side, it's cheaper than therapy and not as rough on the family as drinking mass quantities of alcohol, so maybe it's not so bad.
When mid-summer gets hot and the fishing gets tough I'll resort to watching last year's games. First I'll watch the lineman. Then I'll go back and watch the linebackers, then the defensive backfield. Then the offensive backfield. All the while I'll kid myself that I'm teaching myself something.
This year I've added a new twist - as you might have noticed, I've started reviewing college football books here on Corn Nation. I had a mound of them to go through so maybe that'll help. I certainly hope so, as do my family, my friend, my co-workers, clients, and people on the freeway.
I wonder if there are others out there suffering from the same funk, and if there are, what they do when this time of year rolls around. Maybe we could start a self-help group.
p.s. Molly Ivins has died of breast cancer. I almost never agreed with her politics, and nearly everything she ever wrote pissed me off in some way or another, but she was a good writer. I feel sorry for the people in the world who think that there is a single viewpoint to anything in life, and Molly Ivins was damned good at providing me with another one. The world is a lesser place without her.