October — ‘Gotta love it! — ! Every fall, thanks to my stand-by retiree passes, my husband and I make the trek to Williamstown, MA. There is nothing better to my husband than sleeping with the windows open and waking up to temperatures in the 40s. For me, it’s the photo opportunities — the barns, covered bridges, Jersey cows and fall festivals. Evenings are spent glued to the TV watching teams positioning themselves to play in that coveted fall classic – the World Series! The Berkshires are home to Red Sox as well as Yankees fans, so the best places to view the games are at pubs. It’s like seeing a re-run of Cheers. All that is missing are Sam, Norm and Cliff.Everyone loves Halloween — particularly dentists! Mine got to do a root canal on me last fall. I don’t know if it was the seven bowls of candy corn or biting into the red hots. Like us, do you buy your favorite candy so you can binge on the leftovers? I dress up to greet the trick or treaters. One year I wore a Texas Rangers Jersey; another year, I was Tom Brady.
By far, I enjoy football the most. Hubby loves college ball, especially the Big Ten. I love the NFL and stay glued to the set from Thursday to Monday. On Sunday, I watch The Red Zone — a channel created for fans like me. They show every team getting close to a possible score. I am in my element except for one minor detail — it is commercial free. With the help of the pause button, I can cover my “bio” breaks and finish watching the games ten minutes after the rest of the football world.
Every Sunday, I go through my ritual of donning my “uniform” — the team jersey or t-shirt, the underwear and socks in team colors, jeans and ponytail holder. I drink my tea out of my football cup. As the season goes on, I start to become superstitious going through as many as four different shirts in one game when my team is losing or frantically trying to remember what I was wearing the week before when they won.
In 2007, I discovered Fantasy Football. It was free and on the Internet. In the league I started with, the computer drafted the players distributing the best players evenly. The work began as each week I had to decide who to play or who to bench. At the beginning, I struggled with this aspect until I discovered the Internet also provided projections — although they were not always accurate.
The fun really began three years ago when I joined a local league of friends complete with a draft. Amid a smorgasbord of everything but the kitchen sink, we spent hours drafting two rookies and fourteen players. I quickly found that this draft was serious stuff and I was among a very experienced group. There was a guy with a folder marked Top Secret. He even carried it to the bathroom! My biggest frustration was the regrouping after someone right in front of me drafted the player I was prepared to list on the grease board. I suddenly found myself crouching over my computer print-outs and Fantasy Football magazines lined with post-its. During the 2rd round, I upset the apple cart. So far everyone had been drafting running backs and wide receivers. I approached the grease board wearing my Tom Brady game jersey. I started writing QB …….a gasp from the room ….. the new person to the league was changing the venue! I continued to write Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay. Another gasp! How could a rookie to this group (and wearing a Tom Brady jersey no less) trick the group and grab the projected top pick for quarterbacks?!?!?
Yes, I survived the draft but felt the pains of injuries to “my” players and even one who quit playing football! I limped along in last place all through the regular season and was miserable. For the playoffs, we had the option of keeping the players we had or re-drafting. I got to do something no one else in my league did — forego the draft. To my surprise, I went on to win the playoffs. It was bittersweet when the Packers beat my Steelers 31-25 thanks to my Fantasy Football Quarterback.