It’s time to once again to saddle up and get ready for another football season, although I haven’t saddled up literally in decades and would be frightened beyond belief now to get anywhere near a horse. Or a mule, for that matter.
This is a great time of year, provided it ever cools down. I love the beginning of football season and the final month of the baseball regular season leading into the playoffs. It’s only seven weeks or so until the beginning of college basketball practice, believe it or not. It’s fun when the sports seasons converge.
But, as always, a part of me will miss summer. And this has been one of the best summers ever.
First, it’s my first summer as the groom of my wonderful wife, Debbie. We were married last December (I’m sure you saw pictures in “People” magazine) and we spent our honeymoon in Gettysburg and Pittsburgh, Pa. Yes, when you think of romance I know you think of Pittsburgh, but we had a great time.
We drove – approximately 2,700 miles in all – and had not once tense moment. Oh, who am I kidding? I got lost numerous times in Pittsburgh and admit I’m not the coolest customer when I have no idea where I am or what I need to do to get to where I want to be. There were some hairy moments. But once we arrived at our rat-infested motel (OK, not really but not exactly a honeymoon suite), everything was fine.
We went to a couple of St. Louis Cardinals games against the Pittsburgh Pirates. I’ve been wanting to go to a game at PNC Park for a while now and it’s as beautiful as it looks on television. Plus, the Cardinals won both of the games we saw before starting on a down-slide that has left them 10 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central as I type.
The Cardinals are always a huge part of my summer. I’ve watched dozen of games – with Debbie by my side – and even though the team has fallen out of contention, I’ll continue to watch. There’s something forlorn about that, but it’s my life and this is how I choose to live it.
We had a screened-in patio built on our house. At least I think we did. It’s been so miserably hot that we haven’t had a chance to use it much, but that’ll change once the football season starts. Right? Tell me that’ll change when the football season starts. We also put up some fence in the back yard. I like saying that because it makes me feel like one of the Cartright boys from “Bonanza.” Those guys, especially Hoss and Little Joe, were always putting up some fence. Hop Sing was always cooking, but I don’t cook so I don’t think there’s much comparison to me and Hop Sing.
I played a lot of golf. One day, at MacDonald Park, I thought I had played for the last time. My game fell apart. It was if I had reverted back to when I was just starting out back in the – well, it’s not necessary to fill in that date. You get the point. I couldn’t hit anything. I completely lost it and I considered dumping my clubs in the closest lake, something my friends will tell you is no exaggeration.
But the next time out, I was a little better. And finally, I got back to playing decent golf. Never anything great, but decent. I shot a 79 at Sim Park on Saturday, only the fifth time I’ve broken 80 in my life. I was 3-over on the final two holes or it would have been better. If I’m sounding like Golf Guy, I’ll soon get over it. Because there’s nothing quite so annoying as “Golf Guy.”
The radio show has gone well. We had a good summer, except for a slight mishandling of the World Series of Face/Off championship game. But mistakes happen. To me, they happen fairly frequently.
I’m ready for football season. I’m headed for Kansas State on Saturday to watch the Wildcats play Eastern Kentucky. Shouldn’t be much of a game, but there are a lot of interesting stories surrounding K-State this season. I like to get into the groove of a season and this one should be telling for both Kansas schools. No one is expecting a whole lot from either, but I think Kansas State could surprise some people. Not surprise people by going 10-2 or anything like that, but I think seven wins is within reach with an outside chance to get to eight.
The blog will be appearing regularly now through the end of the basketball season. I’ll have a couple of weeks off during the late fall/early winter months, but for the most part I’ll be hard at work for the next seven months. It’ll be fun talking with you. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. Provided they’re complimentary comments and valid suggestions, of course.