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September 11, 2013

The Couch Potato: Football is back on weekends — finally!

NEW CASTLE — The wasteland that is television on Saturdays and Sundays is now over.

Sports and television fans alike can rejoice that finally, college football and the NFL are back.

The Couch Potato recalls no fonder days than lazily lying around with the Couch Potato Sr. (my dad) and learning who to root for, and maybe more important, who to root against.

One particular Saturday will always stand out to me and I wish I could remember the year, but I feel like it was 1993 and I was in fifth grade. Notre Dame, who was public enemy number one in our house, was playing Boston College and it was neck and neck all game long.

It came down to the final play of the game, which was a potential game-winning field goal by the Notre Dame kicker. My dad and I got up from the couch and were literally standing inches from the television in anticipation of the kick.

After a few moments of pure tension, the kick was launched, and as it hurdled toward the goal posts, we began to lean. It may have been leaning right, or leaning left, I really don't remember. But what I do remember was that it worked and the kick sailed beyond one of those uprights on the wrong side for Notre Dame fans.

It was the right side for us and we celebrated in style. I jumped on my dad's back and rode him around the house as we hooted and hollered in utter delight that our least favorite team went down to the underdogs from Boston.

Sundays were not much different in substance, except that instead of rooting against certain teams (except the Browns, obviously) we were very much rooting for the Steelers.

My dad and I had our traditions. We liked to watch the game by ourselves and we always hated when the game was on Fox. Our superstitions were crazy enough that we made my sister stay in the kitchen during one game because the Steelers were playing better when she wasn't in the room. I'm not sure why she listened to us.

As we have both gotten older, those traditions have faded away. My dad starting golfing on Sundays and left me to watch many of the games by myself or with my friends. This past Sunday, we had a family picnic during the game and about 10 of us squeezed into my parents’ living room to watch.

It was different, but fine.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Steelers will not be very competitive this year based on Sunday's horrific performance against the Tennessee Titans. It won't change my routine much. I'll still watch the game and get extremely mad, but now, I won't carry it with me. Steelers losses used to stay with me all week, but I guess I'm getting older like my dad and the games mean less to me now.

Regardless of what Notre Dame, the Browns or the Steelers are up to this season or how my feelings for the outcomes have changed, I do know one thing — I'm glad football is back and weekends are, too.

 

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