2006-09-14 / Sam Bari

NFLkicks off the season

You can't beat a system you can't understand

By Sam Bari By Sam Bari It all started at the beginning of summer. Throngs of hopeful athletes frequented gyms across the country. They worked out, they jogged, they ran, pumped thousands of reps of iron, increasing the weight each day. They sacrificed time and energy that should have gone to their families. They adhered to rigid diets, and attended every Tai-Bo, aerobics, and heart-thumping workout class they could cram into their busy schedules. All this to get in the best shape possible. Then they studied the playing fields, sharpened their focus, took notes, and memorized stats. They can call their playbook and game plan to the forefront of their minds in a split second. They know the options. They flew through the pre-season with ease. When the whistle blew, signaling the kickoff for the first NFLgame of the year - they were ready.

What's that? What team do they play for? They don't play for any team. Why do you ask? Oh . . . you thought we were talking about football players . . . No . . That was never mentioned. We just said, "the first NFLgame of the year." It's sort of a reference point for the beginning of the season. You know . . . the shopping season. We're talking about shoppers here. Football is just a distraction for couch-potato husbands and boyfriends so they have something to do while the real action takes place in the malls. With shopping centers as their playing fields, shoppers take their role in life seriously. We're talking about women who look fabulous at the beach because they work out all summer in preparation for the pre-season. That's the end of summer clearance sales, and the back-to-school warm-up that happens a couple of weeks before the real season begins. It's kinda like pre-season games that loosen up the kinks and get the players back into the rhythm of things. What things you ask? Things like swiping credit cards through the little machines. You understand. I know you do.

The women we're discussing with the well-tuned and toned bodies are indeed a sight to behold. They work so hard to get that way. And to think, you thought they did it all for you. Guess what - you are delusional. They did it to get in shape for the season. Navigating those mall parking lots, fighting for sale merchandise, and holding on to their place in the checkout lines is no easy task. Not to forget carrying all those heavy packages chock full of stuff that they bought and you paid for. Not to worry, though. They are in shape, and they can survive contending with the competition.

Although it is difficult to believe, sometime around the end of December, the chance of them getting into the clothes they purchased at the end-of-summer clearances are - zero. Not after they've packed on that holiday poundage. Nope. That little shopping spree was a waste of time and your moolah. Speaking of which, I hope you have a lot.

You see, the season tickets you bought, and the tailgate parties you planned, and the Sunday night and Monday night get togethers with your football buddies that you've looked forward to all summer long . . . Well . . . Those little events will cost a pittance compared to what your wife or significant other is gonna spend at the mall while you're indulging in your favorite couch-potato pastime.

And what is the point of all this foreboding information, you ask? The point is to let you know that you will be punished if you are not paying attention. Wives, significant others, girlfriends, or however you want to identify them don't like to be neglected. If you happen to have one that appears to like football and watches the games with you, don't for even a nanosecond believe that she is watching because she enjoys the competition. No . . . she enjoys looking at those hunks in uniform, and you can bank on her thinking: Hmmmm . . . you used to look like that. What happened?

Gentlemen - they do not like football. They do not like being neglected. They do not like their husbands or significant others to look like 10 pounds of fat in a 5 pound bag. If you are addicted to football and fall into the couchpotato category - get over it. Otherwise, they are going to make you pay. All you have to do is pay a little attention. Take them out occasionally, and go to the gym once in a while. Let them know that they mean more to you than having a personal bartender and waitress. Cause if you don't, NFLis going to take on a whole new meaning. Try No Funds Left. It's just part of that system you best learn to understand.

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