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Tue, Oct. 22

Williams: I guess I won’t be dancing much…

That magic time has finally arrived with the imminent arrival of fall and the beginning of the NFL season for 2019. I have a lot to do to extract my full measure of enjoyment from the next four months or so.

First, I have to get into shape. Professional players’ running speed is critical for the 40-yard dash. The fastest guy’s time is around 4.5 seconds or faster. My personal best is 3.8 seconds -- for the 26-foot dash. That’s the distance from Spectator Central, my recliner in the living room, to the bathroom in the hall. For TV commercial breaks that are only 30 seconds in length, I really have to hustle. I’m confident in my prospects for the season, however, since I rank pretty high in hustle rankings for my neighborhood. Thank God we’re all graded on a curve.

Second, I have to prepare four-quarters worth of snacks in advance so I don’t miss the big play while rooting around in the kitchen for munchies. I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve diverted my attention from The Game for just a few seconds – and during those few seconds the greatest play of the game happens. That isn’t going to occur this time. This year, I have a solid game plan.

Third, I have to set up the ironing board and starch cans and collect all my un-ironed shirts from the last few months. Over the last 40 or 50 years, I’ve developed the tradition of ironing shirts during NFL football games.And that’s the only time I iron. Used to be that I’d run out of finished shirts by mid-March, but now, thanks to the Alliance of American Football league that will kick off after the Super Bowl in February, I’ll have crisply prepared shirts for an additional 10 weeks in 2020. According to my calculations, I’ll be nattily attired until the 19th of April.

Fourth, I have to put the finishing touches on my end-zone dance routine in the unlikely event that the Arizona Cardinals score a victory during the 2019 season. We had a brand-new coach last year and now have another spanking new NFL coach this season. I long for the days of Paddy Driscoll who coached the then Chicago Cardinals to 17 wins, 8 losses and 4 ties from 1920 to 1922. Or Jimmy Conzelman who enjoyed the highest winning percentage of any Cardinals’ coach in history with 26 wins and nine losses from 1946 to 1948. Of the 41 Cardinal coaches since Paddy, only 12 have had a winning record. I’ve never danced much in my life and based on past Cardinals’ performance, don’t expect to do many jigs in the Cardinals’ end zone in the near future.

I suppose I could move to a locale that promises better football. Like New England, for example. But that ain’t going to happen.

And finally, I have to clear my Sunday schedules from now until the end of January. I need at least 10 hours of serious viewing time to take in three NFL games and to absorb all the analysis before each game, during each half time and after each game on Sunday. And I’m not even counting all the prep work for Monday night and Thursday night games.

I don’t think women comprehend the pressure we males are under during football season. Never before has man been confronted with 256 full-length professional football games to watch, plus all the playoff games.

How do we do it?

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