Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm With Charlie

Ah. Now I know summer is trickling away and autumn is starting to fill the pool. It's that time of year again. You know what I mean. Don't pretend you don't remember my seasonal insanity.

This is when I equate "fine cuisine" with Tailgate Food. It's when I spend agonizing hours over stats and standings to pick the winning teams each week. It's when I make rash promises to the football gods if they'll just give my beloved Raiders some good mojo this year. (Can I help it if I can't find any sacrificial virgins any more?)

It's also when I sign up for Field Pass, which allows me access, via radio feed, to any NFL game being played each week. See, this is the last week I can sign up and still get the discount. Gotta love that discount. So I done gone and did it. This morning. Which means I can listen to a preseason game tomorrow evening, when my Raiders mix it up with the Seahawks.

It isn't that one takes preseason games all that seriously. They are, after all, a series of shake-down cruises to see how well the children play together. They save their good stuff for regular season. But it gives us a chance to get back into the swing of things without succumbing to emotional trauma right out of the chute. If the guys look less than heroic, we can always shrug and say, "This has only been a test. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along."

This is also the time of year I fondly contemplate my old buddy Charlie Brown, of Peanuts fame and lore. If you recall, nearly every year poor ol' Charlie went through the tortures of the downtrodden with that treacherous bitch, Lucy, when she'd swear to hold the football steady so he could kick it. And she never did. And Charlie would always end up on his back, aching and humiliated just one more time. Except for one year when she didn't jerk the ball away -- and Charlie missed!

Over the years, this seasonal duel has become a metaphor for many things. A quick Google browse will show you that, sometimes in the most astonishing ways. Basically, though, it's always stood as an example of things just not working out for poor ol' Charlie. But some of us who can't help cheering for the underdogs (remember -- I'm a Raiders fan) got an optimistic lift from the same-old-same-old ball-jerking routine before Schultz died. If you go here, you will be treated to a very good article by Jake Austen, who shares some interesting background. Best of all, he reproduces the final strip (of the football gig) in which Charlie Brown finally -- well -- you have to see it for yourself.

NOTE: The football cartoon used for this entry has been gratefully scooped up from a talented cartoonist named Jeff Bucchino, the Wizard of Draws. Thanks, Jeff!


John Bailey said...

You know I don't understand American Football, Dee, but I do understand when a good friend is all geared up and ready for a season of joy. Good on yer, gal! :-)

Dee said...

Thank you, John. Actually, we are about even -- I don't understand your European football, either. (grin)All I know is, it's all great fun for those of us who watch from a safe place, never getting sweaty, bruised or dirty.

Denver doug said...

I plead guilty to watching our Brocos play, whoever and whenever and inhaling the Super Bowl, even watching a Rockie game now and then, but a lukewarm fan is better than none ? ? ? ?

In my heart Charlie Brown did kick the football. He deserved to !

Dee said...

Doug, if you're a Bronco fan, there's nothin' lukewarm about you. (smile) And I agree with you about Charlie Brown. Yes indeed!