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Ahh, mid-summer. Lazing at the beach. Fresh fruit and veggies at farm stands. Soft-serve ice cream. The crack of a batted baseball and roar of the crowd ...
But wait - what's this? "Fourth down and inches, and the Giants are going for it ... Manning takes the snap ..."
Every year the sudden reappearance of football takes us by surprise, just as back-to-school sales do in July and mall Christmas displays in September.
We are a nation perpetually in a hurry, always rushing the future so we don't get a chance to enjoy the present.
Sunday night's fast-paced, bang-'em-up Hall of Fame football game between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills clashed on national television with the more seasonally suitable, languid baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, which droned on for nearly four hours.
A baseball game in the background is like white noise, better than Sominex.
Ordinarily, the Sox-Yanks match-up would capture our attention, but this long baseball season has been disappointing for both longtime rivals, with Boston mired in last place in the AL East and the Bombers struggling to earn a wild-card playoff berth. So we click to the furious action of football, punctuated by smashing helmets, grunting linemen and frenzied commentators. It all sounds so wrong in summer.
Baseball, incidentally, has adopted the same hurry-up offense, starting its season not in balmy April of the past but now in frigid, snowy late March.
Next thing you know, we'll be starting presidential campaigns three years before the election.
Oh, wait ...