[& that serene sports place]

As usual, I turned on NBC Sports out of habit and awaited updates on football. It's preseason and yet those meaningless games hold some kind of sway over die-hard football fans. Since February we had been without the sport we crave and now it was back.

I did not choose to be a football fan--it was ingrained in my upbringing, my childhood, those happy memories watching Monday Night Football with Frank, Al, and Dan on the floor of our tiny one bedroom apartment, my grandma and I sharing cheetos. I did in a round about way choose to be a Dolphins fan. Though wrapped in aqua and orange at three hours old by my mother helped, watching Dan Marino lead a game winning drive against Cleveland as a 5 year old solidified it.

Now? My grandmother respected Dan Marino but she has always been a Colts fan. My mother is a Seahawks fan, abandoning the Dolphins after 10 years of futility. I, however remain out of sheer stubbornness, love, and possibly a masochistic streak that leads me to play the game of football with an abandon that concerns the people around me. Some people ask why and I can only shrug. Browns, Jags, and Vikings fans have it harder.

But as NBC Sports drones on about the HoF Game that was a complete disaster for the Miami Dolphins, it moves on to a topic near and dear to my hate. They interview Tom Brady about how he's "never felt better" and feels like "a 22 year old veteran. I waited for my instant reaction of a string of swear words to tumble from my brain to my mouth.

They never came.

And in that moment I realized I have come to regard Tom Brady with that same mixture of emotion inspired in cave dwellers by earthquake and eclipse: terror, forced respect, powerlessness, and surrender. Beyond explanation or entreaty, he simply is and probably will always be. If Peyton is 38 and playing at a high level, Brady is only 36.

He will be around. And thus, in that moment I became at peace with the football universe. It took fourteen years but I am finally broken.

Oh I still don't like Brady. But I will no longer go into games with the tiny hope that maybe possibly but not really the Dolphins can win. They'll lose and only hopefully not lose mightily. As I watched tailored answers smoothly fall from his supposedly hot super model mouth on TV--not the always seemingly sheepish Eli or hyper-Southern growl of Peyton or slightly aggravated Aaron Rodgers--I sat down on the bed, knowing what prisoners of a long sentence felt like.

Oh you'll get out of jail. One day. It will happen. But never forget, you are in hell. You'll be here awhile.

But hell would have no power if one could not dream of heaven. And today, heaven turned into more of a far fetched idea than a one day destination. A thought, one I could have and smile to myself on Tuesdays after the sting of the games have left but haven't begun anew in the new week, and nothing more.

It's bearable, if only temporary. Because come week 7 I'm going to care. I'm going to rage and string together obscenities that would melt a nun into the floor.

I'll be in hell. And I'll be ok with that.

Good Night and Good Luck.
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