The feeling came over him like the shadow of doom, enveloping him and tugging at his soul. Instinctively he knew that nothing would be the same. It was…over.
Minutes before he had been caught up in the frenzy of the ultimate competition, and his excitement had prevented him from seeing the sadness that waited just around the corner. He felt so alone, but he wasn’t – half of his countrymen felt the same way.
The football season was over.
It seemed like yesterday that he was transfixed to the TV, waiting to see which of the nation’s top college athletes his team would choose in the draft – the missing keys to a successful run through the playoffs. But now, as he watched Eli hoisting the trophy, he realized that the glitter of the biggest game of the year had already faded into the archives and oblivion.
He had nothing to show for his seven month journey except indigestion and a few grease spots on his shirt. His own team had left the spotlight weeks ago, but he had satiated his pigskin habit with the teams who remained standing, week after week.
And now it was all over. Sadly, he picked up the last traces of the game he loved so much – a few empty beer cans, potato chip crumbs on the carpet. He glanced at his wife, who gave him a supportive smile – but there was something else on her face… Joy? Triumph? “The game was good,” he thought, “but it wasn’t THAT good.”
As he shuffled down the hall, his shoulders sagged in dispair. Suddenly, in a moment of clarity he stopped, straightened himself, and began to grin.
The draft is next month.