by Spencer Hall
Hunter S. Thompson wrote “Football Season Is Over” at the top of his suicide note. The end of football season was, for him, a convenient time to check out of life via gunshot. It is not hard to understand why: looking out the window in February, when the whistle has sounded and big men pour into physical rehab or the bars for the winter, is bleak as hell’s backyard no matter where you are. Up north there is snow, more snow, and grey cottony skies blocking the sun for months at a time. Down south the trees spit their leaves, and half of the mid-South looks like the back of a porcupine’s ass. In Florida, the snow birds pace the sidewalks like bedraggled death-herons lurching from one cafeteria to the next. It may be the most macabre of all scenarios, but you wouldn’t believe it until you see it.
You don’t believe many things until you see them, because people remain visual learners. For instance, You won’t believe that you can lose that game, and there the score sits in indisputable yellow lights on the scoreboard. You won’t believe now that in four months you will sit at the window and see it all happen all over again and then find yourself staring at the metaphorical piece of paper reading: Football season is over. Camus stated that all reasonable men consider their own suicide. I’m not saying I think it is a noble decision in his case, or in any others.
If I were going to understand it, though? That first Saturday morning without football would be the day to do that. …