I have come to realize, in this terrible year, what medical science has probably known all along but has been too shy to say: We all need football.
Even those who do not like the game are benefitted by it being played for it provides an escape value, which at least helps others, and the more pent up steam that escapes from the public psyche the better.
For a year that we all wish would end soon, football is a harbinger of fall but transcends winter and even steps over into the anxiously anticipated new year.
Those of us in Louisiana have suffered through COVID-19 just like everyone else in the world, plus we already had one hurricane and this week have faced another one. (Someone should drop a penalty flag on life for that, but we are already accustomed to flags that did not fall when they should have.)
On the other hand, prospects for the season locally look good. The Saints are among those favored to get in the Super Bowl. (The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be impressed.) Tulane won its opening game. LSU is defending its national championship, and, who would have thought, the University of Louisiana in Lafayette beat a national ranked team, Iowa State, on the road in its first game of the season. College football’s biggest story of the weekend did not come from South Bend, Ann Arbor, Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge, but from Lafayette.
All of the problems we face as we zoom through our crises are still with us, but the mind needs a break to wonder if the Saints returning to the Super Bowl and LSU repeating a national championship are part of a true new normal.
We await for the social scientists to announce the importance of football in the world order, but don’t look for pronouncements from Johns Hopkins or MIT. They wouldn’t know.
Neither have football teams.
BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s books, “New Orleans: The First 300 Years” and “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2017 and 2013), are available at local bookstores and at book websites.
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 9:30 A.M. SUNDAYS.WYES-TV, CH. 12.