South Windsor Smiles - September 2019

September 2019

Why I Love the Fall Football and the Changing Seasons

I’m someone who enjoys every season. Each has its pros and cons, but I’ve never found myself wishing for the next season to roll around. However, fall is by far my favorite. When fall comes around, the leaves start changing and certain sports, specifically football, start up again, which I look forward to every year. As far as I’m concerned, there are only two seasons of sports: football and everything else. I grew up loving football because my family loved it. My dad went to college on a football scholarship and played through his upperclassmen years, even becoming captain of his team. When he graduated, he was considered by both the Giants and the

for our district. We all had a really good time, and I enjoyed it. But my high school and college didn’t have football teams, so I wasn’t able to play. Instead, I joined the soccer team and did pretty well in that sport for about eight years. When I had my son, Andy, I was happy to encourage him to join the football team, but he didn’t get to play until he was in high school. Once, my wife and I were at a game where a kid broke his arm, and she wasn’t too keen on watching her own child go through that. But when Andy went to high school, he asked if he could join the team, and we said yes. He was a skinny little guy, but he played really well. My son was good enough that the upstate NewYork division invited him to play up there. At the time, he probably weighed around 120 pounds soaking wet and was around 5 feet, 8 inches tall.The first day of his practice, he was looking at linebackers who were all at least 6 feet tall and outweighed him by over 100 pounds. He came up to me afterward and asked, “Dad, you don’t mind if I don’t play football in college, right?” And thus ended his football career. Even though I’ve spent 60 years as a football fan, know how the game is played, and have logged a lot of time playing myself, I’m a terrible coach. I tried it for a little while, but I knew pretty quickly that it wasn’t my thing.Today, I support the sport by going to every game I can. Beyond my football fanaticism, fall is just a beautiful time of year. Fall means harvests, colors, and the anticipation of the late fall holidays, when I get together with friends and family. I really enjoy taking walks with my wife and grandkids to enjoy the changing leaves, the stars, and eating all the great food that comes with fall. I love a good pumpkin pie and anything and everything apple-related.

Lions, but he never played pro. Around that time, Uncle Sam was interested in him, too, withWWII happening, and my dad decided to fight for his country instead. As a kid, I played as much football as I could, but mostly flag football. Usually, these games turned into tackle football, and my friends and I didn’t much care about which position we played. It wasn’t until seventh grade that I played in an organized game. At that time, helmets didn’t have bars to protect the face, and the pads were a lot smaller.We weren’t

required to wash our uniforms as often either; by the time the end of the football season came around, we’d all be playing in grimy uniforms that couldn’t be salvaged even if you tried.

I hope that all of you have a fantastic fall this year in any way you decide to enjoy it.

I remember my team being pretty good at the time; we were 6-2 and even went to the football championships

–Dr. Kevin Norige


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