My dad once said to me, “Son, if they were to open up your head and examine your brain, they’d find it shaped like a football.”

He wasn’t necessarily wrong.

Just about as long as I can remember, I have been in love with the game of football. I don’t really know why. I have tried to turn the analytical microscope on myself, but I just get burnt under its concentrated focus. Self-analysis almost always generates more heat than light…at least for me.

Maybe I, like Popeye, can say, “I yam what I yam.”

Or like the Apostle Paul, “I am what I am by the grace of God.”

I confess to being obsessed enough to have sat inTexas stadium with four other knuckleheads (can one call his father-in-law a knucklehead?) in sub-zero temperatures through, count ’em, THREE Texas high school playoff football games. Nine hours in the elements, where the coffee we bought to warm our gizzards froze solid in the cups in less than thirty minutes.

I have arrived at that same stadium at 9am to stand in line outside a gate that wouldn’t open until 1pm, just to get our “special” seats, high above the crowd in a little box over one of the entrances to the arena…not once or twice, but every year for something like 15 years. For high school football.

No. I didn’t have a son or friend’s son playing on either team. No, the teams were not usually from the town in which I reside. I just wanted some…football!

I have canceled appointments and politely refused invitations to various gatherings so I could have the three hours when the Cowboys took the field all to myself. (My apologies if you were one of the victims. You understand.)

I have always been thankful for a wife who wasn’t into football, so I could avoid the endless questions and absurd comments during a game. I am just as thankful that she isn’t anti-football. She understands that would be anti-Gene. She has quietly enabled my obsession for going on thirty years.

Man, I love that woman.

I have plenty more to say on this subject, but it’s Monday and you know what that means.

If you need me, you know where I will be.

On second thought, don’t call me. I’ll call you.