Buy a Damned T-Shirt!
Volume 2, Number 8
August, 1997

The Professor Let Us Gather at the River
By The Professor

 Can you feel it? Can you feel the grace and the majesty that is coming? In just a few short weeks the second holiest day of the year will be upon us. Are you ready to worship in a manner worthy of a committed acolyte? Or will you stumble through the high holy day as a nonbeliever?
 At the end of this month we will witness once again the glory that is NFL football. The power, the speed, the vicious ballet will descend upon us once more to enliven our existence. This is a day for rejoicing, for celebration, for contemplation on the meaning of being a man.
 As a public service I am here to help you worship correctly. I have seen far too many men attempt things that shouldn't be attempted on this day. With luck, perhaps I can keep you from making those same mistakes. With that in mind, here is an easy to follow guide for making this Opening Day the best ever.
 NFL Opening Day is a special time. Alone among the major sports, NFL OD really is opening day for the entire league. Unlike other pursuits where your team may not play until nearly a week after "opening day". Football starts everyone at once (aside from the Monday Night Game, which is really just dessert) so you know when your favorite team's first game is. This year we have the luck of having a day off after NFLOD. I think this is a fine idea and would urge Congress to consider making it a permanent holiday.
 So how do we celebrate? Well first of all you have to realize that NFLOD really begins the night before on NFL Opening Day Eve. You need a good way to prepare yourself for the grueling hours of worship that are ahead. My fellow believers and I like a good poker game on NFLODE. It relaxes us, gives us a chance to talk as much or as little football as we want and enables us to drink beer in a semi-social setting. It is also a perfect time to say good-bye to the significant others that we will be ignoring for the next four and a half months. I have heard of some men that hold lavish parties featuring NFL highlights or "football movies". I strongly caution against this though, it will just whet your appetite too soon and interfere with your ability to sleep, making you tired and worn out for NFLOD.
 Another consideration for NFLOD is where in the country you are worshipping. If you are on the east coast then you will need to adjust these suggestions accordingly. A good idea for you east coasters is to get extremely drunk on NFLODE. That way you can sleep in more easily. If you are on the west coast where the games start at a ridiculously early hour, then moderation is the key.
 The first integral part of your NFLOD worship is your attire. It should involve some representation of your favorite team. For those of you who are advanced enough I would suggest team jersey over team T-shirt topped off by team hat. That way if you get too hot later and remove the jersey you still have the T-shirt. If you get too drunk later and remove the T-shirt as well then you still have the hat. If you are so far gone that the hat comes off, well then trust me, team socks and underwear aren't going to help. Those of you just starting on the long road to football fandom can get by with just a T-shirt or hat.
 Once you are assembled with your worshippers it is time for the second integral part of the NFLOD festivities. ( A word about the size of your group, keep it small, keep it fanatical, keep it male. Large groups tend to get distracted too easily. The same goes for groups that contain too many dilettantes that are just there for the social aspects. Do we really need to go over the women and football thing again?) By this time you have sent the women to wherever it is they go during football season. It is time for the big breakfast, no scratch that, it is time for the BIG BREAKFAST. The key to a successful BB is twofold. The first key is to have far too much food. The second key is to not miss any of the festivities while cooking. That is why we have found that a BB cooked in the same room as the television is the way to go. Fireplace, Wood stove, Grill or hotplate, anything that you can put in sight of the television will work. Naturally cooking your BB over a crackling fire is the best way to connect to the primitive instincts that make football so special. If however you are forced to go the hotplate route, do not be embarrassed. A BB cooked on a hotplate while watching the pregame shows is far better than one cooked over a redwood bonfire with no television nearby.
 At this point, once you have finished your BB and the games have commenced it is time to let the instincts take over. Sit back, get comfortable, belch, scratch, be a man for Lombardi's sake. I won't insult your beliefs by telling you how to watch football. I will mention one thing though, don't feel any guilt about making snide sexual comments about the cheerleaders, it's why they have them. So enjoy NFLOD gentlemen, it is the one still pure high holy day on the football calendar. It is the last day that we can sit around, enjoy the crushing spectacle that is the NFL in all it's glory. The highest of holy days, the Super Bowl is becoming far too accessible to the nonbelievers. Why, even we had women at last year's game. Luckily for us, the neophytes haven't encroached on NFLOD as yet, enjoy it while it lasts.
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