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Opinion >  Column

Paul Turner: Football season raises a few questions

Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

We’re closing in on that part of the year when hard choices will have to be made.

Yes, it’s almost decision time. Will you be a football fan this year or will you find some other seasonal diversions?

The choice has become more complicated.

OK, for some people, it’s a no-brainer. They have always been football fans. They will always be football fans. End of discussion. For others, however, it’s not that simple.

Let’s say you enjoy watching football but cannot stand the coach of the college team you normally would follow. And let’s further stipulate that you resent the National Football League’s willful misreading of the players’ take-a-knee sideline protests. Where does that leave you?

You could root for a Spokane-area high school team. But what if the whole issue surrounding concussions and head trauma makes you uneasy about that?

Or perhaps you have begun to suspect America’s relationship with football isn’t really all that healthy, reliant as it is on obliterating the values of higher education and selling pickups and erectile dysfunction pills on Sundays.

You could always remain a fan, while holding your nose if you feel so inclined. Or you could punt, so to speak.

There are other things to do on the weekend. It’s your call.

But remember. There will be those who will presume to tell you what to do on this score. Listen to them. Do they seem threatened by the fact your thinking isn’t in lockstep with their own? Are they angry because you are injecting politics into the matter while denying that they are doing the same?

OK, I’m not kidding myself. If watching football is a family tradition and long a part of your autumn routine, cutting the cord would not be easy.

And to those who say, “If you have seen one football game, you have seen them all,” I would politely disagree.

I’ll give you an example. I have a couple of friends with whom I have an annual beer bet on the Northern Arizona vs. Montana game. Last November, I felt confident about NAU’s chances even though the televised game was in Missoula. But then halfway through the first quarter, the Lumberjacks’ outstanding quarterback got ejected for throwing an illegal block (targeting the head).

The quarterback. Ejected. For targeting. Had never seen that.

That cost me the price of two microbrews. But it gave us something to talk about. That has always been the best thing about football.

Still, it’s not the only subject worth discussing.

Seeing into the future

Tim O’Doherty saw the column featuring predictions about Spokane’s future.

He had one of his own.

“The city hires grandmas and grandpas to walk around town giving out directions and hugs to visitors.”

Let’s consider that.

First, that certainly sounds like something that would project a friendly vibe. We would all like to see that. Right?

But I’m concerned these cheerful embraces might be misconstrued by visitors from places less emotionally evolved than Spokane.

Here’s the thing. There are plenty of Spokane grandmothers who are, how to put this, babes. Some grandfathers too, I suppose.

I’d hate to think of them out there doling out welcoming embraces to easily aroused visitors who might not understand that these are platonic hugs.

But I suppose there are worse problems than being a city of good-looking grandparents.

Fantasy gardens

David Townsend shared this.

“You mentioned tending an imaginary garden, my fantasies extended much further.

“I grew up in the 1970s at the height of the back-to-the-land movement and was an avid reader of Mother Earth News. My imaginary garden was no simple vegetable plot. I envisioned creating a self-sufficient lifestyle, farming a 5-acre plot – solar powered, composted, wood-fired, chicken-plucked, goat-milked, organically grown, and TV-free. Bear in mind that I was building this dream at a time when I would have resisted helping my parents in the yard and their garden at all costs.”

Joel Shank described his fantasy garden.

Maintained by fantasy gardeners and full of hummingbird attracting flowers and hummingbirds.

Always shaded with a slight breeze going through. Never warmer than 75 degrees.

Rainier cherries ripe for the picking in easy reach, garden peas and Super Sweet 100 tomatoes, too.

No man-made/caused sounds allowed at any time.

No biting/stinging/chewing/irritating insects but calm pollinators quite welcome.

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