Thursday, July 7, 2011

When in Rome...

When I studied abroad in Rome, our program stayed in a peaceful little convent atop the Aventine Hill. It was beautiful. All of Rome was. I was a history major, and to me, there was no more spectacular place to be.

Yet despite the endless number of things to do, places to see, and pasta to eat, I got really, really homesick. And I couldn't figure out why. I mean, I expected some homesickness, but there was something compounding it that I couldn't put my finger on.

But my mom could.

So when my family came to visit during my brother's spring break, she brought sports. All kinds of sports. As much as she could fit in a duffle bag. We're talking basketballs, baseballs, baseball gloves, footballs, tennis rackets, tennis balls, and every sports magazine on the rack. It was like third grade when the teacher dumps out the bag of balls at the beginning of recess. The convent turned into a field house. The nuns were terrified.

But the boys? We were happy.

Since sports are supposed to be trivial, we often forget how important they are to us. It's crunch-time for the NFL -- we're days away from a compromised preseason -- and Lindsey can't believe how cool I'm playing it.

That's what has me worried: The NFL is more important to me than I could ever get myself to admit; something I've fully expected to be there for me every September. And I'm not appropriately preparing myself for life without it. I'm about to go to back to Rome, and once again, I'm forgetting all my toys.

If you ask most people, this labor dispute will be worked out soon. Hopefully this confidence is grounded in fact and not delusion, and my lack of concern will turn out to be justified. But yikes -- it's getting close. Too close.

And this time, there won't be anything my mom can bring to make it better.