Story last updated at 8/13/2014 - 7:29 pm
This time of year is great. Almost all the important seasons merge to create a fanatical bonanza that can both entertain and feed.
Football season has social media shaking with excitement. I'm trembling with what can best be described as indifference when it comes to the NFL, because it is the preseason. I do love football, though - especially college. Standing in the student section at University of Arizona football games was one of the highlights of my freshman year there, until the team stopped winning and then gave up being competitive my last two years. It was still fun.
When teams are winning, fans get excited and use "we," as if they are on the team but have been instructed by the coach to buy their own custom jerseys and watch the game from home.
Once the San Francisco 49ers became good again, hordes of Californians I used to call neighbors were re-interested in being super fans. The same can be said about Seattle Seahawk followers in Southeast, though there are the diehards who remember the Dave Krieg and Steve Largent days in the Kingdome. I've been a Denver Bronco fan since I was an embryo (Yes, Seattle fans, I did see the Super Bowl) but never reached a fanatical level when it comes to supporting teams - except for perhaps Arizona basketball.
August is not about football. That's just part of it. The most important seasons involve deer and river fish. After all, uniform sports are just a distraction: A very important, lesson-learning experience for high school athletes, but it doesn't carry the same weight as a professional fan. After being reintroduced to Alaska life it's easy to see that even fanatical following of pro sports teams is not a way of life. It just isn't.
It can be a part of a life, but it isn't a way of life. It is a means of entertainment. A distraction. A wonderful - melt a brick of Velveeta into a large bowl, mix in a family-sized can of chili and scoop at it with sturdy Fritos, (then run 10 or so miles the next day) - distraction.
Reaping the benefits of living in Alaska is a way of life. Going shopping with hooks and bullets to stock the freezer for the next nine months is a way of life.
By the way, the ability to not only fish, but also hunt is something which cannot be overstated. People don't get to do that everywhere. Even in wild corners of southern states, land animal seasons are short and quarry is limited. Premium areas either take years to draw or are expensive to access since they are privately owned.
What more can you ask for as a human being than to be in Southeast Alaska this time of year? Head out Friday night, camp, wake up early, shoot a buck, catch salmon on the drive home and if you get everything taken care of in time, turn on the tube for the late college football games. Then of course there's Sunday.
So yes, get pumped up about the beginning of pigskin season and all that comes with it. There truly is no better time of year than now - the peak of the outdoors before the swift decline into the cold months where the hunting is still good and the playoff race heats up but the temperature drops, the days shorten and the hunkering down for winter starts.