Sunday, November 18, 2012

When a Season Ends

The end of any sports season is sad in itself, but I include a ritualistic ceremony that makes the completion of whatever sports I’m obsessing over that much more forlorn.

After the last World Series pitch is thrown, after the victors parade the  Stanley Cup around the ice, the colored confetti falls from the Super Bowl stadium and the coach snips the netting from the winning team’s basketball goal, I sit for a moment and reflect.

Then, the ritual begins.

Sadly, I take the preview magazine of whatever season just concluded and move it from my living room coffee table back to a bedroom closet where all old sporting magazines go.

Since I’m not married, I have no one telling me I can’t put things on the coffee table. I’m not even sure why it’s called a “coffee table.” I don’t put coffee there. My table is generally covered with the preview magazines, Sports Illustrateds and Hockey News. 

I just moved the baseball preview publication back to the closet shelf, stacking it with years of other magazines. I’ve done it for years, now.

I don’t think I’m a hoarder by any means. I’ve never had the health department come in with masks and expressions of morbid disgust and I can easily maneuver around my home without tripping over anything I collect. I mean, it’s only one shelf where the magazines reside.

Instead, I think it’s the reluctance of letting the season go. Sure, there’s another one ahead. Sports is never ending. There are more magazines to buy and seasons to watch. But the passing of a season is rather sad. We watch it in its entirety, know the personalities of the players and teams, learn the quirky stories that accompany the games and become immersed in it all.

I don’t know why I keep the old magazines. I may use the schedules printed in them whenever I decided to do an APBA season replay. I don’t frequent the magazines that much other than maybe to quickly reminisce on a team or a player of ago. 

Soon, the college and pro football magazines will be placed in the closet shelf. The college basketball preview will go there in April. And the NHL preview ... I have no idea when I’ll put that away. There may be no season at all; I could shelf it now for that matter.

So, when the season ends, I pick up the magazine and carry it like a Tibetan monk back to the sacred back bedroom closet and stack it with the rest of them. I’m not a hoarder, but it is tough letting that stuff go.

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