Monday, September 22, 2014

The Geese Overhead

I saw the first geese of the year this weekend flying over head. I realize it's early for that; down here in the south, the formations don't usually begin appearing until late October or even early November. But, still, here they were, flying low, about 10 of them flapping in a broken 'V' shape.

I watch for them each year. Their presence brings back memories of when I first saw flocks of snow geese when I was a child in northern Minnesota. It's also a reminder of the passing of time and the fact that, yes, I survived yet another blazingly hot Arkansas summer. When they arrive, I know the unbearable heat has passed.

Of course I also associate the sight of them with sports. When the geese show up, it means baseball is over, football is in full swing and the basketball and hockey seasons are soon upcoming. And I carry that observation even further to the replay games we all do.

Should I put away the APBA baseball replay I'm playing now and begin the hockey season I just bought? Should I pull out the old basketball set and roll games? What about football? I have three NFL seasons to replay.

Because it takes longer to do an APBA replay season than a real baseball season takes, we can never fully coincide our game-playing with the real seasons. We're always doing some replay in the off season. It takes 20-30 minutes to replay a single baseball game rolling the APBA dice. In the 1950 season I'm currently doing, there are often eight games to play each scheduled day, meaning I would have to spend up to four hours a day playing to stay on track with a real season. That can't happen.

So I fall behind and now, as the real baseball season winds down, as the hockey and basketball seasons loom ahead and as the geese begin flying over head, I'm still rolling games for the middle of June in my 1950 replay.

The weather seasons mark the passage of time, obviously, and the APBA games also give us a sense of mortality. How many times have replayers uttered the “there's never enough time to do all the games” phrase? And the twist in all this is that the game we play that keeps us young reminds us that we are getting old. Most of the people playing APBA began as youngsters. I did. I began rolling the football and basketball games when I was 16. I've stayed with it since and have maintained a sense of my youth with this game.

But, I also fret that I have so many replays left to do. And as I knock down one season, each sport in the real world has knocked down its own seasons — or two, depending on the length it takes me to finish one season. It's never ending. I hate thinking that I have many more APBA game cards waiting to be played that may never be used. Mortality, as seen by a youngster's game.

I've oft been accused of over analyzing things, and here I go again. Geese over head translates to me wishing for more time to enjoy all the replays I have yet to embark upon. But at least the games that I think about missing because I'm getting older are what keeps me young at heart.

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