PFSB: Post Football Season Blues
By Merlisa Lawrence Corbett
Every February I suffer from a disorder that affects millions of people across the country. This ailment strikes instantly and lingers for months. More widespread than influenza, the dreaded seasonal illness impacts the mind as well as the mood.
It’s called the post football season blues (PFSB). It hits hard, usually a week after the Super Bowl. The symptoms of PFSB may vary depending on the person afflicted. However, it most commonly causes general confusion and marked malaise.
The confusion surrounds trying to figure out what you did on Saturday and Sunday afternoons before football season. Surely I had a life. But after months of devoting hours and weekends to attending games and watching football on television, suddenly I’m faced with trying to fill a void.
It’s a huge void. Our country’s football culture has evolved since its humble beginnings in the late 1800s. It’s gone from an obscure fourth-tier sport to a national obsession. It’s no longer enough to simply root for the home team. You now follow everyone else’s team and even fake teams in fantasy leagues.
Routines and rituals revolve around football. Under no other circumstances is it acceptable to sit down in front of pyramids of chicken wings and nachos and chow down for hours at a time. Superstitions, unwavering faith and idol worship are considered normal, even among the righteous.
It’s ridiculous how much time is wasted, food consumed and money spent. Yet we miss it so badly it hurts. We struggle for answers, such as what did we do with our time before post-game analyses? How will we survive without the Redzone?
Unlike basketball, hockey and baseball, football has specific days. Fridays are for high school football. Saturdays are for college and Sundays are for the pros. Featured games are played on Mondays and Thursdays. Like tax time and church, football is marked on our mental calendar.
A long time ago — in the 1990s — football was simply a spectator sport mostly enjoyed in a stadium or from the couch. With mobile technology and social media, watching football has become a lifestyle. You can follow games on tablets or phones. You don’t just seek updates. You tweet and post reaction to plays on Facebook. And if you’re actually at the game you can upload photos to Instagram.
The constant connectivity increases the severity of PFSB. It’s like an addiction; a widely accepted and corporately funded addiction. We’ve become addicted to all things football, including the television commercials. Even half-interested fans recognize the discount double check cheese head fans in the State Farm ads.
Like with any addiction, going cold turkey may hasten recovery. But the withdrawal symptoms can become too severe. That’s why it’s best to wane yourself away. Instead of switching your pre-football life back to normal, ease into the off-season. Monitor off-season acquisitions and track football-related stories. Get excited about meaningless high school spring football; those glorified scrimmages sold to us as Jamborees. Then pretend the NFL draft and scouting combines are must-see TV.
Soon you will emerge from the depth of this disorder to ponder; what was my life like before fall? It will come back to you in small stages. The laundry will get done and suddenly your outdoor activities will increase between noon and 8 p.m. on Sundays.
Discovering new meaning to life will ease the impact of PFSB. However, there is only one cure for PFSB. It’s the next football season.
As the season gets closer, people with PFSB find that their mood elevates. Optimism fills the lungs. They become more hopeful. They begin to believe again. Yes, this will be the year that my team turns it around. New players mean better days are ahead. A new coach signals a change in direction. Things are looking up!
Yes, the next season, although not FDA-approved, is the only way to beat the PFSB. Until that remedy arrives, I will treat this condition with distractions like basketball, tennis and baseball. They will stabilize my mood until fall. That’s when I will welcome back my PFSB with open arms.