Football covers more ground than it used to

I was pleasantly surprised on Friday afternoon when a publication previewing over 200 high school and college football teams came to my desk.

The first mention of the coming football season is something I?m never quite ready for, no matter how early or late in the year it happens. It always takes me a moment to adjust to my new surroundings.

It?s like walking into a really dark hallway, or one of those over-anxious retail stores that dials up Christmas music 12 seconds after the last box of Halloween decorations skids to a stop in the center of the storage room.

The only difference is that sooner or later, the eyes finally figure out how to cut through the darkness and the ears let the ambient electronic rendition of Jingle Bells fade into the background, whereas football moves continually closer to the center of attention.

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The only way football isn?t seated at the top of the Ameri?can sports totem pole is if you?re talking about that one alien kind of football, where people run around in short shorts and an announcer speed-screams exciting phrases about someone with an unpronounceable name kicking a round ball.

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I?m looking forward to a Heismann race between the two QB?s in the NCAA named Colt.

Do Hawaii?s Colt Brennan and Texas? Colt McCoy have the two best names in Division I? And would it be possible for either or these teams to hire someone from the sanctioned OU program to work out a few shady deals to add a receiver named Festus or a running back who goes by Curly Bill?

You?d never need to play defense if you had an offense full of guys who sound like they walked out of a western. If you hired Hoss Cartwright to be your offensive coordinator, you?d never lose in a shootout.

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I remember two things from the last time I saw a televised soccer game. One, the announcer actually said something like ?Bzxyslzv dents the back of the old onion bag? after Bzxyslzv scored a goal. Two, the only way the length of Bzxyslzv?s shorts could be socially acceptable in 2007 is if he somehow succeeded in traveling back in time to steal John Stockton?s mojo.

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As far as watching soccer is concerned, the World Cup finals every fourth year is about all I can handle. I watch one or two of those elite European league championships every year, but Major League Soccer is child?s play by comparison. Not even David Beckham can make watching MLS sound interesting.

But there?s a strong chance I?d watch MLS soccer if the matches involved a few big-name players. I really enjoyed that a recent match between the ancient Greek philosophers and the modern German philosophers. Or maybe that was a Monty Python sketch.

Anyway, I can?t remember all the details, but I?m pretty sure that one ended in a 1-0 victory for the Greeks, with Aristotle scoring the winning goal off a nice cross from Archimedes.

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Since too much soccer has got into this football column, I might as well mention two other kinds of ?football? that aren?t quite the real thing.

Did you know there?s such a thing as a ?World Cup of American Football? or that the United States defeated Japan 23-20 in overtime on Sunday? I didn?t, until I typed ?football? into Google News.

Then, for some reason I can?t quite figure out, reading about Yosuke Kaneoya missing a field goal in overtime to open the door for Craig Coffin to win the game reminded me that the Arena football season is almost over.

In case you missed it on Saturday, the Columbus Destroyers beat the Georgia Force 66-56, and will face the San Jose SaberCats in the championship. San Jose defeated the Chicago Rush 61-49 to seal its berth in the upcoming Arena Bowl.And if there?s a sport with more exciting team names than Arena Football, please don?t tell me about it.

I?m already very excited about the team names in this year?s Arena Bowl, and I don?t want to run the risk of damaging my fragile physique by getting even more excited.

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