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Bye-bye football; hello life

Suddenly, I am moved to tears.

No, my dog Spot didn’t die (come to think of it, I don’t even own a dog).

Maybe it’s because I finally slowed down enough to glance at that figure I see every morning in the bathroom mirror. Who is that pot-bellied guy with the fast receding hairline and what’s he doing staring back at me?

Nope, it’s none of the above. The tears are flowing for two other reasons – (1) football season ended this past Sunday with the playing of the Super Bowl, and (2) National Women’s Day (better known as Valentine’s Day) is nine days away. I’m not ready for either to occur.

First of all, what a bummer to come down from the &uot;high&uot; caused by football fever. From the hot days of early autumn through the cold, brisk nights of late January, we guys have been obsessed with two things and two things only – college football on Saturday and the NFL on Sunday. Unfortunately, we must now return to the real world.

Upon re-entering our normal lives, we are shocked to find out that National Woman’s Day is just around the corner. Note: we need to petition those in charge and voice our displeasure that Feb. 14 comes too soon after the end of the football season. Men are in no mental shape to deal with such nonsense as buying roses and/or candy as we mourn the loss of our favorite pastime.

Why can’t this day be moved to, say, March 14? That’s a perfect place for it – long enough after the close of football season for us to re-gain our senses and two weeks before we lose it again with the start of baseball season.

What makes this special day even more deplorable is that men, following the tradition handed down through generations of the male gender, will wait until the last second to head out in search of the Holy Grail (also known as the perfect gift). To aid in your last-second shopping frenzy, here are a few suggestions:

Red roses are always popular with the gals and they’re easy to buy, that is if you shop about four weeks in advance. History tells us that red roses were the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. The color red supposedly signifies strong feelings. It is also the color of blood if we fail in our effort to please our ladies on Valentine’s Day.

Chocolates are another popular Valentine’s gift, but use extreme caution when choosing this item. Your lady may employ the old routine – &uot;candy, why did you buy me candy; you know I’m trying to lose weight.&uot; Here, you may utter under your breath, &uot;well your diet didn’t prevent you from devouring half of last night’s meat loaf!&uot;

If you do choose the candy route, make sure it’s in one of those heart-shaped boxes. Women just love those hearts and they just love reaching inside a man’s chest and ripping his out if the right Valentine’s present is not chosen.

Don’t forget the Valentine card. Look for the ones with all the mushy, lovey-dovey verses on the inside and a warm, cozy photo of a man and woman, walking hand-in-hand in a beautiful flower garden, on the cover. Of course if you wait until Feb. 13 to make this purchase, the only selections left on the shelves will be the ones bidding Valentine’s wishes to your great grandmother on your father’s side. If that’s the fate you face, leave the store and drive directly into the nearest body of water. That mode of death will be much gentler than the one you’ll face when you get home without the proper card.

If none of the above is an option, then try pleasing your mate with dinner and a movie. Nothing says I love you more than a large, double pepperoni pizza with extra cheese, a 12-pack and &uot;The Longest Yard.&uot;