Life saving ‘drug’ arrives just in time

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022

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Just one more week and I would been a goner…pushing up daises; sleeping with the gophers; six feet under.

Thank goodness for a quick and accurate medical prognosis from my doctor. Without it, Deborah was destined to become a widow.

I just hadn’t been feeling all that good as of late. I had no energy; felt out of sorts.

Come to find out that it’s a common disorder that affects the majority of men (and some women) as the calendar maneuvers through the lazy days of summer. The symptoms appear to worsen in the latter stages of July into early-to-mid August.

Yes, I was suffering from lackafootballitis. My pigskin levels were extremely low. A blood test revealed below normal amounts of gridiron. Both can be deadly if left untreated.

I yearned for the smell of freshly cut green grass, complete with razor straight white lines every 10 yards, and tall yellow poles at both ends.

My auditory perception desperately needed a re-boot. It was lacking the tell-tale sounds of shoulder pads popping, whistles blowing, loudly proclaimed instructions from the sidelines, fans screaming, and the sounds of a marching band.

My doctor was able to remedy my illness, but exercised extreme caution by making sure I didn’t overdose. Prescribed was a mild dose of the NFL Network, taken one hour at the time, three times daily. I was told to pay particular attention to the Fantasy Football reports, as it’s that time of the year for the Fantasy Draft.

Lately I’ve been pouring over published reports of who to draft and who to avoid. Do I go with a top running back first – say Christian McCaffery, Derrick Henry, or Saquon Barkley – or opt for a quarterback: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen or Aaron Rodgers. Perhaps I should throw caution to the wind and select a top-notch wide receiver first: Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, or Justin Jefferson.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself. I need to settle down and follow my doctor’s strict orders to recover from my severe case of lackafootballitis.

My doc told me that the initial medication should be followed by attending high school football games. Well, just in the nick of time, that season kicked off two weeks ago. Thus far I’ve spent three glorious weeks walking the sidelines at Gates County High School (once) and Hertford County High School (twice), plus this past Thursday night’s college football opener at Chowan University.

It appears, at least from my most recent round of blood tests, that my gridiron levels have improved.

I continued to follow my doctor’s orders by watching this past Saturday’s wide assortment of college football games on the tube. Other than sight and sound, the doctor said to ensure that the prescribed medication was working 100 percent, I needed to include long stretches of sitting in my recliner with a big bowl of buttered popcorn and a ice cold Diet Mountain Dew.

The prescription also comes with a strict warning: the TV must be continuously tuned to a sports channel. Changing that to Lifetime, Home and Garden Network, or Hallmark is strictly prohibited in an effort to avoid a complete shock to my system.

The heavy medication arrives Thursday, Sept. 8 as I was instructed to watch the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills in the 2022 NFL season opener. Then, for the next 17 weekends, my doctor prescribed multiple doses of NFL contests. If, for some reason there is a relapse, I was told to tune into either Monday Night or Thursday Night football, or both if conditions warrant.

Additionally, my doctor prescribed some reading material: “What it Was Was Football” – by the late, great Andy Griffith. A portion of that tale is as follows:

“And what I seen was this whole raft of people a-sittin’ on these two banks and a-lookin’ at one another across this pretty little green cow pasture.

Somebody had took and drawed white lines all over it and drove posts in it, and I don’t know what-all, and I looked down there, and I seen five or six convicts a-running up and down and a-blowing whistles. They was. And then I looked down there, I seen these pretty girls wearin’ these little bitty short dresses and a-dancing around, and so I sit down and thought I’d see what it was that was a-going to happen. I did.

“About the time I got set down good, I looked down there and I seen 30 or 40 men come a-runnin’ out of one end of a great big outhouse down there. And everybody where I was a-settin’ got up and hollered! And about that time, 30 or 40 come runnin’ out of the other end of that outhouse, and the other bank-full, they got up and hollered.

“I seen that them men had got in two little bitty bunches down there real close together, and they voted. They voted and elected one man apiece, and them two men come out in the middle of that cow pasture and shook hands like they hadn’t seen one another in a long time.

“Then a convict come over to where they was a-standin’, and he took out a quarter, and they commenced to odd man right there! After a while I seen what it was they was odd-manning for. It was that both bunches-full of them men wanted this funny-lookin’ little punkin to play with.

“Both bunches-full wanted that thing. One bunch got it and it made the other bunch just as mad as they could be! Friends, I seen that evenin’ the awfulest fight that I have ever seen in all my life!

“They would run at one another and kick one another and throw one another down and stomp on one another and grind their feet in one another and I don’t know what-all and just as fast as one of ’em would get hurt, they’d tote him off and run another one on!

“I don’t know, friends, to this day what it was that they was a-doin’ down there, but I have studied about it. I think it was that it’s some kindly of a contest where they see which bunch-full of them men can take that punkin and run from one end of that cow pasture to the other without gettin’ knocked down or steppin’ in somethin’.”

Thanks, doc, for saving my life!

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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