“Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.”
  • “Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.”
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Follows is an in-depth analysis of NFL preseason magazines, pointing toward the absurdity of buying a magazine written months ago, printed weeks ago, purporting to give the reader inside information on teams that haven’t settled contracts or opened training camps. Step over here, Pilgrim, and put your money on Indianapolis to win Super Bowl 49.

Nothing wrong with long-term future bets. In fact, I’ll bank your bet on the winner of the 2032 presidential election and set the line right here, right now. Sasha Obama at 5 to 1. You’re free to take either side; however, the bet must be for $1000 or more and I’ll hold the money until the result is known.

But, I digress in the service of easy money. Returning to the NFL prognostication column and preseason NFL magazines. The straightforward way to begin is to find a newsstand and cruise the racks. But, once I transported self to big-city newsstand, my mission quickly devolved into the usual: where can I find the latest issue of Light Bulb Collector? A big-city newsstand is an invitation to frolic with serendipity.

At least it used to be. Now it’s like visiting an Atari Museum. It’s looking at something that’s withering into extinction, but not quite there yet. Quirky, marginal, borderline, mainstream magazines have mutated and fled to the internet. You’ll find bulbcollector.com easily enough, but one sobs at the emptiness left behind by the likes of International Hair Route Magazine.

By the way, I’ve never seen a magazine covering Alone Sports. When I was a kid I spent a large chunk of my sports time playing alone sports. Many hours standing in the driveway shooting baskets. The tactile fascination of a basketball and its release, the play-by-play broadcast inside my head, the mystery of learning something new, the patience to refine a skill when no one is looking. Running can be a great alone sport — cycling, too. Learning how to shoot pool, that’s a quality alone activity. Playing tennis with a wall as opponent, Frisbee golf, surfing, hiking, fishing...yet no Alone Sports magazine. How can this be?

But, I digress in the service of providing you with an investment opportunity. Now, onto preseason NFL magazines.

“Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.” — King Alfonso X of Castile, a.k.a., Alfonso the Wise, 1221–1284.

Al would surely agree that it’s never too late for handy hints. In that spirit I am offering a safety tip, to wit: how to act when you’re drunk. Many men go through a period of drinking, of getting drunk; the duration lasts from one ugly night to a lifetime. It would be nice if we didn’t drink to excess, but that’s not how it works. Therefore, when drinking, don’t get so drunk to where you can’t track what’s going on around you. That’s when the gushing of blood and breaking of bones come in. Above all, most of all, the be all and end all, don’t drive an automobile when you’re drunk.

The killing or maiming of self and others argument against driving drunk hasn’t worked because young men believe they are immortal and thinking of others is an unpracticed skill. So, forget that and think about this: Drunk-driving laws are popular, they are enforced. Penalties are draconian. It’s a house game and only a fool plays against the house.

But, I digress in the service of public safety. While we’re here, be happy that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you don’t know hate. I will forever remember the moment I saw it in the buff. It was a winter Sunday afternoon. I’m in Reno attending a friend’s funeral. He was a popular guy: there must have been 50 of us ringed around his open gravesite. My friend’s ex-wife and all three of his grown children (family he hadn’t spoken to in decades) traveled 1500 miles in order to spit on his coffin.

All right, okay, let’s get to it. The heart-stopping, eye-popping, foot-stomping, hand-clapping, mouth-watering, back-breaking, arm-twisting, foot-dragging, knee-jerking, stomach-turning, lip-smacking, mind-bending, neck-twisting, supremely boffo NFL preseason is upon us.

In celebration of this event, I have purchased the 2014 NFL Preview edition of ProFootball. Inside are team by team 2013 records, 2013 player stats, and so much more.

While shopping for NFL preview magazines I also picked up Mud & Obstacle with its compelling cover-splashed feature, “Dirty Running.” Also Lacrosse with its “Tufts. Best Offense Ever.” And, Kung Fu Tai Chi. “When Qigong Goes to War” and “Tai Chi Heavy Weapons.”

It’s going to be a great afternoon.

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