As I lay on “big blue” (an affectionate title given to the couch by someone who had been swallowed up by its comfort) with a never ceasing headache and a general malaise that would cripple most humans, brought upon by doing things that most thirty-five year old adults shouldn’t be doing, it dawned on me that New Year’s Day was at one time my favorite holiday.
I would say it was probably around the ages of eight to eleven. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Self, how is it possible for an elementary age boy to like New Year’s Day more than Christmas?” Back before the days of the BCS or the College Football Playoff, all of the big bowl games were played on January 1st. What a dream come true for a kid who loves college football, games starting at 11am or noon and going all day long on multiple channels. It was the closest college football had to the opening round of March Madness. So not only was I on vacation from school, had a new batch of toys from Christmas, I also had a slew of football games to watch in one day.
I am certain that my routine was me being up at 7am, so I could get in as much time with my new toys as possible; usually consisting of some sort of video game. In the midst of all the fun, Mom would typically whip up some sort of hearty breakfast. Generally my parents would have a few people over on New Year’s Eve, so there was always an abundance of leftover appetizers to snack on throughout the day. My chair of choice in those days was the single seater closest to the television. In order to be facing the television so as not to crank my neck, I would contort my body in ways that would automatically put me in the office of the chiropractor these days. As an adult, I am amazed that my parents, most likely a little hungover, would let me commandeer the television for an entire day in order to watch football and not force me outside to play in the snow in order for them to get some reprieve from my fandom.
Fast forward to the present New Year’s Day and I find myself lying there, in and out of slumber, trying to watch Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Sadly, Notre Dame loses the only bowl game of the day that holds any intrigue for me and I move onto binge watching Breaking Bad. No more does New Year’s Day hold the lofty placement it once did and a little bit of my childhood slips away with it.