You know that feeling when something resonates throughout your body? You get a tingling sensation, your palms get sweaty and your heart races.
You know how it feels to be consumed by raw emotion, pure bliss and a love that cannot be matched? That's the feeling I have as I sit down and write this column.
I know what you are thinking. Matt must have met someone special. And while that's true, and yes I do have a similar feeling to what I've just explained, that's not what I'm referring to.
The love that I'm devoting this attention to is my love for the NFL.
Sure, game day in the Panhandle of Florida isn't the same as game day in Cleveland, Ohio, but my brain still elicits a similar endorphin rush. Just for the record, nothing can compete with the rush of sitting amongst your fellow Brownies in the Dawg Pound.
And as a Browns fan, unfortunately there are more downs than there are ups. I devote an untold amount of energy to game day, especially opening day, and for what seems like the past decade I've been crushed by defeat.
Remember, there's always next week.
It's not easy to be a Browns fan, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
There is just no other sport that can compete with the National Football League. Try and argue with me, you won't get very far.
How many people do you see donning body paint in November in Buffalo or Cleveland as the snow falls, or wearing a dog mask, complete with a giant Milk-Bone during an NBA game? My point exactly.
Football is sexy. It's like a Broadway play, complete with colorful characters, dramatic crescendos and unforgettable climaxes.
You want to know why I love football? That's why.
Itís Sunday morning. My head hurts. Iím struggling to even read the time. ďA couple of drinksĒ was a drastic understatement.
I couldnít be happier.
Itís nothing that 800 mg of ibuprofen, a couple glasses of water, a deli sandwich and a Coors canít fix.
By game time, Iím completely elated. And then, four hours later, after a tough loss, Iím weaving back and forth, through Manhattanís Lower East Side, screaming and cursing about everything that went wrong.
You would think that such a feeling of disappointment would compel some sort of revelation. But, next Sunday, the same feeling of elation will rise up, just as the Packers kick-off Week 2.
Reading this back to myself, I realize that I seem like a maniac. But I know itís not going to change. And, I bet, if most legitimate football fans, college or professional, were to describe their weekly viewing experience, it would sound a lot like mine.
The beginning of autumn feels like commencement. So much so, that ďNew YearsĒ is almost underwhelming. The start of my year comes somewhere around Sept. 1. And you canít help but feel optimistic at the beginning of a calendar.
Fall is more aesthetically pleasing than any other season. Sure, everyone goes nuts about spring, with all the flowers and birds, but itís always disappointing, with all that rain.
Then, on top of the sensory euphoria, we get the best sport on the planet.
Let me stop you right there, soccer fans. We have to agree to disagree, because Iím not trying to convince you. I donít want you to be football fans. Whatís great about football is that itís distinctly American. The day that football becomes ďglobalĒ is the day that itís ruined.
Thereís something very romantic about watching giants. Football players are physical, evolutionary specimen; and you canít say that about many other athletes.
The game is basically perfect, and I hope it never changes.