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Maybe you missed it, the September Equinox took placed yesterday morning while you were enjoying your coffee or possibly en route during your work commute. Many people favor autumn, with its gradual changes & transitions, more than the other three seasons combined. If you’re like me, possibly you have both likes & dislikes about the arrival of autumn, and all that comes with it.

In the Midwest United States where I’m from, the arrival of autumn meant Football Season would commence and weekly opportunities to party, cheer on the home team (Go Blue), and over-indulge in game-day tailgating or armchair snacking were commonplace & highly likely.  As an adult, it eventually amounted to trying to watch as many games as possible from the multi-screen sports bar with several friends. I even ventured deep into Fantasy Football in an effort to totally capture the thrill of the game.

Over the years, football has fluctuated as an enjoyable pastime for me to varying extremes – cue: AVID FAN.  There were several years though when I never watched a single game, nor did I have a clue about players, game stats or even who was winning or losing through the season.

One of the things that’s stayed with me through the years, are the memorable achievements of numerous sports legends & heroes of the game. They left an indelible impression upon me, which is striking considering my age at the time and my then, limited knowledge of the game.  Such greats as Namath, Blanda, Swann, Dierdorf, Bradshaw, Stabler, Staubach, and Payton.  Also noteworthy were Brian Picolo & Gale Sayers. Their story left an impression upon me in 1971 when the show Brian’s Song was aired on TV, depicting their friendship & challenges while playing for the Chicago Bears.  Undoubtedly I’d heard snippets about them even before the show …but for being only 6-7 years old at the time, I’d say it proved to be an impactful event.

Back to the here and now; in 2018, we purchased a playstation gaming console. I immediately plucked the PS4 Madden 18 game from the shelf. Instinctively, is maybe be a better word for it. Without knowing how to play, I knew I would like it, just because it was about football. This year is now our third rendezvous with PS4 Madden football. Each season there’s a new game debut with much fanfare & anticipation.

Unfortunately, the latest issue release will likely be my last.  Reason: The console game is not great, despite MUCH hype & fanfare. This can be attributed almost entirely due to  NO/ZERO competition among gaming platforms for football gaming content.  There are also some less than favorable critiques, like this scathing review. The NFLPA & NFL signed exclusively with Madden and this monopoly has stagnated the game to the point of me putting down the controller & never playing Madden Football again. ALL that, coupled with the hard to swallow fact, I’m just not good at “usering” (term for: playing the console game) as I’d like,  -despite my love of football. That really sucks IMHO.

P.S. I’d like everyone to also consider just how incredibly difficult it is for a woman to play a digital version of a game they were never permitted* to play in real life. (*as a tomboy, I can say this with all sincerity – girls aren’t welcomed to join football teams)  Nearly every boy in the US has played football. It’s commonplace! Learning plays, routes, offense and defense schemes from a coach made up several years of most boys lives, and possibly even longer into teen years, college & beyond.  Knowing those basic elements, combined with “usering” make up Madden football.

The game devs assert their wrench into the game-mix with great abandon and too, the opportunity to pour real life $$$ into the game, under the guise that it will eventually lead you to having a better team with which to beat your opponents senseless, is a constantly lurking option.  Hype – feeding the compulsion that no one wants to be a loser, causes thousands of people to fork over huge sums of cash in the hope they’ll rise above the competition, (which came be both AI or human), and in my case mostly myself.

Have you dabbled in console or computer gaming? What’s your opinion about playing them? If you don’t play yourself, you might be completely unaware how deeply embedded gaming culture is within our society.  There are entire communities of people devoted to playing both console & computer game platforms. Some games have sponsored live events where people can go head-to-head for large grand prize awards.

Even if you don’t play console or computer games, you can watch OTHERS playing!  I direct you to Twitch.tv for a sneak peek at online gaming & the communities who post content there. It’s but the tip of a very large iceberg.  Don’t even get me started about COSPLAY… BTW you can see all sorts of content on Twitch – Even stuff like old shows of painter Bob Ross for instance.

I bet you thought I was going to talk about the leaves changing colors! Nope!!

Well, maybe…

If the dark brown tinge on a few of the dahlias isn’t enough of a sign, I can now confidently confirm we had some frost overnight. This is usually the moment in the season when I’m forced to fully confront the fact summer is over, cue: the rapid decline of daylight hours and saying goodbye to warm weather. Oh and the rain …yeah the rain.

So maybe now’s the time when I should plug in some carefully selected foliage to tie in with the autumn theme. Here goes nothing!

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If autumn is your season, enjoy yourself! I’ll be getting bundled up and trying to stay warm & cheerful as the daylight hours dwindle.

Here’s hoping your summer was grand – if not there’s always next year, right!?

Stay well friends, from Vanha Talo Suomi ❤