I played nonstop, year-round soccer growing up, so outside of the Braves, I never really got sports fandom until college. At that point, there were three things more than any other that turned me onto a culture that I’ve never since let go of. First, Georgia football and all the accompanying tailgating, partying, and girls in sun dresses. Second, and less obviously, NCAA Football (in particular NCAA Football 2003; we ended up buying 2004, but they screwed with all the passing settings, so we ditched it and went back to Joey Harrington); it literally taught me football — from post routes to defensive schemes (although anyone that teaches you that running a 7-man blitz package on every play will work is a poor teacher; I think my roommate put holes in the wall throwing the controller in frustration: “THAT WOULD NEVER WORK!!!!”). Third and finally, PTI, or Pardon the Interruption for the uninitiated. PTI taught me how to “talk” about sports. I could ask and answer questions about sports before then, but I was never conversant, never really part of the discussion. But every afternoon at 4:30 (DVR was many years off), the roommates and I would plop down, turn on the TV, and the discussion began. And here it is, continuing unabated.
So, it is with tremendous gratitude that I wish PTI a very Happy Birthday, on its 10-Year Anniversary (which is technically tomorrow, but who’s counting).