The Mailbag is feeling refreshed and relaxed following a recent European getaway. Over the span of 10 glorious, care-free days, I gouged on Parisian baguettes and Belgian waffles. I cruised canals in Amsterdam while carefully avoiding oncoming bicyclists.
But mostly, thanks to a friend of mine living in Paris, I got to hang out with all sorts of wonderful people, guys and girls hailing from such far-flung locales as India and Argentina, Italy and Tajikistan. (Yes, Tajikistan is a real country, though I am 99 percent certain I have never received a Mailbag question from one of its residents. If by chance there is a regular reader of this column who happens to hail from Tajikistan, and can provide definitive proof as such, I will happily publish his or her question next time.)
Do you know what was particularly refreshing about my time abroad? None of my aforementioned new friends knew a single thing about American college football, which means none of them wanted to talk to me about it. (One guy, upon learning my profession, did ask who I thought was going to win that night’s San Antonio Spurs playoff game, to which I had to embarrassingly answer: “Who are they playing?”) That may sound sacrilegious to many of you, but ask yourself this: Do you like to talk about work when you go on vacation?
It was a 100 percent clean break from all things college football, my first in about five years, and you know what? I’d recommend it to anyone. After all, it’s no secret that we, the fans of this crazy sport, have an occasional penchant for … to put it nicely, “losing touch with reality,” and there’s nothing like a little separation to regain one’s perspective.