It happened more than a week ago, but The Common Man didn't even notice. Once upon a time, he anxiously anticipated this day, standing outside the store, hoping to get in, out, and back home in record time. He's talking, of course, about the Madden release day. Every year in August, EA Sports rolls out its game, the gold standard (hell, now it's the only standard) of football games. Men drool and women go into mourning (for their lost men).
But this year, the release barely registered above a whisper. Maybe it's that the Madden commentary just gets recycled every year, making The Common Man feel like he's playing the same game every year, becoming more and more bland and cliched and nonsensical. Maybe it's that the game itself has finally gotten stale. Maybe it's that The Common Man's gotten so good he's not challenged anymore. Maybe it's that he turned 30, and thinks 30 year olds shouldn't be sitting 3 feet from the TV, punching buttons and pulling levers. Maybe it's that he stubbornly refuses to upgrade from his PS2 (a gift from when The Uncommon Wife was The Uncommon Girlfriend, does she ever regret that gift now).
The Common Man doesn't know, but frankly, for once, couldn't care less. He is just not excited. Not covetous. Not curious. He's over it. He doesn't even care that the Vikings are supposed to be very good this year (what with Adrian (Purple Jesus) Peterson at running back and the best defensive line since the Purple People
Eaters). Or that there's a new "adaptive difficulty engine" that automatically increases the game's difficulty according to your skill level. Or that Brett Favre is finally off the Packers.
And, frankly, that kind of makes The Common Man sad. Sad over his lost youth, when he could get really excited about a new video game. Sad over misspent time in his youth, playing Madden when he could have been reading or playing a sport or watching more bad movies. And sad that something that used to give him pleasure now gives him the "eh"s. But he also feels a little freer, happy he'll have additional time in a life that seems increasingly short of it. Still and all, The Common Man will have to find something to fill that hole. Probably booze. Maybe gambling. He'll let you know.