NAPERVILLE, IL—With only a handful of days remaining until August and the unofficial start of football season, 32-year-old Naperville resident Derek Simpson has slowly begun to rise from the ashes of what’s been a fairly mundane and listless summer of attending friends’ barbecues, fainting interest in his girlfriend’s work drama and binge watching shows on Netflix.
“He just seems to go on autopilot during this time of year,” said Simpson’s girlfriend, Tiffany Viplanski. “But yesterday, while we were in the car heading to meet some of my co-workers for happy hour, all the sudden things changed for a second. It was like the old Derek I fell in love with. He actually turned to me and said, ‘I really love what you did with your hair.’ That was the first time he’s initiated conversation since late April.”
Simpson’s friends agree that they’ve seen a change in his behavior in the last few days.
“This time of year, he usually shuts down and only mumbles stuff about how bad the Cubs suck and how he can’t stand his boss. But last night, he came out to a bar with some buddies and wouldn’t shut up about how solid the Bears’ offensive line is going to be,” said Jake Marshall, Simpson’s college roommate and close friend. “He even started talking fantasy and kept making claims that Sam Bradford was going to have a breakout year. We were worried about him, but it looks like he’s going to be alright assuming he can weather the next few days until training camp starts up.”
Reports from Simpson’s relatives are that his energy level and general outlook on life has always ebbed and flowed based on football season. Furthermore, the upward tick that those around him have noticed is to be expected around this time.
“This is when you start to really notice a change in behavior,” said Simpson’s mother, Betty. “It starts to dawn on him that he’ll have something to look forward to when he’s plodding along aimlessly throughout the week. As a parent, it’s bittersweet. You’re happy that he’s happy. But you’re also sad that this happiness is based solely on a game that he has absolutely no control over and is simply a fan who sits idly by.” Adding, ”I suppose he gets that from his father.”