Halftimes are long enough to stage a Roman bacchanalia. You can roast a pig and drink a cask of port and the analysts will still be talking about that failed third-down conversion in the red zone.

This is the time of year when we put the kayak away, store the bicycle in a corner of the garage and prepare our homes for a season of serious overeating.


Opportunities abound. Just yesterday, I watched football from noon until 10 p.m., and then caught a late-night end-of-season baseball game. During that 12-hour period, I left the recliner repeatedly to get food and drink. I discovered that the commercial break on television after a touchdown lasts long enough to make a sandwich, gab a soft drink, cut a piece of pie, add two scoops of ice cream and grab, yes, yet another soft drink.


I’m so wired with caffeine that I could run back a kickoff myself.


Halftimes are long enough to stage a Roman bacchanalia. You can roast a pig and drink a cask of port and the analysts will still be talking about that failed third-down conversion in the red zone.


I blame my family for enabling me. They offer me fruit cups, yogurt and other less-fattening food, but I am wise to that tactic. I not only consume those healthy treats but also supplement them with pork chops and mash potatoes. I have cornered the market on Klondike Bars.


Just last week, my doctor lectured me on exercising an hour every day. The doctor used various subtle as well as some overt appeals to reason. I nodded thoughtfully through all of it, exaggerated the time I spend exercising by 50 percent and was released after promising to walk around the block at work at lunchtime and exercise at night.


“Yes, I can do that,” I said, my nose growing two inches.


In years of analyzing my overeating, I admit that it is linked to televised sports. I don’t, for example, rush out of the chair every commercial break if I am watching “Masterpiece Theatre.” I wouldn’t think of leaving Katherine Willows in the lurch on “CSI” by exiting to get an ice cream sandwich. But I have no compunction (what a funny-sounding word, eh?) about leaving a match up between the Manning boys.


Actually, the “Lonesome Dove” mini-series may have been therapeutic. I didn’t get up from that epic Western until Capt. Call brought Gus McCrea’s body home to rest at the ranch in Texas. That was six hours of television watching that kept me away from the refrigerator.


Football and baseball are designed to take large blocks of time and have unpredictable moments of excitement. You can be yawning as a batter fouls off the eighth pitch or as a football back scrambles up the middle for two yards. When the inning is over, or when the ball changes hands in football, it is a perfect time to rush into action and tackle the refrigerator.


All this is just preliminary for the big food events coming up. Halloween will ensure two pounds of chocolate that must be eaten, and Thanksgiving will demand extra helpings of three kinds of pies. And to top it all off, I can sit in the recliner and legally watch football at the same time. What a great season it promises to be.