Last night Michigan State opened its football season to a packed house. The "tradition" of a Friday night game before Labor Day weekend is a new one, only going back a decade or so. It was not particularly popular, but it seems to be catching on.
East Lansing was hopping last night, and that's a good thing.
I took a few moments to wander outside and listen to the echoes of the game through my quiet neighborhood. Traffic was light as everyone paused to see whether the Spartans could hold off a second-half rally by Western Michigan. They did, and I'm sure the local lockup has plenty of overzealous revelers as a result.
If I could describe the mood it would be one of desperately wanted to get back to normal, to forget everything outside of having a good time. For a few hours, politics fades away and the only question that divides people is what team they're rooting for - a tribalism of the best sort.
We need more of this, and while it's inevitable that election commercials will intrude upon my football watching today, I'll have a quick trigger on the remote to keep them at bay.
I'm also relieved that public schools are finally maskless and places of teenage drama rather than temples of fear and anxiety. Kids can be resilient, but they need a break from constant warnings of doom for that to kick in.
It's easy to overlook these things, but when we lost them, we learned how important they are. Hopefully the lesson will stick around.