Monday, February 8, 2010

Football, I Guess It's Not For Everyone

Several years ago we were hanging out with a group of people who were all rather enthusiastic about football. We were not. In fact, we didn't watch football games (this is back when we used to watch TV), we didn't keep up with the season, we didn't even have a favorite team. Basically, we treated football just like every other sport out there. We couldn't care less. Well, our friends told us that this was fundamentally unacceptable. That we simply MUST have a Team. Everyone HAD to have a Team. It seemed that our apathy towards professional sports was poised to upset the delicate balance of the universe.

So, we thought about it. I was born in Indiana so I should obviously be a fan of the Indiana based team, the Indianapolis Colts. Alexis was born in North Carolina, so I suggested that she be a fan of the Carolina team, I believe they are the Panthers or Jaguars or some sort of fierce jungle cat. She chose differently, siting that her dad had always been a Redskins fan, and that she could do whatever she wanted, paying no mind what-so-ever to my logical system for discovering your personal favorite team.

In the end, she chose the Colts because we should be a unified house. She can be sweet like that.

So now that we had our favorite Team things really got rolling for us. This was several years ago, just as the Colts were starting their rise to the top, during the Patriots Dynasty, where it seemed that at every turn we were thwarted by the dastardly Tom Brady. But it was a fun struggle. It was fun to cheer against the Team that everyone knew was going to win, and hope (but never really expect) that your team might beat them and make it to The Big Game (someone told me that I'm not allowed to say Super Bowl without the express written permission of the NFL) (Oh, damn, I said Super Bowl).

Anyway, it seems that everyone is a football fan. We started getting Colts things (hats, shirts, scarves, blankets, pillowcases, Christmas Tree Ornaments, calendars, scented candles, and even dog leashes) for Christmas. In all honesty, our friends and family were bigger fans of us being fans, than we actually were fans at all. It seems some deep mystic bond was opened up that only happened when people got together to cheer for opposing sides as they beat each other senseless in an attempt to get an elongated ball from one end of a field to the other.

Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed it. We got caught up in it. I mean we choose well (sort of), the Colts are good. For the past several years they have had winning seasons. They played in the Super Bowl, oops, I mean the Big Game, last night for Christ's sake. We cheered, we cringed, we hoped, and we sighed that deep sigh of resignation that comes from deep down inside when YOUR team makes it to the Super Bowl, I mean Big Game, and plays like a bunch of Nancy-Boys.

And then I realized that it doesn't matter.

I don't mean that in a 'We'll get 'em next year, kid!' kind of way. I mean it really doesn't matter. When I think about it, the closest friends of mine still don't give a crap about football. We have actually become stand-out sports fans within our little social circle. Where did all of those football fan friends go? As we grew up and grew apart from those people, I guess we still clung to this football thing, as if it were somehow inexorably tied to who we are.

But who are we? We're not Football fans. We don't care who wins the Big Game, I mean Super Bowl. We wouldn't even have watched it if the Colts weren't destined to lose. We didn't watch one, that's right, not one regular season game this year, and only ONE playoff game. We're not Football fans. We're just posers. And the thing is we don't enjoy or benefit from being posers. We showed no interest at all this season. Our friends and acquaintances who know who our favorite team is thrust their projected enthusiasm upon us. "You having a Super Bowl Party?" "You watching the Big Game?" "Want to bet on the Game?"

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm looking for a way out. How does one stop being a Football fan. Obviously it would be bad form to call it quits after the big loss, and Heaven knows I don't want to exhibit bad Sports Fan Etiquette. Do we try to lower our enthusiasm gradually throughout the next season? Do we just quit it cold-turkey like we did when we kicked heroin? Or is there some super-secret-sports-society way out?

I made it twenty-some-odd years without being a sports fan at all. Ah, how I miss the innocence of youth.


wesley's mom (sue) said...

We aren't fans either and we aren't ashamed to admit that the only game we ever watch is "The Big One". Last night during the game our friend kept shushing us--during the commercials. (Which were pretty disapointing.)

I say just be a man about it. Tell your friends you were posing. You'll feel better after you come clean.

Alexis said...

You were posing about being a football fan? You? A poser? It just doesn't sit well with me.

I just can't walk away that easily, sorry honey. They need us, Manning, Addai, Freeney. Walk away from them now would just be an additional kick in the rear. I just don't think I can do that.

Think about, let me know.

And I'll take that pillowcase if you won't be needing it anymore.

Chris and Erin said...

You know, even though you have been keeping up with the Colts the last few years, I don't think anyone that really knew you thought you were all of a sudden a hardcore football guy. I don't know how that sounds but I hope you know what I mean when I say that. I mean you certainly don't need to be a football fan even though society may seem to say otherwise. All it really does is give you something else to talk about and it's really not as important as some people make it out to be (myself included).

You don't need an out. Just continue to be who you are and people will catch on. If you picked up anyone along the way solely because of football then you won't be losing much.

James said...

I (loosely) follow a couple of sports teams, but I've never had that experience of being affected by the outcome of the game. It's not the kind of thing that makes my day or week or life or whatever. To me it's always been entertainment more along the lines of watching a movie where you don't know how it's going to end.

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