I’ve said it before, but for good measure: I’m just not that into you, football. Oh, it was romantic at the start, watching with my dad as the USC Trojans played Ohio State in the Rose Bowl with that great running back whose name is right on the tip of my tongue (O.J. Simpson? Yeah, that’s the one). And flag football was kind of fun when I was in elementary school. I always enjoyed pickup games, because at least in those there was a chance I’d get to go out for a pass, as opposed to high school, when they stuck me on the defensive line and asked me to enjoy pain.
As far as spectating, I followed the LA Rams for a long time, only sliding away after our move to Seattle, when we had a local team with, as it turned out, a few years of potential glory. In fact, my daughter was born on a big football day, a Saturday game between the Seahawks and the Broncos.
Which, by the way, the Broncos won. And that baby grew up and now has her own baby, and the Hawks moved over to the NFC, giving us this rematch of sorts, and some symmetry, and here we are.
But I moved on, learned to like the sport less, sometimes rallying around the flag when the team got hot but otherwise passing entire seasons just barely paying attention. Peyton Manning? I missed him, just completely. Same with Brady. I watched Super Bowls because it’s a big ol’ American day and all, but I wasn’t keeping up.
I like sports, I do. I love to follow baseball, but I can admire all of them except hockey, which I do not understand and do not expect to. I appreciate the shared excitement, the socialization, the community aspects. I like to watch superior performers do amazing things. I like the way my pulse races and my eyes widen, and how anticipation is sometimes far more rewarding than the actual event, and how certain smells and sounds can activate sensations I forget I once knew, and what were we talking about again? Got a little heated there for a second, sorry. Gotta calm down.
Football. Go team. This area has had a nice jolt of winter excitement, and it’s been fun to watch. All the green and blue and silver, the jerseys worn by everyone, the endless feel-good stories. The Big Game. It’s a lot of fun.
And it will be over, to the relief of some, some who have been vocal about their frustration with all the “12th Man” hullaballoo in this area, and I understand and am just so puh-leese. Give me one of these folks publicly decrying all the fuss about football and I want to know when they last saw a movie or went to a concert, and then explain to me the difference. Entertainment, people. It juices us up.
It goes away, though, in the case of football. I’m not foolish enough to predict my behavior on Sunday, but my assumption is that I will be mildly disappointed if my team loses, and mildly excited if they win, and much more excited to be staying in the immediate vicinity of a four-month-old boy who cares not at all about the big game. I didn’t exactly plan it this way, but I’m sure glad it turned out.
I photoshopped a picture of the Austin skyline with a ghostly Space Needle, and it got far less appreciation than it should have. So I will place it here, where I am today, knowing I’m going to be somewhere else tomorrow.
And Monday morning we can all go back to business, and save the world. Whose with me?