Monday, October 22, 2012

Ruminations on Football

Well...more like ruminations on football players.  As you know, I am not really a sports enthusiast. Still, it seems I have voluntarily brought a man into my home who enjoys watching football. Huh. On a positive note, he seems to focus on NFL games. If we had to do college ball too...

Well, in the interest of fairness (he sort of watches my competitive dancing shows with me) I sat yesterday for the first full game I'd sat through in a really long time.  For the record, it was the Jets / Patriots game.  I had no horse in the race, but found myself rooting for the Jets just because I grew tired of the way the camera sought out Tom Brady's face at every possible moment.  I like to think my sponsorship is what led to their near victory...that is to say, defeat, in sudden death overtime.

Anyway, for the sake of family harmony, I am going to try to enjoy football. Why not? I think, like anything else, if you watch a few episodes and get to know some of the characters, you can find yourself being drawn in to it. I don't yet have a favorite team or teams, but perhaps one or two will grow on me. Living in Los Angeles leaves me teamless. The Rams left so long ago. Some people around here have stuck with the Raiders, but they strike me as kind of ghetto for some reason...and not just because they are from Oakland now! But they seem to attract a thuggish crowd. DR likes the Steelers. Secret Agent Man favors the Eagles. Social Animal has been a Packers fan since he was a small boy. Will I come to love a team as they do? I can only dare to dream :)

I do have some concerns though. Football is a contact sport played by mostly enormous men. I understand quite a few of the players have ended up with brain damage and many other permanent injuries from playing. Also, I saw some kind of report about how a number of the guys who are required to be walls to play, keep eating the same after they retire and quickly become dangerously obese. This is all disturbing. I guess many sports have a definite price that comes with playing. Aside from combat sports, boxing in particular, I doubt there are many much more damaging than football. So I guess if I watch, I will have all that on my conscience as well!

Yesterday evening I did what I thought was a witty post to Twitter about how football players remind me of toddlers. In their uniforms with the pads and natural physical roundness, round bellies and butts...their oversized heads looming...their cocky walks...the way they're all so grabby....and so fearless with their physical well being. I couldn't say all of that, because you know, 140 characters. Anyway, no one responded, so maybe I am alone in this thought. Alternatively (and more likely) people who watch football regularly noticed this a long time ago and are embarrased for me for just noticing :)

Wish me luck on my quest for a new interest. Feel free to discuss your innermost emotions about football as well! I'm listening.


Secret Agent Woman said...

Um, okay - good luck!

It's not my thing. I grew up in a family with a father who combined drinking and a violent temper with an attachment to a losing team (those Rams!). So it has a very unpleasant association for me. But I did go to games my freshamn year of college because it was a) free and b) my school was the National Champ that year. Still, it doesn't do anything for me. But I can see watching just to be with people you love.

And an aside - the expression "I don't have a horse in that race" refers to another sport that abuses and permanently damages it's players! But it's not as bad as the one people here say and I often use without thinking - "I don't have a dog in that fight."

Secret Agent Woman said...

*its players. I HATE when I do that!

Tara said...

I can only stand watching maybe a half hour of football. I get excited when my team catches the ball and starts running, and I know that if my team gets a touchdown, that's very good. I get bored by the rest. I do, however, link football watching to family time. As a kid, I felt content while playing with my Barbies and listening to my family whoop and holler downstairs as they watched a game.

laura b. said...

Secret: Fortunately, I don't have any bad personal associations with sports. Just a lack of interest. But, yeah, being companionable counts, I think :)
And yes! You're right, of course! Any "sport" involving animals seems to involve a good bit of cruelty.

Tara: At least I can also sit and read a little without seeming too anti-social.
All those brothers, I bet you put up with plenty of sports time :)
My ex wasn't a sports fan, but all of our kids are enthused about one or more sports. Sometimes these things just can't be helped. haha!

FW said...

I like a different game also called football :-) But good luck, it can be a rewarding experience to follow a team. I always think there is something tribal about it. I've never been that attached to tribes, so I follow my football team in my own loose way. I get more motivated by the national team than anything else though.
I did like American football when I was in my teens, I remember staying up late a few years running to watch the Superbowl being broadcast. I haven't seen a game in years though.

laura b. said...

FW: Ah, ;) Except for my children's games, I don't believe I've ever seen an entire soccer match!
I do like the feeling of belonging to something, so having that tribal thing sounds nice to me. Thanks!

silly rabbit said...

Well, you know that I do love football,soccer and baseball! I do enjoy getting to know the players. They last longer in the NFL than they do in college. We mostly watch college where the players graduate, leaving us to adopt new players. But its fun entertainment for me and we have a great time being together.

In fact, its fair to say that we fell in love watching the Ducks play, as I began my friendship with the man with drives down to share watching the Duck games. One score led to another. hee hee

laura b. said...

Silly: Great to see you! And I do know of your love for the Ducks. It is very cool that that is something you and the man share. Having interests in common certainly never hurts :)