By: Tim Bean, Editor-in-Chief
My feelings for football are complicated.I love the training aspect, the psychology behind it, and the strategy. I dislike the NFL, the head injuries, the inflated pay and, most of all, the strutting. That contrast has melted my interest in watching the Super Bowl over the years. Now, at thirty-eight, it’s the barest sliver. Being a member of the online media (mostly), a Hoosier, and a red-blooded American male, it’s something I’m almost expected to be ashamed of. At one point I was. Now I don’t care.
Ditto with the Super Bowl.
As a teenager, I considered playing football. I even started the team’s weight training program before tryouts. I had never played football before, and had actually learned the game’s rules from a gifted copy of Joe Montana ’93 on the Sega Genesis, but I wasn’t too worried. Twenty-five years ago, and approximately hundred pounds, I was the fastest sprinter in my class, stood six-one and weighed about 170.
At the time, the team’s line backer was supposedly worried about my taking his spot. But that venture fizzled in about two weeks. It’s not that I couldn’t do the work. It was the atmosphere and, mainly, the two coaches, who had the looks and manners of overfed pigs. Two pep talks from those flushed cretins were enough for me to know I would never enjoy playing. So I walked away.
Quitter, some might say. That’s fine. I don’t think of it that way. I have a real hard time taking orders from people I don’t respect. I did then and I still do. Anyone who feels it’s appropriate to slime out jokes about female body parts during a pep talk for fourteen-year-olds players doesn’t deserve attention, much less respect. I imagine they’d be fired today.
I think that experience, and the multimedia assault of the event, tainted the game for me and as the years have marched on and my spare time has thinned, I don’t even have the inclination to pretend I care. For a few years I turned down invitations to watch the game and now no one ever calls to ask. I’m okay with that. Like the Oscars, once you really consider how unimportant the event is in the long run (the thundering applause, the banquet tables full of hot food and beer, and the obligatory gambling), then it’s just white noise.
My plans for the Super Bowl this year: I’ll have dinner with my wife and kids, and probably give the kids afterwards because apple sauce is on the menu. Then we’ll get them dressed and let them run around until they get crabby and tired. I’ll tuck my daughter in with a book, then count to her in English, Spanish and German. Count lang-ids, Daddy. For some reason she loves that. Then they’ll fall asleep. I’ll work on this website for an hour or two, watch a couple episodes of Frasier (I’m in the midst of watching the series on Netflix) and then, at about ten or ten-thirty, I’ll go to bed. Tomorrow morning, I’ll check ABC News for the fame’s summary.
Count me a minority, but I don’t understand how anyone considers watching the Super Bowl more interesting than spending an evening with your kids.
Maybe I’m alone in this…