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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features July 22, 2014

2/2/2013 10:01:00 PM
Column: Football obsession doesn't go deep for all
Courtesy illustrationCasey thinks football is just okay.
Courtesy illustration
Casey thinks football is just okay.

Casey Martin
Courier Columnist

Confessions of a grown man who thinks football is only okay.

Most of the year, I can hide the fact that I'm not a fan of football. It's not the easiest thing. As an adult male in America, certain things are expected of you: that you like cars (I do), that you like action movies (the actionier, the better), that you like fried foods (Well, that's just crazy. Who DOESN'T like fried foods? Only godless heathens, that's who), and that Football is your religion.

So, friends, acquaintances and strangers will assume that I must like football as well, asking me if I knew who won last night's game. The sad truth is, I usually don't know who won the night before because a) I don't know who was playing the night before, and b) I didn't know there was a game the night before.

But it should be noted that I don't HATE football. I think it's only just okay. I used to be quite a football fan as a kid, and when I was in college, I loved going to games. I like to PLAY football, at least the Nerf variety. But to keep up with a season of football seems to be beyond my grasp.

The reasons that I think that football is only okay are myriad, but here are a few of the best/dumbest reasons:

1) The Roar of the Crowd: That constant low roar has a way of intruding on my consciousness and making me see red. Seriously, after a while, that never-ending "whoosh" sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.

2) Relatively Slow-Moving: Five to 10 seconds of action, followed by minutes of resetting and waiting for the next play. Then commercials. That hour on the clock is deceiving. Give me basketball or hockey, or better yet, a good race. Yes, racing can be boring since nothing appears to be happening for a long time, but hey, those cars are going hundreds of miles an hour. That's exciting.

3) The Rules: About once a year, a friend will invite me to their house to watch the game. I'm savvy enough that I can sit and enjoy a single game, but it inevitably comes up that I don't understand one of football's many, many, many rules.

"What on earth was THAT about?"

"Well, one of the linesmen touched an opposing player above the belt but below the shoulders with his left index finger. Five-yard Penalty. Duh."

4) Not knowing who to root for: One of the more perplexing things about football is deciding who deserves my allegiance. Usually, I just pick the team that seems like it's probably going to lose, and go with them. As a kid, when I loved football, I chose the same team that my brother loved, the Dallas Cowboys. However, after sobbing my eyes out one year when they were eliminated from the playoffs, and then a few years later, seeing Tony Dorsett leave to go to the Broncos, it suddenly occurred to me that the "team" I was rooting for was rather fickle. When I'm not rooting for the underdogs, I tend to have a soft spot for the Baltimore Ravens for the worst reason ever: I received my minor in English, and I like the literary allusion to Baltimore native Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." (Note, I do love the Wyoming Cowboys. College ball is far easier to pick a team for, in my opinion, and since it's my alma mater, well... Go Pokes!)

I can enjoy a game of football - a single game of football. I get it. I like it. But I think it's only okay. Until the Super Bowl rolls around, that is. And I realize that I may have just missed the most exciting season of Football ever, and kick myself for not being fan all season. I don't love the ads (which seem to be the main pull of most people not enamored with the game), but I do enjoy the game itself, the pageantry, the spectacle. The almost holy nature that Super Bowl Sunday has achieved (well, besides the fact that Sunday is already the Sabbath for many). The fact that both players are dueling for that right to be the number one team this season.

During that game, I realize how cerebral a game that football really is. As Knute Rockne once said, "Football is a game played with arms, legs and shoulders but mostly from the neck up." It's a game of strategy, of perseverance and momentum and split second decisions by individual players that may completely change the outcome of the game.

Sure, it's usually a blowout with one team dominating the other team early on. But still, it's exciting. And it's nice to know that the day after the Super Bowl, a small country in Africa will be receiving a shipment of prematurely printed t-shirts claiming that the losing team won the Super Bowl.

So, this year, I still only think football is okay, but I'll be glued to the screen, screaming about homeruns and soccer because I think I'm funny.

Merry Super Bowl, everyone!

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

I can smell a soccer fan from the first paragraph. Kick the ball all over the field for an hour and a half and nobody scores. Sometimes a team doesn't even get off a decent shot. Beautiful ball! Now there's a sport that needs MORE commercials.

Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Article comment by: The Rev

Feel the same way about baseball.

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