“Mistakes were made”, muttered Jim Harbaugh (props for using one of my favorite Nixon-isms) following a stunner that saw his Wolverines lose to Michigan State on a last-second botched punt. Michigan State being my alma mater, I was, of course, elated. I don’t particularly care for the University of Michigan. But why do I care so much about a game of football between some 20-year-old kids? I put my entire self-worth on any given Saturday in the fall into a football game.
I’ll admit that it’s juvenile. I’m not a betting man, so it’s not like I have money on any of these games. Sure, there’s an emotional investment, but after losing the ability to speak following that botched punt, a girl in the crew I was with asked me why I care so much. Why am I nervous-chugging Bud Lights and mumbling incoherently to myself when my squad makes an error? The simple answer is simple: I don’t know why.
I could have given her the cliché “it helps me escape reality for a few hours each Saturday,” the “I played football in high school” line (I didn’t, I golfed in high school), or the “I really get a sense of camaraderie cheering for these guys.” And those are all pretty valid reasons to tune into a game during the autumn months. I won’t knock you if you said any of those things. But at the end of a game does it really matter who won or lost? Not really. Not in the grand scheme. You’re going to be drunk either way. You might be crying into a double-well whiskey and coke, but the sun is going to come up on Sunday morning win or lose.
So yeah, college football is a silly thing to get worked up about. I get it. But it’s not any less silly than the girl who sits down on her couch with a bottle of wine and watches a Scandal marathon. This girls night doesn’t get ruined by a game. Her night goes to shit when Olivia continues to choose work over love in the newest episode. You don’t see me asking her why she’s sobbing into her merlot.
Or, what about the guy who skips out on football Saturdays to go fly fishing for six hours, then posts that oh so original photo of himself with a steelie. Congratulations, you’re a regular Paul Maclean. You headed to the speakeasy to gamble afterwards? I prefer to buy my fish and booze at a grocery store we don’t live in Prohibition-era America. But you won’t see me ask him why he’s pissed when he comes back empty handed after a day on the river.
“Why do you care so much?” Everyone has hobbies. The majority of them are just as stupid as rooting for a sports team.
I wish I didn’t care about sports. My life would be exponentially more relaxed. I’ve actually decided to boycott Lions football for the remainder of the season because I can’t relax when they’re on. But in 2015, I just can’t take the anguish that comes from watching Dan Orlovsky come in for relief at quarterback.
I just can’t stand the people that knowingly come to a bar where every TV has a different football game on, and then in turn complain the entire afternoon because “Uggggh, this is so boring.” In college, this was the girl in the student section who would buy season tickets, show up for a quarter and then either sit down and whine or just straight up no show because Kappa Sig was having really sick party. Spoiler alert: they weren’t having a sick party, she just really didn’t want to watch football.
I have a guilty pleasure, and it’s getting way too hyped about my teams doing well. It’s reality television except it’s not edited to shit and the drama isn’t fabricated. I’ve had ex-girlfriends who despise all sports. Fine, whatever, I can absolutely work with that. I almost prefer that to the girl that’s always trying to be a “guy’s guy” and just regurgitates whatever she hears from television analysts and people in her office.
Before I get jumped on by the wannabe Lena Dunhams of the world, if you’re a girl that can form an original thought about whatever sport is on, that’s great. More power to you. I respect that-sporting events should be enjoyed by all. I have friends who just generally don’t care to watch sports, especially if it’s college football. They’d rather go to a farmers market on a Saturday in the fall or run errands or fish. And that’s fine. Do you. Just don’t come to the place where I’m watching a game and be the buzzkill pretending like he’s got somewhere more important to be. .
Image via YouTube