I sat on my couch last Saturday night dejected and angry as I watched an inferior college football team celebrate an overtime win over my favorite team. It set the tone for the rest of the night, too, because I sulked around and told anyone that would listen how my team is trash this year. I complained about how I had to do it all over again the next day when my Detroit Lions were set to play. I’ve resigned myself to the Lions being the doormat of the National Football League, but that never stops me from plopping down on my couch once a week to watch them invent new ways to lose games.
It was while I sat on my friend’s kitchen counter with a very stiff vodka-soda that I realized something: I don’t have to watch this shit. No one is forcing me to sit down and have heart palpitations from watching people play games, which, in the grand scheme of things are fruitless endeavors.
Think about this for a second. You don’t have to curl up into a ball on your couch every Saturday with one hand down your sweatpants and your other hand clutching a Miller Lite. There’s no reason for you to make yourself sit through hours and hours of commercial breaks. You could hit the gym. You could go to the grocery store. You could be out at a patio having a day-drinking session with your friends. Sure, those football games will still be on, but it’d merely be background noise while you try to get that blonde’s number who has made eye contact with you one too many times for it to be coincidental. And you know what that girl definitely doesn’t care about? Football.
It’s not that I hate football or sports in general, but even the biggest matchup between, let’s say two top five teams, probably isn’t going to get really good until the last ten minutes or so. Take for instance the Clemson-Louisville game from last Saturday. If you gave me the choice between laying down on a couch to watch Casino or that game, I’m choosing Bobby De Niro and Sharon Stone ten times out of ten from here on out. Life is too short to waste it getting riled up over the result of a sports match.
It’s not just college football, though. It’s professional basketball. It’s hockey, golf, and tennis, too. There are just other things that I’d rather be doing with my time than watching a live sports event. I understand that there is always a chance for high drama in live-action televised sporting events. But at this point in my life I need something more than that.
I already know what you’re going to tell me. “Well, that just means you’re not a sports fan.” But I am a sports fan. Watching sports on my television turns me into someone I don’t like so I need to stop. If you want to lump me into a category with people who don’t know the difference between an endzone and a blue line I won’t get offended. I’m just not feeling it anymore, though. And by “it” I mean sports in general. “You’re fair weather. I bet you’d be watching if your teams were actually good.” I could sit here and tell you things would be different if my teams were winning consistently but I don’t think that is the case. I just can’t help but look at all of it as a colossal waste of time.
I’ve let one too many football or basketball games played by twenty-year-olds ruin weeks of my life and I’m fed up with it. Nothing short of a death in the family, a breakup, or finding out that you have an STI should do what sports are doing to me. I invested way too much of my life into sports matches and I’m done with it. It’s onto movies and music and enjoying things that don’t turn me into a babbling, red-faced psychopath.
I think about how my life would be infinitely easier if I could just tune out sports entirely and while I know that this is probably going to be a lot like quitting cigarettes, that is exactly what I intend to do. I was at a bar with a platonic girlfriend one Sunday afternoon and we looked over at a table of forty-somethings with NFL jerseys on. They were transfixed by the action on the screen, screaming and pounding their fists on the table in between bites of buffalo wings. I know that group all too well, because I’ve been one of them on several occasions.
“Is that what I look like when I’m watching football?”
“I mean, yeah, not as old. But yeah. That’s pretty much it right there.”
I know I look like an idiot when I’m watching one of my teams play. I don’t want to be sitting in a bar with a jersey on when I’m 40 years old still screaming at television sets. It’s time to find something else to occupy my free time. .
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