MY FOOTBALL JOURNEY

  1. I have never been a sports guy.
  2. When you're a boy in the Midwest, you are expected to be a sports guy.
    If you aren't, there is something OFF about you. Your maleness is called into question. It's very strange.
  3. My family had season tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals, and sometimes it would be my turn to go.
    And I loved it, but couldn't have cared less about the game. I'd watch the cheerleaders and try to figure out which one was the one the rest of them didn't like. Or I'd listen in on drunks' conversations. Life was happening all around! Who cares who scores more points?
  4. My mom assumed I was apathetic about the game because I didn't understand it.
    So she'd explain. "See, we wanna take the ball all the way down THERE. We get SIX POINTS when we do that. But those OTHER GUYS? The guys in YELLOW? They don't WANT US TO. They're gonna try to STOP US." Didn't succeed at making me care, plus I understood the basic rules, but it did make me SUPER self-conscious.
  5. It is now three full decades since the Cardinals moved to...Arizona? And I still feel inauthentically male because I don't have a personal emotional connection to football.
  6. Every year I try. I do! It's kind of fun to watch, but as soon as it's over, I couldn't tell you three things about what I've just seen for one million dollars.
  7. I mean, there is of course the dreamboat factor, but most of these guys are not my type.
    Exceptions: Danny Amendola, Wes Welker, Cam Newton, Tony Romo if the lighting is just right, Tom Brady obviously.
  8. Oh and PS: if the pre-game shows and the commercials that air on football games are any indication, football watchers are IDIOTS.
    If you think Terry Bradshaw and/or The Coneheads are funny, I don't know how much we'd have to talk about.
  9. I do like the sound of distant whistles and the crack of helmet on helmet, carried on crisp air.
    It feels like autumn and I love autumn, and I sort of hate that I live in a Land With No Autumn.
  10. A couple of years ago, a friend invited me to join his Football Suicide Pool.
    It works like this: you pick one team per week and if they win, you survive to the next week but you can't pick them again. If they lose, you're out. A lot of people have joined this thing- the pot is somewhere around $35k this year. I have two entries- I chose the Jets and Tampa Bay for week one. (I entered twice. I'm tryna WIN.)
  11. I have learned that the secret to caring about football is having money on it.
    Further, I have decided that everyone who gets really into football has money on it. Even the kids. Why else would you yell and cry and paint your big fat torso?
  12. So now, for the time that I am alive in this suicide pool, I have an emotional connection to football, which, even now, even as a 44-year-old man who has built a career around the things he IS interested in, is a thing I feel is necessary for authentic maleness.
    This is not a standard I hold anyone else to, by the way. I've never heard a guy say "Eh, who cares about football" and thought less of that guy. These rules apply to me only.
  13. Anyway, that's how I came to be an NFL Direct Ticket subscriber who doesn't care about football.