I hated Football for a long time. Growing up, my dad wasn't a huge sports fan but when it came to sports it was all about the Yankees....and occasionally the Knicks..(whenever they were good). But football never really resonated in the Gonzi household.
Fast forward to High School where many Coaches thought it was an absolute tragedy that God would make a 6'3, 250 lbs specimen like myself much more interested in "Computers and Shit" then in any sort of sports or competition....especially Football. For me, it wasn't just the fact that 'Up Downs' looked like the kind of thing that Satan himself makes you do upon entry to Hell. It was the whole other world that came with being involved with sports. The Jock World. I would never fit into that. Sure I can be a selfish asshole from time to time. But I'm never blatantly brazen about it. I can't walk around 24/7 like i'm better than everyone else because I participate in a glorified cock fight every Friday night and thus command respect from the student body. The whole thing just didn't make sense to me.
Later in life, I would continue my hatred of what was clearly overtaking Baseball as 'America's Sport' for a variety of reasons. My first apartment was within walking distance of the ridiculous space ship looking stadium that is "University of Phoenix Stadium" where the Arizona Cardinals routinely go to lay an egg of a game. In any case, game days were absolutely horrific. If you've been to a large sporting event before, you know how bad it can be. NFL games are even worse where the crowds can surpass 100,000 people because of the tradition which is known as 'Tail Gating'. Another cock fight on a smaller scale. This is the activity whereby nutty fans barbecue in the parking lot of the stadium and get shit faced before game time, during game time, and right up until the point of being taking away in cuffs by the police. This is of course because these fans get there...get some liquid courage....and then PRAY TO GOD (or GAWD if you're a Patriots fan) that some fan of the visiting team shouts "GO COWBOYS!" just a little too close to their truck. That's all it takes. Anyhow...this is what I was subjected to for 3 years of my life while I lived in those apartments. Screaming fans...with their SUV's and Pickups...and stupid team flags attached to their windows....completely preventing me from leaving my house on Sundays when the home team was in town.
Then....something amazing happened. Twice. The Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. TWICE. Tom Brady...that UGG boot wearin' cunt.....got his hopes and dreams crushed....TWICE.....Boston fans got their hearts broken....TWICE. Oh my gawd! I took it as God's way of saying....'I love you Boston.....but I'll always love New York more....how could I not?".....just...*MUAAAH*...a thing of beauty.
So I started getting into it more. Watching more Football games. Learning about the game...watching sports news on TV...if nothing else, I'd have stuff to talk about at the Water Cooler. But I'll say the one thing that really pulled me in was Fantasy Football.
I know. The way I see it there are two kinds of people in this world. People that play Fantasy Football. And people who have their heads up there ass. I know. That's kind of strong. But it's the truth people. See, what the people who don't play fail to grasp is that FF is not about Football.....it's not about sports.....it's about camaraderie. It's about being a part of something. For me, it gives me a reason to watch football. It gives me a reason to give a shit about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because they have a running back who's referred to as the "Muscle Hamster" (due to his short height and his abundance of muscles and WHO BETTER BE AS GOOD OR BETTER AS LAST YEAR!!) It gives me a reason to care and be involved....and be social...without having to be too social...which is right up my alley.
Run Muscle Hamster, RUN!!!!
All that said, reflecting on my experiences in dealing with and observing football and all of it's nuances....I would describe my current relationship status with football as "It's Complicated"
On the one hand, you have things like Fantasy Football.....and Football signalling the end of the worse season of them all...Summer....Which means Fall is on the way...which means....Thanksgiving...and Thanksgiving Football games....and Christmas. And God, do I love how much my wife hates football. Just as I'm sure she loves how much I hate her favorite past time.....watching shitty teen flicks.
And on the other hand, Football still annoys me. Let me rephrase that......people annoy me. Specifically Football People. More Specifically....Football Fans. Ugh...they are the worst. These are the same people who idolized and figuratively (and sometimes literally) blew the Jocks in high school for being part of something they never could be a part of. These are the teachers who were complicit in player's academic inadequacies for the good of the school.....thereby creating many of these self entitled, ego maniacs that had everything go their way once their athletic talent was put on display for the world to see. You people....are the reason so many players crash and burn because reality and failure eventually hit them with a blow they are ill equipped to deal with and it's time you all owned up to it.
That said, Football can be a great source of unity. Jocks. Nerds (Thank you Fantasy Football). Wives. Priests. Cops. Criminals. Democrats. Republicans. Hipsters. Beyonce Fans. You name it...and I can name a reason for you to get behind Football
Ah Football.....you are a complicated, flawed prick of an entity....but I can never quit you.....