Monday, December 20, 2010

Watching football

Of all sports, I enjoy watching football the most. I do not claim to understand all of the nuances of it, but I like the spirit of it. What drives me crazy, however, are the endless string of commentators who babble on during the games. I find their inane diatribes mind numbing at best.

What kind of insight does, "they need to come up with some big plays" provide? And don't get me started on sports casters ability to turn nouns into verbs (as in, "credit him with the pass defensed").

Although I like to watch football, I am also appalled at watching the other people who like to watch football. On the rare occasion I actually go to a game, I watch in horror at the out of shape blobs squeezed into football jerseys that should only be stretched as tight as they are if they are being pulled over shoulder pads and body armor. These jerseys are stretched to capacity by bellies that put Santa Claus to shame.

And the spectacle of it all. The wigs, masks and face paint rivals Mardi Gra in its garishness. But the thing that always blows my mind is the level at which these rabid fans believe that they actually have anything to do with whether the team wins or loses.  Now granted, noise becomes a factor in a game, but the actual physical act of playing the game lies strictly with the men playing the game, not with the mohawked fan wearing the kilt pounding his head against a pole in the end zone stands.

I understand the need for individuals to identify with people, real or fictional, who can live out realities they can't. But it is sad that many of the people I see at football games can't seem to accept that wearing a football jersey doesn't make you a football player any more than wearing a cape makes you Superman.

It is also easy to fall into the trap of second guessing everything that happens on the field. I catch myself swearing at a missed tackle, a dropped pass or a fumbled ball. Then I remind myself that I have never played football out of the confines of a backyard and that I was a drum major in the marching band during high school.

Perspective is everything, especially while watching football.

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