Written by: Z. Tali
That glorious time of the year is almost upon us again. The leaves will begin to change colors, school will be back in session, and the temperature drops from Hell to a calm cool breeze. That’s right, Football is back!! The anticipation of beers, wings, and Merica fill the air and I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.
As the new season approaches and I watch hours of ESPN football coverage and read countless online articles I can only think one thing.
Why do I do this to myself?
I’m excited for what will only be another year of pain. Another year of wasted money on alcohol I don’t need and fees for fantasy leagues I will end up losing. I’m excited for the extra 10 pounds of weight I will gain because I now find the urge to eat wings and chips for 10 straight hours every Sunday while neglecting Jesus (I’ll make it up to him in the offseason) Why do I do this to myself?
I think many football fans like myself enjoy this level of punishment. I think we enjoy the emotions especially the pain that comes with watching football. There can be no other reason to subject ourselves to what will be another painful year of glorious football.
I told myself last year I wasn’t going to be so invested. I was going to watch football without so much invested emotion and money. Last year I wanted to play fantasy football only to make the games more enjoyable. It’s a lot more fun to watch the Jaguars play when you started their #2 wide receiver at the flex.
This logic is dumb.
It makes it even harder and more painful to watch football when you stupidly put the JAGUARS the FLIPPING JAGUARS!! #2 wide receiver at the flex (I had a feeling that week) against a top 3 defense for a fantasy football league that cost 200 dollars to get in and you desperately need a win to have a chance to sneak into the playoffs and that player on gets you only 3 points.
Football is even harder to watch when you live in Chicago, but you’re a Packers fan and your friends get even more enjoyment seeing the Packers lose then the Bears actually winning a game. They enjoy watching me curse for hours at the TV then seeing the Bears. The Packers were a game away from the SuperBowl and it all fell apart. I couldn’t watch ESPN for days. Sports radio during work wasn’t an option for me. I was forced to talk to my kids or listen to my girlfriend to distract me from the pain of that lost.
I can’t even enjoy the good from football. In my attempt to keep last year light I started a fantasy football with my close friends. No money needed for this league just bragging rights. It actually was fun. Good smack talk, being able to text your friend leading up to the games about lineup tweaks I actually thought I was accomplishing my goal. I ended up winning that league and had the pleasure of sending an amazing and arrogant ‘I’m the Champion’ letter. Sounds good, right? Wrong. When I think of that I league only one thing stands out.
I lost a game to my girlfriend.
I didn’t let her win nor did I want her to win. Football brings out the worse in competitive spirit. I wanted to destroy her. I wanted her to be discouraged in playing fantasy football. I wanted to have to go through the hassle of convincing her to play again this year. Football took that away from me . Football took away a league championship because I know over dinner she looks at me and calls me a loser. How can I protect our family if I can’t even beat her in fantasy football she probably thinks. That championship now means nothing.
Football sucks. I compare it to that old girlfriend that comes around every 5 months when she “misses you”, but you know she’s gonna end dumping you, ignoring you, and wasting all of your money, but the sex is amazing in red, white, and blue bed sheets as you both scream America for hours.
So as the season approaches and talks of fantasy football league games get louder and I review team schedules and put money away for tickets to games I stare up to the sky and ask myself “Why am I doing this to myself?” my phone begins to vibrate. It football calling me. She says she misses me and wants to see me soon. I smile and get giddy with anticipation because this year just might be different.
I love you football.