Monday, September 14, 2009

Rant #85: The Football Season Has Started

As a sports nut, this past weekend was a big one, as the 2009 NFL season commenced. Locally, both the Jets and Giants won, and it looks to be another exciting season for the league and these teams.

Well, I could care less.

I was a really big football fan growing up as a kid in Queens, New York. I was a huge Jets fan, and when the Joe Namath-led Jets won the Super Bowl 40 years ago, I watched the game from beginning to end. To this date, it is the only football game I have watched in its entirety with my father, so it is a great memory. It was on in the afternoon (remember those days when the Super Bowl, and for that matter, the World Series, was on during more reasonable hours?), and afterwards, we went to the local kosher deli and got take out, which we brought home and ate as a family with my mom and sister (both of whom had no interest in the game).

Well, that was 40 years ago.

I got turned off by football in the mid to late 1970s. The game is a good one, but the over-analysis of everything killed it for me. How many times can you go over the same play, and do it in new and different ways?

The problem with football is that there is just one game a week, and people pontificate about it all week ad nauseum. It is just boring to go over it again and again and again.

Another reason I lost interest is that our local hometown teams both left New York for New Jersey. No matter what it says on their helmets and uniforms, both the Giants and Jets are New Jersey teams. The only New York NFL team is the Buffalo Bills, and how can you root for them if you live downstate, several hundred miles away, like I do?

So the beginning of the football season is not one of my most memorable times during the year. Phony fans, who care only about betting, suddenly become died-in-the-wool fans, and the whole thing is so stupid that I really can't stand it anymore. Point spreads are more important than who actually won the game. We have a football pool at work (which, of course, I have nothing to do with), and you hear as much about spreads as about the actual game.

And if the participants are considered to be true sports fan, then I am glad that I don't follow football anymore.

And don't get me started about college football and the NCAA in general. The NCAA is much like the WWE. They have created their own world with their own rules, and they go with it. The difference between the NCAA and WWE is that the WWE is acknowledged to be phony, while the NCAA moves along with college students--young kids--as their pawns ... and they are lauded as if they were some divine institution.

But enough about football.

Give me baseball--teams play every day, there is no time for over-analysis, and the season is a six-month roller coaster ride that no other sport can duplicate. In addition, it is the only 12-month sport, as the Hot Stove League covers the other months when the season is not being played.

And baseball fans are the true sports fans. Whether you root for a winner or loser, you stick with your team through thick and thin. Sure, there is betting, but does anybody really care about run spreads in baseball other than people who will bet on anything that moves?

Sorry, I just hate what football has turned into. To quote an old Paul Revere and the Raiders song, "Too Much Talk, and Not Enough Action ... ."

Yes, that is what the opening of the NFL season means to me.

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