Touchdown… whoever!

12 Nov

I am the casual (American) football fan that all the analysts like to talk about, and yet, I’ve become more casual this year. I watched an hour of football this season; I only realized games were on Sunday when I flipped the TV on. When I think about, the reasons are not that surprising.

I started out as a Cincinnati Bengals fan–they haven’t done well since I started following them 14 years ago. At that point, I liked football, but I hadn’t watched it religiously since high school. However, all my new friends in Ohio were big into football and the Bengals in particular, so I joined the ongoing drama. I even won season tickets one year and was able to take my friends out to live games at Paul Brown Stadium–freezing my butt off in December one time during a crappy game.

I lost those friends, moved to Arizona, and watching Bengals games got harder and harder. A lot of the folks who were on the Bengals switched to the Cardinals, so I occasionally watched some of those games. But my limit was about one game a day; sometimes I would start looking at my phone after mid-game.

However, I kept watching because for my kids, it became an event. I would get chips, and the kids would pile up on the couch, and we’d watch the game together. But then the chips would be demolished by the end of the first quarter and the kids would wander off. After I moved, the Arizona Cardinals really sucked, and it got harder to catch Bengals games. They locked them behind firewalls, and even radio streams had to only be done on a computer, because listening on a phone was… bad?

When football got political, I had less and less reason to watch. I had no emotional connection with the Cardinals, and even if I caught the Bengals, I hadn’t followed the season, so it was like seeing your sister come from college. You have a history with them, but you’ve missed most of the last year, so there’s a disconnect. The sports radio I listened to because it allowed me to enjoy their antics since the topic matter didn’t matter… suddenly mattered, and it soured my enjoyment. Even the commercials–which were always top notch–got more “we’re here to save the world” preachy.

So… I caught a half-hour of the first game of the year, half-hour at the bar, and… that’s it. You lost me, NFL–why should this casual fan come back? I don’t watch TV on Saturdays, so even if I found a college to follow, I have less incentive. My own alma mater isn’t Division I, and just like pro sports, college sports makes it hard to follow a single team unless you want to crank out the cash to get past the firewalls.

What I wanted was the drama–and what I get are snippets–bookended with politics and flashy pictures. So I’m out. Are you a true fan of your team? What keeps you in? Or have you lost the faith like me… and what caused you to lose your grace? Tell me about it in the comments below!

3 Responses to “Touchdown… whoever!”

  1. sooner8728 November 12, 2020 at 11:14 am #

    I think for the good of our society we need “political free” zones, and sports should be one of those zones. Sports used to be an escape, and people united together to play as a team, even if they individually they all might be very different.

  2. Silk Cords November 13, 2020 at 11:03 am #

    Completely agree with you and Sooner. I used to e a casual fan, but nowadays… forget it. I don’t need the politics. Even more so with Basketball.

    Personally, I completely support the athletes’ right to make any sort of political statement they want outside of the game. During the game however… forget it. At the very least it comes off as extremely hypocritical to degrade a country and fans as racist when they’re living better than 99% of that country that made them wealthy and famous.

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