Apparently there’s a major sporting event planned for this evening. I’m not sure where it’s being played. I could Google that, sure, but it would undercut the theme of this post. Which is: Why I no longer give a damn about professional football.
When we lived in Philadelphia, I was excited about the Eagles. Watched every game, knew enough about the players to curse Terrell Owens with my barber, say, or people in the checkout line at WaWa. In Kansas City I was a Chiefs fan, even though they seemed never to win. While in Montana, it was the Seahawks, even though pro football had about as much relevance to Big Sky country as jai alai.
I guess I cared in those places because other people did too. A passing familiarity with pro football seemed to provide a bit of camaraderie no matter the situation. It gave people something to say besides, “well, I got to get going.” And for a shy person, it’s good to have a couple of conversational gambits in reserve, to minimize those awkward moments spent remarking about the weather or staring at one’s shoes.
Here in Wichita, Kansas, there must be some people who are crazy about pro football. I occasionally see them running around in Cowboys apparel, or sporting a Chiefs hat. But people rarely talk about it. It’s almost as though it’s not that important to them whether one profitable corporation defeats another. I’m sure folks here have Super Bowl parties, but I suspect it’s mostly just to have a party, as opposed to marshaling enthusiasm for a particular outcome.
Because nobody else cares, I don’t either. Two entire football teams, and I can name a single player: Peyton Manning. I don’t know who they beat to reach the Super Bowl, or what off-the-field drama might influence the outcome of tonight’s game. I can’t tell you who won the big game last year, either, and certainly not the year before that. Somewhere between here and Philadelphia, pro football vanished from the radar. When the big game airs tonight, the TV at our place will probably be tuned to reruns of “Wife Swap.”
Too bad, really. There are times when I kind of miss it. February needs a holiday, and Valentine’s Day doesn’t quite cut it.