Why I’m Retiring From Football

I’m not concussed. Though some of my football watching buddies probably think I am. I’m not tired of the daily grind and putting in all the work. I don’t even play football. I’m just tired. I’m tired of rooting for who I think are the good guys, while loudmouths and cheaters prevail. I’m tired of seeking out one particular game my team is playing every week, even if their opponent is some shitbox like the Raiders. I’m tired of caring so much about the fates of men I’ll never meet or ever really know. So, just like my latest favorite player, Peyton Manning, and my childhood hero before him, John Elway, I am officially going out on top, a retired fan of the current Super Bowl Champions.

I hear a lot of “you can’t do that,” “you were never a real fan” and “you’ll be right back to it.” But, it’s not happening. I won’t be pacing around the room during tense playoff moments. I won’t be screaming at televisions, often in public because some half blind idiot under the hood can’t see the super slo-mo replay just the way my 20/20 vision did (I’m awfully tired of 17 weeks of discussing what a catch is too, more on my thoughts on this inanity below). It was one thing to be so sucked in as a 12-year-old boy when John Elway and my Broncos got beat rather handily by the much hated Giants. But, I’m a man now. I’m 40.

Let me address the comments I get individually. First, I can do that. I can do whatever in the fuck I want to. Secondly, don’t lecture me about fandom. You can call me fair-weather, but you’re just a homer. This isn’t your grand-pappy’s sports era. If a team owner, manager or player does something stupid, or something unconscionable, you can hate them. Even if they live in the nearest metro market deemed worthy by the NFL (we use proper abbreviations here, I won’t be stylizing my point by accenting “in the National Football League” anywhere). You can receive free agency if you’ve put in your rookie time, usually done in your youth, where you cry in your bedroom as your favorite team continues to get pummelled in two more Super Bowls. And finally, if you think I’ll be back, you’re right, but not as a fan of a team. I’m now a football mercenary.

At the end of the day, years of just wanting that team to get there and agonizing over not making it WAS worth winning the Super Bowl (good on you Cleveland!). I’ve been quite lucky, really. The team I was a fan of may have lost those three early bowls, but we all know the John Elway story of going out on top. I should have then. It would have been a perfect exit, I just didn’t see it. With the bumbling of the effort to replace Elway, I did get out of Denver. I couldn’t watch Bubby Brister on a regular. But, the football gods gave me Peyton Manning. As a quarterback fan first, it was my lucky day. There was that 3-13 year to suffer through, but no matter, it seemed I’d be on a ride for many, many Super Bowls. Well, there was the one at the end of the day. And it felt great. I should have gotten out then, but, come on, there would be more. Then another bowl loss and the move to back to Denver. My old favorite team hiring my new favorite player – what could be better? Well, that would have been a good time to get out. As I sat watching Seattle destroy the Broncos in another Super Bowl, I felt a lot like that 12-year old crying in his bed after the game. I didn’t want to feel that way anymore – I was almost a man, almost forty. But I toughed it out for three more seasons and now the magical ride is over.

So, what exactly is a football mercenary? I’m not quite sure, but I think it’s that I’m a fan of the game of football. On the field. Not the NFL. Not the business part of it. The Xs and Os. So, I’m going to watch the game that is on. I’m going to watch the game I think is going to be good. I’m going to keep calling coaches morons, because I think most of them are no good at their job. I’m going to join a real fantasy league for some actual dollars and just root for those guys, because who cares if your favorite team all wears the same color, plays on the same field or even on the same day of the week. I’ll probably even blow some money on a few DraftKings games – thanks New York State Legislature for finally figuring out how to get your hand far enough down the weekly fantasy sports companies’ pockets so that we can play again…now extort a little more from Uber and Lyft, would you already?

If you’re a fan of a team that has won some Super Bowls, I invite you to join me. Stop driving yourself crazy every season. Sit back and enjoy the game itself. Throw a few bucks down now and then if you need a little rooting interest. And stop acting like a little kid, especially in public. I’m going to try it, and I can’t wait. I think I’m going to have a great football season.


 

Can we talk about catches for one minute

So, I hear the NFL re-re-defined what a catch is again yesterday. Hold on, I’m going to go see if they fixed this problem…Okay, I’m back. I actually think maybe, just maybe, they made it slightly better. But, who knows? They write in such ridiculous lawyer speak that every ref is going to interpret that new paragraph, sandwiched between some old, bad stuff, in a different manner. They should really just have come to me for answers. Here is what a catch is: “when a guy catches the ball.” End of story. Let me simplify it for you – a catch is like obscene pornography, I know it when I see it. So should the referees. We all know Calvin Johnson (you will be missed, sir) caught that ball. We all know that Dez Bryant caught that ball in a playoff game (sorry to {start Borat accent}My Wife{/Borat accent}, the Packers fan). Now, the game moves fast, so, if the head mother-reffer in charge isn’t sure about a catch, he gets to go under the hood of confusion and look at it and in about 25 seconds, he should have a decision. He doesn’t need some jag-off in New York reading him confusing prose on the subject of catching balls. Everybody on that field and almost everybody in the stands and watching on TV has been throwing and catching a football since before their long term memory kicked in. We know what a catch is. So, a catch is officially when the referee says it is. End of god damned story. Blow the whistle.

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