October 21st, 2008


In my continuing quest toward being a useful human being, or at least appearing that way more often than not, I have been considering a radical step: giving up football. I blame the TiVo.

See, the TiVo has shown me that the next day I just don’t care. I retain that my team won or lost, that it was a good game or a bad one, but I have no interest in watching Sunday’s games on Monday, or Monday’s game on Tuesday. In the moment, I am fascinated by the weird arcane that color commentators share. I get caught up in the excitement of the game itself, the various decisions, the executions (of plays, not players, usually…), the manufactured drama of Who Will Win? But not for long. It is junk food for my brain.


Except that once, all by myself on the couch, I watched Peyton Manning do the impossible, helping his team score three touchdowns in four minutes to win a Monday night game. Except that almost nothing makes me yell out loud like a good running play, or an exceptional pass, or a terrible, wonderful interception. Except that in no other context do I see large and powerful men leap with glee and weep with despair.

I probably won’t give up football. The season is only sixteen weeks long, plus the playoffs. The Superbowl will be broadcast by NBC this year, which means Madden and Michaels. The Niners can’t suck forever. But maybe I can cut down from watching four games a week. Maybe.