I can’t remember the last time I watched an entire NFL game, from start to finish. I don’t know if I ever have. And I say that as someone who’s been a fan, of varying degrees, over the last fifteen years.
I became a fan of the NFL in 2002, when I witnessed Tom Brady lead the Patriots down the field – with no timeouts left and 90 seconds on the clock – to win the Super Bowl by a field goal. I had never seen anything like it. It was a furious race against the clock.
I guess you can call me a Brady Boomer. That moment made me a fan of his and the Patriots.
Though as the years went on, I was a bit confused. I didn’t know who to cheer for. There is no Canadian team in the NFL. I always thought team allegiances had to do with your geographical location.
Trying to figure out which team I was supposed to cheer for in Formula 1 was hard enough.
My Dad always wanted to know how the Buffalo Bills were doing. To this day, he will ask me: “How are the Buffalonians doing?” I hate that question so much. He knows it, too.
So for a while, I thought I was a Bills fan. I’m a hop, skip, and a one hour wait at the border away from Buffalo. But whenever I tried to watch their games, I was never interested. They were awful and still are. So I drifted away.
Between 2002 – 2009, I knew just about everything there was to know about the NFL. I read the magazines. I watched the two hour pre-game show on Sunday. I played the Madden video games.
Green Bay vs Minnesota in the snow, in the playoffs, is a memory I still have. It was cool to watch on TV.
The best football video game was Madden 2005 for the PC. Anyone who disagrees with me can fight me in a mud wrestling match.
And then 2009 came and I moved away to university, where my Sundays were occupied with sleeping, eating, intramurals (this blog wouldn’t have a name without them), readings (I’m still keeping up the charade that I actually did my readings), and assignments.
On top of that, I had very few channels and all I could watch were the Buffalo Bills. I wasn’t interested in the Bills. I liked the New York Jets at that point. We broke up after three years.
Going away to university killed my NFL obsession. I never participated in fantasy football, so I didn’t even have that to keep me in the loop.
The video games got boring. The players didn’t run smoothly in them anymore. They all had a stutter step and the whole game was built around bone breaking tackles. I wanted Madden 2005, but it was 2012.
In the back of my head, I never stopped being a Patriots fan. They were the reason I got into the NFL in the first place. But I felt like I needed another team to cheer for – an underdog.
Cheering for the Patriots is like betting that Santa Claus is on the last float of the Santa Claus Parade. He always is. There’s no point in betting.
So over the last eight years, the NFL and I have had a distant relationship. I’ll watch a few minutes of some games, here and there, but it can’t keep my attention.
I read an article a few years ago that a 60-minute NFL game is only about 12 minutes of action. The rest of it is the clock winding down between plays. That bothers me.
The entire game is built around the strategy of “eating the clock” and “establishing the run.”
Do you know how frustrating it is seeing two running plays in a row, for a gain of two yards, and then hearing the announcers say: “They’re trying to establish the run, early on here.” Shut up. Spare me.
For the uninformed, Canada has their own football league – the Canadian Football League. The field is longer (by ten yards) and wider. There are only three downs. The play clock is only 20 seconds. Guess what? Everyone breaks the huddle and runs the play on time.
And when you punt the ball, the kicking team has to give a 5-yard buffer to the returner, so we actually see returns. WHAT A CONCEPT, EH NFL?
So it bothers me that an NFL play clock is 40 seconds and the last two minutes of the game can come down to the use of three ridiculous time outs.
The whole game is about the clock. Oh, and it’s about the defense trying to take everyone’s head off/shorten player’s lives. But that’s a topic for another day.
What also bothers me is all the commercials. There will be a touchdown. Then a commercial. Then we watch the kickoff sail through the end zone. Another commercial.
I just can’t handle it. I hate commercials. I hate commercials more than I love pizza. Think about that.
I felt the overall entertainment of an NFL game started to dwindle many years ago. It kind of put a smile on my face to see that ratings were down so much this year; it made me feel like I wasn’t crazy for turning away from “the best sport in the world”.
The league has gotten quite boastful, too. I don’t trust a word the commissioner says, and I don’t think he does either. The way they handle players with criminal charges is absolutely disgusting.
I’m afraid the idea of the Super Bowl is more exciting than actually watching the game. I could be wrong. I’ll see how I feel this year.
Since I mentioned pizza, let me just say that I think pizza is slowly becoming my favourite part of the Super Bowl. I don’t really care for Super Bowl parties, or even watching sports with a big group of people, actually.
It just ruins the experience for me. Anything more than 4-5 people is too much (unless I’m there in person). I leave afterwards and can’t remember a thing about the game because we carried on a conversation the whole time.
Anyways, pizza. I once ordered 15 pizzas from Papa John’s on Super Bowl Sunday, circa 2011, and put it all on my school meal plan. 12 people wanted a large pizza for themselves, with their own toppings, and I ordered 3 extra pizzas for “everyone else”. It was glorious.
The year before, I watched the game with a group of people and sat there with my Astronomy notebook because I had a midterm the next day and knew absolutely nothing about Astronomy.
I still didn’t do well on the exam. What’s a solar system?
I understand that the Super Bowl is meant to appeal to all people, which is why the halftime act normally appeals to demographics of those not interested in football. I get it.
But enough with the social media updates of: “If there are 11 minutes left in the first quarter, how long until halftime? I’m only here for halftime.”
Don’t you remember from last year?
Even though I probably won’t watch every minute of the game, I’ll be cheering for the Patriots on Sunday. For two reasons.
1) I started watching the NFL because of them.
2) If Roger Goodell has to hand a trophy over to Tom Brady, it’ll be more awkward than when Obama handed the White House over to Trump. Book it.
Happy Super Bowl to those who celebrate!
Happy Superb Owl to those hoo don’t!
And happy Supper Bowl to those who are just here for the pizza.
Fun Fact: If you were wondering why some companies/pizza places refer to it as “The Big Game”, it’s because they don’t have the rights to call it the Super Bowl. There, I had to put that in here to prove I learned something in school.