This post is brought to you by halftime in the Packers - Eagles game.
By all rights, football should not be my game, but it is.1 I played two seasons of flag football when I was growing up, and that was it. I attended one football game while I was in college,2 which I believe matched my high school record. By way of contrast, I played at least eight seasons seasons of baseball, and probably five of basketball. Yet I don't watch either, and when the NFL season rolls around, I'm champing at the bit to follow along.
I think it's because I can follow along. In the regular season, an NFL team plays sixteen games in seventeen weeks, an amount I could conceivably watch. Sure, I always end up missing a few, but percentage-wise, I can watch a lot of football. Compare that to baseball -- a sport which I love to watch live, but hate watching on TV -- and it's like I could watch the whole season. I probably enjoy watching your average game of hockey more than the average game of football, but I could never establish the amount of context around an individual hockey game like I can in football.3 And that context is important to me, as a big picture guy.
The problem is that I want to follow a team, and as it turns out, none of the teams that are on here are ones I really want to follow. Santa Barbara is a secondary market for the Raiders, the 49ers, and the Chargers, which mean that the local networks show all of their away games. Growing up in Iowa, I grew to love the Broncos, the Vikings, the Bears, and the Packers.4 So I'm conflicted: Do I hunt down a sports bar to follow a non-local team, or do I choose to pledge my allegiance to a new local team and follow them regardless?5
This, then, is the downside of being a nerd when it comes to sports. In an arena that I have no control over, I need things to make sense.
1 To the extent that I have a game. Ok, of all games, it is the one that is the most mine.
2 And that was to help out the M.O.B. with the halftime show. There was a girl involved.
3 Except maybe in the playoffs, which is why I tend not to watch the NHL except in playoffs.
4 We were equally far from all of them, and they were on the TV all the time. For some reason the Chiefs were never in the picture.
5 Gwen is, of course, a Dallas girl, so there are other considerations.