“Oh Tiff, you should have known better with this one.”
The phrase that reminded me I knew exactly what I was doing when I posted it, though I never dreamed I’d get the response that I did.
If you didn’t read my last post, I wrote a light-hearted (and what I thought to be funny) 800 or so words on my distaste for football, a fact that if you know me, is phony to an extent because I love to tailgate, cook for the event and drink with the best of ’em whether we’re celebrating victory or drowning our sorrows after defeat.
I made the statement – to paraphrase myself – that it’s a shame that I spend time pouring my heart out over love, life, death and divorce and no one ever has anything to say about those things. Yes, those are personal and seem less opinionated, but they hold the same amount of theory and speculation as my brief rant about the sport.
While I don’t see the point in spending 4 + hour in front of the TV, I get it. It’s fun to gather friends and grill and cheer on your favorite team; that, I totally agree with. I’ve been to several sporting events in my life and I enjoy it to an extent…I like going anywhere to people watch and observe life. I get really excited about baseball and I love watching dudes beat the hell out of each other during a hockey game. Like I said, it’s not all sports, it’s just football and I still participate in the festivities because I’m southern AF and that’s just what we do. I suppose maybe I shouldn’t say distaste and instead use “tolerable indifference,” as that seems more accurate and apparently, more pleasing to the football fans in my life. (My stepfather wasn’t too pleased with my last post, if you must know.)
I suppose I should explain that my lack of passion for football, SPECIFICALLY FOOTBALL, not all sports, stems from several things.
First, my ex-husband would have every TV in our house on different games every weekend of our entire relationship and barely looked away from either the screen on the TV or the screen on his phone for months at a time. I watched every game. I bought tickets and tee-shirts and gear and booze and tried to enjoy the experience since he loved it so much. I studied statistics and joined fantasy leagues (and won a time or two) and really tried to find common ground there. It took me four football seasons to realize that athletics will only take you so far in a marriage; a lack of similar interests in general will douse a flame. I don’t care what anyone says, there has to be one (if not some) thing you share with your significant other, but that is an entirely separate tangent all together. So, you’ll have to excuse me for being burnt out on being ignored (again, a separate, football-free tangent that I will never write about. Or maybe…) I basically lost my husband to grown men in spandex and helmets and that just really does something to a woman’s desire for more of the same.
Secondly, what I really can’t stand, what is at the top of this list, what clouds my ability to appreciate a game that so many people love: the pedestal that athletes are placed on. I cannot condone the glorification of athletes.
I am amazed at the agility football and hockey players have; I know I couldn’t do it. I know I couldn’t perform on that level under that kind of pressure. I mean, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS have been spent. Countless hours of practice and training have been dedicated to one purpose: to win. It really is something to marvel at, honestly. When I watch football, I compare it to watching ballerinas twirl around on stage; graceful, agile and focused. But to pay these athletes thousands of dollars….to play a game? Come on. I feel like this towards any sport. That money could be spent to fund research for Alzheimer’s or to restore a village somewhere or to create homes for children who don’t have one. I think about how much money is standing on the field collectively and what all could be done with that money and I guess it makes me sick.
I feel like I should cover my ass by saying that I am aware that these athletes donate their time and money to charities of their choosing, I know that they do all kinds of special things throughout the year to boost awareness for one organization or the other, but it still doesn’t change the fact that their incentive to play a game is to get that fat check at the end of it all. I know the same could be said for actors and musicians, and that’s a soap box I’m not even willing to touch, because dare I say it, they behave badly too. (They’re human! Gasp!) I just don’t see how throwing or kicking a ball should constitute living above anyone else. There are scientists that work ’round the clock, trying to find a cancer cure that don’t make that much money. Isn’t that sad?
Passion is passion, regardless. BUT! You don’t see artists, true artists, making money hand over fist and they pour their souls in to their work. I’m not saying that footballers don’t play with passion, but how much fervor can you possibly play with when you know you’re making bank regardless of the outcome? What else drives you to play? There just aren’t too many moments, especially in pro-ball, that I see that proud joie de vivre come across many of the players faces.
And yes, I know that money doesn’t last forever and I know most won’t play the game for the entirety of their lives, but the money they are paid to play a game is more money than most of us will see in our lifetime. I mean, even the guys on the sidelines, the b-string or whatever make over $300,000 and probably rarely see a game. Their talent – and that’s what it is, talent – is being laid to waste riding pine and I feel for them. I feel for them until pay-day and then I want to slap them in to football Sunday.
I have to say that I’m happy for this random outburst, this writing experience over something as silly as a sport. I didn’t imagine when I was plotting out my brief opinion in the pedicure chair that anyone would have anything to say about what I wrote; no one does unless it’s in a private message or something. I actually like writing opinion pieces and will probably throw them out here more often if the responses will come as easily. You see, as a writer, it is never my intention to attack. I just observe and comment as I am inspired. It’s nothing personal – unless it is – and it’s never meant to offend or hurt.
It amused me yesterday that a majority of the comments summarized the general feeling of “you can’t say that. that’s an incorrect feeling, your opinion is wrong. People are allowed to like other things and be different than you.” I just wanted to applaud everyone and say, “YES! You’re right. Isn’t that what I just did? Expressed my own opinion without asking for yours?”
This blog is open and welcome to public view and opinion. I have been blessed with a certain amount of southern grace and I am happy to receive any review of what I write, positive or not. However, I have zero respect for anyone that reads an opinion piece and gets offended and expresses it without the same amount of respect. At that point, your counter argument is that my opinion is different from your opinion and that you didn’t like it and well….the vicious cycle begins and never ends.
On the matter of football, lets agree to disagree.