In which I attempt to unfold my somewhat odd arms-length relationship with pro football. College football has never really done much for me, though I did feel like the OSU-Michigan game was a bit of home while I was living in South Carolina. It’s NFL week 2, and I find myself wondering what the games are this week even though I probably won’t pay all that much attention to them while they’re on.
I am a man of no team, which makes me an oddball. It’s relevant that I grew up a Cleveland Browns fan in the 80’s, hanging on all the last-second outcomes of the Cardiac Kids. It’s partly a reaction to the emotional trauma of The Drive and The Fumble. (Note, by the way, how much better Wikipedia is at documenting trauma than joy. Best thing in Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch is his realization that fandom is inherently about pain). It’s partly about Bill Belichick dismantling that team as part of his first step toward becoming what he is now. It’s partly about fraking Art Modell. All of this pain is twenty years old, but I still feel it.
I like watching long spirals, and the unfolding of blocking schemes, and a well-run West Coast offense. I like fingertip catches and open-field tackles, and the two-minute drill.
I am not a fan of hype or manufactured drama or advertising which plays on people’s obsessions to sell crap or weirdly frenetic graphical sidebars which purport to provide information but which actually just draw attention away from the game. I’m looking at you, Fox, with your bizarre football robots.
Must be time to check the broadcast map and see what’s on in my TV region.