When I was in my early teens I was a diehard Redskins fan. I had every player’s name and number written out on my desk pad, so that when I was spraying aqua net on my mall claw I could review the line up. I watched every Sunday. I knew Art Monk’s stats. I knew the differences between Gerald Riggs and John Riggins. My Mom and I watched football games together. I liked that it was an atypical mother-daughter activity and I loved the thrill of watching the game. That’s was the mid 80s. Football life was good for a skins fan, and I had no idea how offensive their name was, or what shitty choices players might have been making off the field. 80-yard touch down reception? Yes. Please.
Over the years I have been able to employ my willing suspension of disbelief in order to continue to enjoy football. I was a fan when Ray Lewis was accused of murder. I even sighted cultural differences when Michael Vick was arrested. But I’ll be honest, being a conscientious human being and a football fan is getting pretty difficult to synthesize.
I want to feel all warm and fuzzy because Super Bowl commercials included an ad by Always designed to send my girls a message that “running like a girl” means to go as fast as you can. Or that Kim Kardashian wants to remind us that our privacy is important (pardon me I threw up in my mouth a little). Katy Perry certainly soared above the crowd and to her credit (though to many of my male friends dismay) mostly kept her boobs to herself. Course, all that is off the field. When a brawl broke out at the end of the game, the announcers explained that the players were probably really frustrated, reinforcing the old “boys will be boys mantra”.
I suppose I’m getting to that age when I romanticize about the good old days, when players like OJ Simp…wait, that doesn’t work either. But it did seem less complicated when I was listening to Wham! and watching football with my Mom. Maybe that was my blissful ignorance, or maybe the game has been changed by soaring pay checks, free agency and commercialism. Remember “Mean” Joe Green? I can’t imagine him knocking his wife out in an elevator. But then again there were not as many video cameras around then.
Watching the Super Bowl reminds me of visiting a rich old racist, misogynist, friend who tells amazing stories. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to change him and sharing this time with him makes me feel a little dirty. I can’t help but point out that I don’t agree with his philosophy, but man do I love to hear him talk.


4 responses »

  1. I also watched, mostly for the commercials and the half-time show. Not that I’m not a football fan, just not a pro football fan. lol College football is where my heart lies. Of course, even college football hasn’t been above reproach lately.


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