WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Bored games

The internet went nuts last week over the three Jeopardy contestants who knew nothing about football. It’s Super Bowl Sunday. I’ll say it: I know nothing about football.

Well, that’s not true entirely. I happened to be watching Jeopardy that night – last Thursday, I think it was – and answered four of the five questions correctly. I haven’t watched football in probably thirty years, except for the couple of times I took my one of my English friends to a game when he visited. I just don’t like it, that’s all. I don’t relate to the objectives. I don’t like waiting two minutes for a three-second play. I don’t like how, on paper, an NFL game should last an hour but it’s never less than three. And I don’t like how people complain about three-hour baseball games but a three-hour NFL game is Nirvana. The last two minutes of the fourth quarter always take twenty minutes. It’s not a world I want to inhabit.

So why did I know about option plays, fair catches, and offsetting penalties? How’d I know Tom Landry and the shotgun formation? And there’s a lot more I know in spite of my best efforts to remain ignorant of all things football.

The reason I know is that we’re brainwashed as kids. Truly – at least when I was a kid – to have any friends at all you had to be able to talk about football. You had to play football. Not necessarily on the high school team (especially if you weighed 120 lbs like I did), but you had to be up for neighborhood games and flag football in gym class. You’d be ostracized if you weren’t up for it, and fortunately I had one thing going for me and that was speed. I could run fast because I had been running away from big mean guys my whole childhood. So I was always a wide receiver and I’d just sprint out there and wait for the ball to come to me, which it hardly ever did so I was happy either way. Not getting the ball meant that the squad of bruisers wouldn’t descend on me and slap me to the ground like a throw rug.

And in my young-adult world, not only did you have to know about the NFL, you also had to know all about college ball, because even though Mizzou (University of Missouri, that is) never got anywhere close to a bowl game, they were our losers. You might even know a guy on the team from high school. Of course I knew nothing about college ball, so I had to be happy with my scant NFL knowledge and my more comprehensive understanding of renaissance lute music.

Anyway. I know more about football than I want to. And one thing I know better than anything is I won’t be anywhere near a TV when the Super Bowl kicks off this afternoon.

Baseball fans: Opening Day is less than two months away …

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21 comments on “Bored games

  1. Priscilla
    February 4, 2018

    I am a college football freak. NFL? not so much. The college players are young and make young people’s mistakes or young people’s leaps in physical growth and game knowledge. Makes for surprising plays, exciting games, and shocking outcomes. And there’s not a lot of political talk distracting from the game which is the number one reason I didn’t watch any NFL games this year.

    • Kevin Brennan
      February 4, 2018

      I can see the attraction to the more youthful game. Kind of like minor league baseball …

      I do think Colin got a bum deal, though. 😦

  2. kingmidget
    February 4, 2018

    I swore I wasn’t going to watch this year, the wife and I were going to go for a hike or go somewhere I could take some pictures. But her feet and a knee are acting up, so the hike is out of the question and the laundry needs to get done and I decided to try a new recipe for pizza and that takes a few hours to make. So, yeah, I’ll be home today during the damn game. Might as well have it on.

    • Kevin Brennan
      February 4, 2018

      You’re hooked, dude. But at least you’ll get a good pizza out of it!

      We’re headed out to a trail, where we’ll probably have it pretty much to ourselves. 😉

      • kingmidget
        February 4, 2018

        Nooooooooooo!!! Enjoy the hike.

  3. equipsblog
    February 4, 2018

    Love this post. You are absolutely correct about how what should take 1 hour, actually takes only 3 if you are luck and more likely 4 if you are unlucky. The more you want to watch the show or news after the football game, the stronger the likelihood it will run late. God forbid it has to go into overtime.

    • Kevin Brennan
      February 4, 2018

      Thanks, and thanks for reblogging! It’s true, these things drag on and on. And New England always wins …

      • equipsblog
        February 4, 2018

        Got that right. I was flamboozled to hear that they pulled it out at the end of the game last year. Needless to say I didn’t make it near the end of the game–not even the commercials were worth having to stay awake.

  4. equipsblog
    February 4, 2018

    Reblogged this on e-Quips and commented:
    If I were to watch the Superbowl, it would either be for the Commercials or to partake in a universally expected snackfood orgy. Football is not my cup of anything.

  5. cigarman501
    February 4, 2018

    I’ve watched from the beginning…fifty-one games. I’m afraid if I don’t watch it’s because I’m dead.

    • Kevin Brennan
      February 4, 2018

      All the way back to Packers-Chiefs, eh? Yeah, I guess you’d better keep the streak going. Don’t want to tempt fate! 😐

  6. Woebegone but Hopeful
    February 4, 2018

    I suppose one quick way to start a riot is to get a loud-mouthed, opinionated, and of course ignorant, Brit to go into a bar and loudly complain that American Football is for wimps who wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a game of rugby.
    Actually most of us will watch American Football out of fascination and quite enjoy the odd game or three. Although like you having the last minute take about 10 minutes drives me scatty.

    • Kevin Brennan
      February 4, 2018

      I have a good British friends who eats up American football — he even played in an amateur league over there.

      I happen to think you’re right about rugby, though. 😉

      • Woebegone but Hopeful
        February 4, 2018

        Yeh back in the 1980s when one of our tv channels started to broadcast American Football at prime time there was a lot of interest for a while. Sadly they messed with the presentation formula and got two trendy idiots in, ratings died, interest with it.
        It’s still around, but mostly on late night TV, so everyone has to remember to set ‘record’.
        Rugby is a barely civilised sort of hooliganism, but the good things is the fans all get on well together.
        It would be interesting to see teams from both sports swap and how they cope. I’m sure there would be players who’d be up for that. It’s the referees I’d feel sorry for though, trying to get players to ditch the habits of a playing life-time.

  7. Ilona Elliott
    February 4, 2018

    We find that every Super Bowl Sunday the beach we love to walk is mostly deserted. We love that.

  8. Carrie Rubin
    February 4, 2018

    I know nothing about football, much to my husband’s chagrin. Luckily, my high school son isn’t into it either, so I have a movie-going buddy on Superbowl Sunday. College son, on the other hand, is a huge fan. At least my husband got one out of the two to share football talk with.

    • Kevin Brennan
      February 4, 2018

      You ARE into basketball, though … 😉

      • Carrie Rubin
        February 4, 2018

        Yes, that’s true. But with the way the Cavs have been playing, that might not last. 😁

      • Carrie Rubin
        February 4, 2018

        I miss my earth-is-flat Kyrie.

  9. 1WriteWay
    February 5, 2018

    When people ask me if I’m going to watch the game, I always respond with “What game?” Usually I get a blank look and then the person just moves on to someone else. Works for any game, any time of the year. Of course, I’m a girl so I guess expectations are lower 😉

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