Yes. It’s been a long time coming. It’s time.
A life time of being a sports fan has led me to this.
I want my Sundays back. It wasn’t always like this, but in recent years I have found it far too easy to sit in front of the TV watching the stinkin’ NFL all day long. I do the laundry while I’m watching. Get started making dinner. Those are my justifications anyway. Not much else to be done when you gotta do the laundry and cook.
But those were just excuses for the development of my Sunday lazy gene. Far easier to just hang out at home than to get out and explore the world. Besides, I had to monitor my players in Fantasy Football, and my teams in the Survivor Pool and my friendly pick ’em game with a former co-worker. I needed to know what was going on in all of that.
I officially dropped all of those activities today. Pulled out of the office Fantasy Football League, notified the Survivor Pool commissioner that I was dropping out, texted my friend I would no longer do the weekly pick ’em competition. It’s the last one that I’ll really miss. I enjoyed the weekly back and forth, the smack talking, and the good-natured rhythm of the weekly picks and the ebb and flow of who was winning as the season progressed.
But, I need to do something different with Sundays.
I’m getting a divorce from the NFL. Part of it is that the sport just doesn’t mean that much to me and I absolutely cannot stand its dominance in the sports and cultural landscape in this country. I cannot stand that in August when the pennant races in baseball are heating up, the front pages of the sports section are filled with stories about NFL training camps instead of the games that actually mean something in baseball.
I also don’t like what our changing culture is doing to the sport. It’s an odd balance. I don’t want athletes to get concussions and develop CTE. I don’t want athletes to be so hobbled when they retire that they can barely function. (If you ever want to read a horror story about what the game of football can do to somebody, read up on Mike Webster — the Hall of Fame center for the 1970s Steelers teams that won four Super Bowls.) But the truth of it is that football, at its essence, is a violent, damaging game. If you take that away, you take away the essence of the sport. And then what are you left with.
But, I need to do something different with my Sundays. As the weather cools, hiking will have more appeal. Bicycling too. Something, anything. To get out and see the world.
I’m getting a divorce. I filed the papers today. See you later NFL. I don’t need any alimony. I’ll be just fine without you.