I’m writing this post about football – and why I don’t watch it. I’m a former New Yorker, so I’m rooting for the Jets in the most tangential way, but I’ll be skipping the big game tomorrow and picking up the blog on Monday.
Why don’t I watch/like football? I’ve asked myself that a lot over the years. I love sports in general, with baseball being my favorite, and can easily get interested in hockey, basketball, tennis, even boxing. But I have a mental block where football is concerned. Total apathy. To me, it’s a bunch of very large men, wearing equipment that makes them unrecognizable, gathered around a field, occasionally huddling, occasionally walking around, occasionally tackling each other, occasionally running and throwing and kicking. I have no idea what “fourth and ten” means. I’m clueless about “yards” and “downs.” I couldn’t tell you the difference between a field goal and a touchdown. I don’t know what all those white lines signify. There’s so much starting and stopping that I wonder why people think baseball is boring.
This is not to say I don’t understand the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat; the emotions of rooting for a team don’t change from sport to sport. And I’m sure the scheduling of football – the fact that games are only played once a week – really heightens people’s interest. Getting together with friends and family to watch a game must feel like more of an event, whereas you can catch a baseball game almost any night of the week.
Maybe I’m just a hot weather girl and the notion of watching a game played in frigid temperatures doesn’t appeal to me. Dunno. But good luck to any Jets fans out there. I hope the Super Bowl is in your future – partly because it’ll be exciting for you guys and partly because it’ll mean football is over and baseball is about to begin.
Seriously. After reading yesterday’s New York Times article announcing that the Super Bowl was the most watched show in television history (not the most watched sports show, but the most watched show of any kind), I had to ask myself why the World Series doesn’t approach such spectacular numbers.
Sure, there were good reasons why the Saints-Colts game drew a huge audience.
* The two quarterbacks offered a nice head-to-head story arc.
* The heavy snow kept people indoors and in front of the TV.
* People watch the Super Bowl for the ads.
* There are Super Bowl parties.
And then there’s the fact that the football season boils down to one dramatic contest as opposed to a series of 4-7 games. But it was this comment by Rich Sandomir that got me thinking: “Football is engaging us more than ever.” Is that true? And if so, what is baseball doing about it?
On this blog we’ve talked about ways MLB could improve the sport itself. But what about the marketing of the sport? Why aren’t there World Series parties and better ads and more human interest stories in the media about the individual players so that people who aren’t diehards can still appreciate the games?
I don’t like seeing baseball trounced by football, so if Bud Selig wants to hire me to help market the sport, I’m available. How about the newly created position of vice president in charge of fans? Just leave me a comment, Bud, and I’ll get right back to you.
First of all, congratulations to my buddies in New York who are Jets fans. You won! Only one more to go until the World Series Super Bowl! I’m not a football fan, as I’ve said many times, but I know how exciting it must be to be thisclose to a championship.
I spent a very rainy afternoon with friends watching the Golden Globes. Normally, I love this show because – unlike the Oscars – actors are more inclined to say and do silly, spontaneous things, rather than step up to the mic with a rehearsed speech and thank their agents. But today’s show was as soggy as the weather here in California. Jokes fell flat. Nobody wore anything particularly outrageous. And James Cameron, who won Best Director and Best Picture for “Avatar,” felt the need to tell us he had to pee. I was glad Sandra Bullock won for “The Blind Side,” a movie I recommend to my football fan friends. But I couldn’t help but wonder about Kate Hudson. As a cast member of the musical “Nine,” she was a presenter and walked the red carpet. Was she pining for A-Rod or has she moved on with someone else? All I know is that her dress looked like a wedding cake.
Her movie was shut out of the awards. Poor thing. And she worked so hard to get in shape for the show.
Shame on you, A-Rod. She was there for you when you were in the spotlight. The least you could have done was be there for her. You’re heartless!
The good news was that Mo’Nique, Meryl Streep and Robert Downey, Jr. won awards – deservedly; “Precious,” “Julie and Julia” and “Sherlock Holmes” are all worth seeing. Jeff Bridges won too, for “Crazy Heart.” I haven’t seen that one yet, but he lives here in Santa Barbara and is, according to everyone who knows him, one of the nicest, most down-to-earth guys around. Congrats to him!
The evening got off to a pleasant enough start, even though my husband Michael and I were watching TV in separate rooms.
I was in the bedroom, glued to the Australian Open final between Federer and Nadal. I was rooting for Federer, so I was sorry to see him lose in five sets. I was even sorrier when, during the presentation of the trophies, he broke down at the mic and couldn’t stop crying.
Talk about the agony of defeat.
“You should have seen Federer,” I said as I walked into the living room, where Michael was glued to the Super Bowl post-game show. “He -“
I was about to describe Roger’s crying jag when I noticed that one of the Steelers, Hines Ward, was crying about beating the Cardinals.
Talk about the thrill of victory.
Over dinner we discussed whether crying in sports was becoming more prevalent.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
“I do,” I said and launched into a list of prominent criers.
“And remember when Edwar Ramirez had that meltdown after he got shelled?” I pretended to sob. “The Yankees practically had to MedEvac him out of there.”
“I don’t see the big deal. These guys are human beings, not robots. Human beings cry. Men cry. It doesn’t make us weak.”
“Who said it makes you weak?” Yikes. He was being awfully crabby, so I did my imitation of Mike Schmidt choking up at his retirement speech, hoping to coax a smile out of him.
“You’re making fun of him,” said Michael.
“I am not. I love Mike Schmidt. I had a crush on him before I even met you.”
“You had a crush on everybody before you met me.”
“Oh, really?” So he was, what, jealous? “You had a crush on Michelle Pfeiffer before you met me and I’m not getting all wigged out about it.”
“I’m not wigged out.” He took a gigantic bite of his burger and then started talking with his mouth full.
“I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
“It was nothing.”
“I hate when men say ‘nothing.'”
“You hate when men cry too.”
“I do not! It makes me sad when anybody cries. In fact, the second I see somebody tearing up I get -“
At that moment I flashed back to Game 4 of the 2007 ALDS against Cleveland, when the Yankees lost the series and were ushered out of the post-season; I had a meltdown of my own in the Upper Tier.
I put down my fork, my appetite gone, and succumbed to this. Losing never gets easier.