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Orphaned Fan of the NFL, Part 2

I’ll tell you why I love sports so much. It’s real. What happens on the field is one of the most real things in existence. You really cannnot b.s. your way onto a professional team as an athlete. You can “make it” in the music biz on looks and charisma alone while being an untalented, half-assed singer. You can even make your way onto the big screen as a actor who lacks the skill it takes to pull off the right accent while playing Robin Hood in a blockbuster film and still end up having a fruitful career in Hollywood. And the ultimate: one can certainly fake and lie their way into a position of power/political office with no qualifications or skills required as they pull the wool over the public’s’ eyes and screw things up royally.

But you can’t fake hitting a baseball, sacking a quarterback, knocking down a game winning three-pointer at the buzzer, chipping in a shot from a bunker or even scooting a fake keg across ice. What? Yea, I watched curling during the Olympics, and I dug it too! Sure, there’s the human variable in sports where mistakes happen with the officiating (see the immaculate reception), steroid issues and some fixed games/matches. But the talent part, that’s the part you can’t fake.

The Dodgers and Lakers are teams I root for at home. I don’t spend a lot of time following every single team in the MLB and NBA because I work long hours and have a life beyond my teams. Fantasy sports seems like a lot of fun too, but I choose to not spend time even participating in that…um…yet.

With regards to the NFL and having been raised in Los Angeles with the Rams, I haven’t had a team to root for since they left. The Raiders? Hold on….ugh….ok, sorry. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Living in L.A. and being a Raiders fan would be a cop out. It’s too easy and is even more dated than that last line I used about throwing up in my mouth. I never liked the Raiders when they were out here, and I still don’t like them. And having grown up in a house where crowds were cheering in my living room on Sunday mornings in the summer, fall and winter, not watching or following the NFL would feel like never being able to have my mom’s cooking ever again.


illustration by Drew Mannie, 2009

I do have my teams I like to watch, and there are match-ups during the season that I get excited about (Vikings with Favre vs. Packers – Monday, Oct 5, 2009 omg!). But when it comes down to it, I love the game of football more than any individual team. That’s the silver lining for me. It’s the only team sport that I watch where I follow a greater number of players and teams than in baseball or hoops.

Before this season even began I was already sucked in by the drama, controversy and the questions that can only be answered as the season unfolds. Brett Favre in a Vikings uniform? There was obviously a delivery of parkas being shipped to hell when that deal was struck. How are things going to pan out on the field for Brett Favre? Is Tom Brady going to pick up close to where he left off? In which game will T.O. start to alienate his teammates? Will Chad Ochocinco put up the numbers he says he can? Child please!

Vick and McNabb on the same team? That’s like David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar in the same band at the same time. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez with rookie head coach Rex Ryan already won their first three games with the Jets. Wow! Five teams started out this season running the Wild Cat offense. You want action? You got action!

This is real-life drama to me. Call it my soap opera. This is great! I love it! Now that I think about it, I don’t feel like an orphan anymore. I’m too busy enjoying the games.

Orphaned Fan of the NFL (Part 1)

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