I am soon to become a 45-year-old man, but I have only just recently developed a genuine affection for the sport that we Americans know as “football.”
These days on Sunday I try to flip on the Bills game as I get ready for work, and then I tune the radio to 96.5 FM in the car the rest of the way. I like the sound a football broadcast makes. It sounds like fall. And I like that I’ve thought enough about the game at this point to have formulated some opinions. To have picked some teams. And to know why.
When I was 10, I lived in Pittsburgh for a semester. Someone bought me a knit hat that was yellow and black and had the Steelers’ logo up front. Then we moved to Northeast Ohio.
Let’s just say I only wore that hat once afterwards.
I didn’t know enough from football to have the sophistication to know that wearing a Steelers hat in Browns country might cause you some mischief. I was cold and I had a hat. That’s all I knew.
There was the recess when I was surrounded by five to seven boys who proceeded to quiz me about the basics of football. Drilled me they did. I didn’t know the answers. I remember trying to keep walking away from this crew, but they persisted. They had a point to make.
So football and I never really got along.
Thing is, if you’re a fella, life’s a little easier if you’re interested in football. It’s an additional distraction to keep your brain occupied. It’s small talk with the bartender or simpatico with a neighbor. It’s a realm of current events you can use to create conversation that is irrelevant to the touchy world of politics. You can even argue about football, but the nice thing is that those disagreements don’t actually affect your lives. Not really. So I always wanted to be a fan.
Now, a little older maybe, little more patience maybe, I dunno. I find myself developing an interest.
Now. I have three teams I watch for various reasons. I keep an eye on the Green Bay Packers because they are the only sports franchise in the United States that isn’t owned by a corporation. I watch the Pittsburgh Steelers because that’s my homeland and because you know, of the big kid chasing me up a tree and stuff; and of course, I watch the Bills because I can actually watch their games.
So far this week so good. The Bills defeated Carolina in the game’s last moments while the Packers were rather heavy handed with that team from Washington, D.C. who actually play in Maryland. And those Stillers play Cincinnatah tomorrow.