“Are you a sports fan or are you just a football fan? If it’s the latter, it’s like a child who, with all the food options available, will only eat chicken nuggets. Certainly delicious, but a very narrow world view.”
I can’t miss you if you never leave.
That’s what I’d say if I could have a heart to heart with the NFL. The illustrious Mark Cuban was right: the NFL is in danger of being overexposed. It won’t lose any of its power as the most popular sport in America as he claimed, but it definitely won’t be special anymore. Especially with fans not giving it time to breathe and allow the excitement that surrounds an upcoming NFL season to build like it typically does.
People are already counting down the days until the NFL season starts and I can’t decide if I find it corny or patently obnoxious. The beauty of an NHL or MLB season is that it’s a long haul and when your team is done, it’s almost a relief to be given the brief respite before it starts up all over again.
The NFL season is not long, but it’s for that reason we love it. Those four months or so are pressure packed and every game matters. You hang at the edge of your seat every Sunday (ok Thursday and Monday too) and live and die by every possession. In all reality, it’s an even bigger pressure release when your team’s season is over because of how much action is jammed into a typical NFL season.
And because of that and many other reasons too numerous to list here, the NFL is truly special. And because of its unique nature in the world of sports, it should be cherished, not pounded into the ground. The NFL is special, just like Christmas.
Did you know, as of this writing, it’s 205 day until Christmas? The Yule season is a wonderful reward for making it through another year and braving the overtures of winter. Everyone looks forward to it, but you never really start gearing up for Christmas until Thanksgiving. At that point in the year, Christmas becomes reality, but it’s only a month away. If you were hit over the head every day with how far off Christmas was, it would get old quickly and the holiday wouldn’t seem as unique. It’s better to have it dawn on you that Christmas is just around the corner than have someone hammer it home every day.
I’m a little suspect of people who only devote themselves to one sport. I’ve already admitted the NFL is the nation’s pastime and probably my favorite sport to watch, but if you’re this excited about the football now, it means you are woefully one dimensional. With the World Cup about to happen and the continuing baseball season, there is plenty to distract you. Are you a sports fan or are you just a football fan? If it’s the latter, it’s like a child who, with all the food options available, will only eat chicken nuggets. Certainly delicious, but a very narrow world view. We always complain about hockey nerds and people who generally prefer soccer to “normal” American sports. Are the NFL freaks just another, more widely accepted version of this?
The people beating the NFL drum on a daily basis don’t make me miss football, they make me loathe it. How can I enjoy the summer I suffered so long for when football reminds of the fall and the impending winter? I can’t. I know people love football, but football also means cold weather, and I’m going to wear flip flops for a few weeks before thinking about that.
The start of official training camp should be the signal to get excited about the football season, not early June. Keep tabs on it all you want, that’s your right as an American sports fan, but lay off the ceaseless pining for a sport we all love until it matters. Because the endless updates don’t make me miss football at all and the slavish devotion to one sport makes me think Mark Cuban was right. And I don’t ever want to think that. Merry Christmas.