American Football and Me

Football is completely out of my range of attention. I couldn’t care less about it. I don’t care if the home team wins or loses (because the “home” team might not even be from “home” so to speak). I don’t have a political axe against it or object to their salaries or anything like that. I understand how important football is to my society. I served on the senate at San Diego State University. I was an adjunct teacher with a contract so my salary was already 1/3 that of tenured faculty (who taught 2 classes/semester to my 5, but who’s bitter?). I was there to vote against a giving a losing coach’ $4,000,000 severance pay. My vote was lost in the crowd of “Yeas.” That’s how much it cost my university to buy his contract. Next up was an offer to a new coach that was at least three times that, as I recall.

Talking with colleagues I learned that a winning football team brought a LOT of money and prestige to our university. “Football pays your salary,” said one colleague.

I never carried umbrage against jocks. Some of my favorite students were on the football team. The featured photo is a former student, Joe Martin, who went pro for a short time. Smart guy, enthusiastic student, great athlete.

The impromptu neighborhood football games I played as a kid were a lot of fun to play, though. One of my favorite games on the elementary school playground was a vicious “sport” known as “Kill the Man With the Ball.” Football is just a more regulated team version of that game (as is Rugby).

Back in junior high, I got in trouble for acting out in English class and, rather than detention, my “punishment” was having to mark the field during football games. What this basically means is that I suffered the horror of being on the sidelines of the games with a pole. I had to pay attention to the ball, and run back and forth sticking the pole into the ground where the football had landed during play. It was a blast.

I get that football is a big part of American culture, but the best thing about the Super Bowl for me has always been the hiking. What? Yeah, back in California when I took to the hills I knew for SURE no one else would be in the hills during Super Bowl. The other great thing was grocery shopping. No one else was doing that during the Super Bowl, either.

But the ads can be amazing, like this one…


24 thoughts on “American Football and Me

  1. I’m certainly with you on this and don’t even know who’s playing today. My first husband was a sports fanatic, which made me even less interested:) Your football memories from childhood were entertaining and thought-provoking. My only memory like that (we played mainly softball in my neighborhood, no matter the season) was one year when I got caught up in a game of football a few streets over from my home. I didn’t even really know how to kick the ball and ended up with a horribly bruised big toe. Eventually the nail fell off, and I have a wonky big toenail to this day!

  2. We never watch the first half. Don’t want t know. Baseball is different because at least I understand what’s going on, but in football? I just take my best guess. I don’t mind the salaries. I don’t mind anything except the utterly intolerable focus on it for this last couple of week. Geez. It just never stops. It’s like a hammer n my brain.

    • I don’t have TV so I often don’t even know when it’s happening. The Evil X was a football fan and any interest I might have had in the game died during that dark period of my personal history.

  3. Amen Martha, AMEN. No discernible reason to watch that stuff IMHO. The only semi-interesting bit (to me) are the endless, expensive commercials. However, I wonder if even those will go the way of all things, because I heard on the radio recently that ‘sneak previews’ of almost all the commercials were aired last week. Not teasers, the whole flippin’ ad. It seems to me, that if I’d paid millions of dollars (as I hear some of ’em cost), I’d be angry if an early exposure happened. But it’s just another thing that’s incomprehensible about the Super Bowl.

  4. It’s been a big thing on the news for the last couple of weeks — the LA Rams are one of the teams, and that’s a new thing! I will go to the hardware store, then to the grocery store to get a roasted chicken for dinner! If it’s still on, I’ll watch, but only to see the ads!

  5. I remember Cullen Bryant! I used to watch sports, football and hockey. Being Canadian and all, hockey came first, but when most of the Canadian players went to the States and there were more American teams than Canadian I knew the cup was rarely going to come home…

  6. I try. I try really hard to watch the games, but I don’t think I’ve been able to sit through one whole Super Bowl in my life. Like you, I’d rather take a hike on empty trails, or even (gasp) fold laundry.

    The half-time shows can usually hold my attention, and I enjoy a good commercial (but I usually end up missing them due to folding a pair of sock, or checking my email. My husband will yell out “You missed a great commercial!”

    To which I reply “Shoot! The only thing I care to see”, and then I’ll go and Google the commercial to watch it online instead.

    I have my painting things ready for today.

    Great post, Martha! I hope you get a good hike in later on today! πŸ™‚

    • I think Bear and I will enjoy temps above freezing for the first time in weeks and maybe a long ramble… You enjoy the socks, t-shirts and all the other wonders of missing the game! πŸ™‚

  7. I only knew the Super Bowl must be coming because I kept looking to buy chicken wings cheap at the store and either they were unavailable or they cost more than I was willing to spend. Wings are the official snack food of many a sporting activity and an indicator of the significance of the coming weekend of play.

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