Football’s insane popularity isn’t difficult to understand. Who wouldn’t love a sport that requires no thinking and goes perfectly with chip and dip? But that’s not the reason this sport is king. Nah, the reason this is an eight days a week excursion for many Americans has everything to do with the ancillary diversions it holds claim to.
No other sport captivates its fan base without actually playing a game the way pro football can. Witness the NFL draft, which possesses the feel of a World Series Game 7- Played on New Years Eve.
There’s Gambling- Made possible by a sport with more angles to it than Frank Lloyd Wright would know what to do with. You can bet yards or catches or sacks, your overs or unders . . . you can predict a score or challenge the spread. And that’s before we get to the really fun stuff- like wagering as to how many nipples Lady Gaga will bare during the Super Bowl halftime show, or whether Demi and Ashton show up with new girlfriends.
And forget Fantasy Leagues. It’s the new normal for “Everybody does it”, cause just about everybody? Does it. It’s so popular that people stand around water coolers that aren’t even there to chat up buyer’s remorse and boast on late round reaches gone sweetheart deals. Hockey fans are among the most ravenous of all sporting fools, but I’ve never heard one say “Hey, I have Sidney Crosby in my league. Should I sit him or play him?”
It’s this contradictory disposition which I find most intriguing about the sport. The ability to root for enemy players is anathema to my baseball loving senses, where autocracy reigns my brain and the likes of “Big Papi” Ortiz will always be booed rather than bought.
It follows that while I would never root against my Yankees, I have no such consideration for my boyhood football club- the Miami Dolphins. So I watched the first half of Dolphins/Jets last night for no other reason than to watch them build a relatively safe deficit on their way to a solid 24-6 loss which dropped their record to a satisfying 0-5.
Much to my chagrin, the ‘Fins ran up and down the field on the Jets defense early on. But when they decided to throw the ball in Darelle Revis’ direction and he returned it for a TD? More like it.
It’s a phenomena called “Suck For Luck”. The league’s worst team gets the best player in college football- Andrew Luck. And while he may be sight unseen to me, so is Jesus Christ and I would take Him as my QB. I don’t even care if this Luck kid ends up throwing the ball like Dan Marino’s wife, just so long as my team wins the NFL Draft just once before I die.
The competition is stiffs so I’m rooting for 0-16. And if they happen to win a game I’m calling for the head coach to be fired immediately.