This is the first in a series of articles. Scroll to the bottom to read the other steps.
I wish I didn’t watch football. Yesterday could have been great. I might have gone to the movies or to a museum. It was a lovely day. I might have taken a long walk and enjoyed the fresh air. I might have had a thought or two that did not involve special teams. I might have had a picnic in the park. I might have been in love.
I hate football. It is a disease.
I wish I was a casual fan. I’d watch a game, if it happened to be on TV, if I happened to be at home. I would only know the names of a few players. I’d have no idea who Matt Schobel is. I don’t need to know this. When the playoffs rolled around, I’d meet up with some more serious fans and get caught up in the excitement. When my team lost, I’d shrug it off. It’s just football after all.
I wish I didn’t feel the need to trek to a bar in time for kickoff each week and to wring my hands for three hours. I wish I didn’t copy the Eagles schedule onto my calendar as soon as it was released, and clear everything else off until Christmas. I wish I wasn’t born in Philadelphia at all. I could have been from LA, or some other place where they don’t enjoy suffering, where they don’t brag about their fearsome failures.
I wish I didn’t carry each loss with me through the week like a kidney stone preventing the normal flow of emotions. I wish I had a sense of proportion. Before the season, I wrote a friend about the sadness I was going to feel when the Eagles did not win the Super Bowl. I already knew they wouldn’t win. They never have, but somehow each year some part of me is invested in this irrational hope – expectation even – for impossible triumph, for salvation.
I wish I didn’t see Greg Lewis fumble the ball on a punt return yesterday. I wish I didn’t see him nearly do it again. I wish I didn’t see J.R. Reed run insanely through a crowd of people to fumble another punt with less than two minutes left, giving away the game. I wish I didn’t replay that muffed punt in my mind, even today, hours later.
During the game, my sister-in-law called me to talk about sofas. Sofas? Can I talk about sofas while we are throwing away the game by having two guys who can’t return punts drop every ball after we cut our punt returner right before the season started? Sofas? I wish.
“Football is like crack,” she said.
“Yes, without the pleasure,” I said.
Maybe I should take up crack.
One of the Reid boys may be able to help you score some crack before the next game.
C’mon austin, check me out! We can waste away years of disappointing Sunday afternoons together.
— Sofa Sep 11, 10:16 AM #