NFL Addiction: Step 2, The Supernatural

When I was driving from the Jersey shore back to Brooklyn on Monday – I now think this was a mistake. Perhaps, if I had stayed in New Jersey, this whole tragedy could have been avoided – I was wearing a green oxford. It’s a custom-made shirt, one of my favorites. Arriving in NY, though, I suddenly realized that a pen had leaked in my pocket and left a huge black stain on the breast of the shirt, right over my heart. I was in a hurry to get to the bar for the Eagles-Redskins game, but something had to be done.

I stopped off at a friend’s. She suggested rubbing alcohol. We soaked the shirt in flammable chemicals and blotted it with a towel. Ink pooled up. The towel turned black. But no matter how much we seemed to take off, the stain stayed as dark as ever. I felt like Lady Macbeth. Out damn spot! Kickoff was nigh. I had to grab another shirt — a non-green, non-favorite shirt — and go.

Last week in the wake of the Eagles’ horrible loss to the Packers, I discovered that I was addicted to a football team, and that like any addiction, the Eagles were tearing my life apart, catapulting me into a series of violent mood swings, corrupting my soul. I took step one on the road to recovery: I acknowledged the problem. In AA speak, “I admitted that I was powerless over the NFL, that my life had become unmanageable.”

I’m not sure it helped. This week was worse than ever, a horrible spirit-crushing home loss to the lowly Redskins. I snapped at loved ones, “I don’t want to talk about it! Just leave me be.” But now I’m ready for step two in the 12-step program: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I am starting to believe. Isn’t the ink stain on my Eagle-green favorite shirt enough evidence that something greater than Donovan McNabb is controlling the outcome of these games? The Eagles were going to lose no matter what.

As for my sanity, I’m in no position to judge. But I can say that this new faith in a higher power made me realize that Eagles coach Andy Reid is not out to get me. He is not trying to ruin my life by passing the ball on every down even though, early in this last game, Brain Westbrook was averaging like 8 yards a carry, and the Redskins seemed to have no answer for him. Coach Reid didn’t have me in mind when he called a moronic time out just as the Redskins were lined up for a field goal, letting them set up to score a touchdown! No, Andy Reid is not trying to destroy me. A higher power is at work.

Likewise, McNabb was not trying to throw the ball yards away from any of his teammates just to spite me. He wasn’t trying to miss Kevin Curtis by a mile with a minute left and the game on the line, just to keep me up at night. And the receivers, they don’t hate me. They just suck. We are all in the same boat, really. We’re doomed by fate.

Can this realization save me? Can it restore me to sanity? Can I stop caring so much about the failures of a bunch of oversized guys stuffed into green shirts? Will I even watch the game against the Lions next week?

I don’t know. I’m waiting for a sign.

Click here to read about step 3: surrender.

here’s the sign. go watch the eagles beat detroit.

— tyson    Sep 23, 10:05 AM    #

Indeed. Huzzah to the Eagles much deserved .333 winning percentage!

— knoblauch    Sep 25, 11:07 AM    #

Aus, my man. A custom green oxford to represent the Birds. Now that’s high-brow.

Li Wang    Sep 27, 09:16 AM    #