I would say I’m a casual fan of the NFL. And if you don’t know what NFL stands for, this column might not interest you that much, although think of the CFL and add a bunch more teams and fans and billions of dollars and even more hype and off the charts on the seriousness scale.
However I fall in the casual fan category because I don’t have a fantasy team (although both my kids do), don’t really have a favourite team (again, my kids do) and although I check in to see what’s happening on Monday and Thursday nights, even a sloth like myself can’t justify a triple header every Sunday.
That’s a lot of couch time for yours truly, although if I cared a little more, and or the day outside was ugly, I could probably pull it off without breaking too much of a sweat.
Just ask my wife.
“How could you possibly care who wins a game between Cleveland and Jacksonville enough to actually watch the whole thing?,” she might ask, if she actually took the time to see who was playing, that is.
However, for me it’s more of a backdrop for reading the newspaper (a habit I strongly recommend by the way), or leafing through a magazine, or making a list of the chores I should be doing instead of watching the Browns and Jaguars struggle to move the ball down the field.
Or, like on Thursday night, when I turned the game on when I finally got around to doing the dishes, a chore I actually do around the house, and the Packers of Green Bay were trying to come back from a rather large deficit against the Lions of Detroit.
Now I took some interest because one of my sons is a pretty big Lions fan, I’m not sure why, I think one day he got tired of cheering for the B.C. variety and maybe thought “well, I’ll try cheering for the NFL Lions.”
Big mistake, I thought, but his life.
My other son cheers for the Giants of New York, again I have no idea why but I think it has something to do with Eli Manning and at least they’ve won a few times.
Anyway the Packers were rallying and those dishes weren’t going anywhere so I ended up watching most of the end of the game. If the truth be told I often get distracted while doing the dishes (sometimes watching TV, sometimes playing records, sometimes doing anything else I happen to stumble across) and the job can take literally hours, but hey it gets done and I don’t see anyone else stepping up to do them and……(one day I’ll write about how the only job I ever got fired from was as a dishwasher but it wasn’t really a distraction problem so another day).
And this finale was actually worth watching, in my defence.
The Packers scored a late touchdown and it looked like the Lions would run out the clock after a great throw and catch to midfield but, this was the Lions, and whether it’s the CFL or the NFL variety, they tend to find a way to lose.
And this time it was epic.
The Packers got the ball back and after a series of laterals that ended up in quarterback Aaron Rodgers hands on what should have been the last play of the game resulting in a Lions victory, a marginal face-mask penalty gave the Pack one last shot at a hail Mary play with no time left on the clock.
And, of course, the future hall of famer Rodgers delivered a 61-yard bomb to the end zone that was somehow caught by another guy named Rodgers and, again, of course, the Packers were winners and the Lions were losers, as many would say, it should be. Except it was also pretty miraculous and shocking and unbelievable and all those things sports can deliver so wonderfully because it’s not scripted, although it seems, somehow, so perfectly Hollywood.
Truly great stuff, unless you happen to be a Lions fan, and it’s heartbreaking. I texted the one in my family, gently as I could, and he responded “Ya, wow, not that I ain’t used to it by now……”
The irony of being “used to” a miraculously devastating finish (he’s also a Leafs fan by the way, and no, I don’t know how these things happen) is more than interesting and I consoled him that it builds character (yeah, like winning doesn’t) and we went on with our lives.
In other words, I got the dishes done.