Why Football is Not My Religion


Recently, I created a new religion that I’ve only shared with a few people because if I announced the tenets to the general public, people would either believe or not believe and then there’d have to be a war.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, I won’t be watching. The game which the rest of the world calls “not football,” is just a small representation of war as far as I’m concerned, although there are no religious undertones, which rarely happens. There are those, however, who seem to enjoy football with a fervency of a southern Charismatic Church, in which case, amen and carry on.

Still, and don’t take this the wrong, to me football represents all of the things that are wrong with the world except for chewing loudly, which most likely happens at viewing parties, however, as far as I know, is not sanctioned by NFL.

The idea of football gives me another case of “Where the hell are their mothers?” syndrome, which was last examined in my post Why Mothers Would Ruin Les Miserables. (Football fans: Les Miserables is one of those musical things you’ve heard of which inexplicably involves sudden outbursts of song and Neil Patrick Harris, which is not that surprising. You might like this one, football fans as it has to do with war. Now, back to the game.)

Anyway, so your kid comes shuffling in and says, “Mom, I’m going to go to a large field and play a game where men the size of a bull and twice as hostile, will try to knock the stuffing from my innards (which is the best place for them) if I touch a ball shaped, ironically like a squashed head.”

If the mother is on the phone or watching Judge Judy of course, she will nod quickly and make the move along signal with her free hand. If the mother, however is actually listening she will say, “Do you need a ride to practice?” I’m serious! I’ve seen it happen!

**I want to take this opportunity to state emphatically; I am not criticizing any mothers. It has been my experience in life that 99.9% of all mothers are working at the peak of their game, giving parenthood all they can and then, crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, which is what we do at my church meetings.**

Now, back to the game: For better or for worse, if my son were to relay a request such as the one above I would, most likely respond with, “Over my dead body, let’s go see Les Miserables!” Given, most young men would not find this a satisfying alternative, but some will and that’s why we have the Tony Awards. (Football fans: it’s like the Super Bowl with no serious injuries except for hurt feelings…Feelings are something…never mind, it’s best you don’t know.) Now, back to the game. (I’m told these words are often used during football games and I want you folks to feel comfortable.)

Despite my pooh-poohing the idea of my son’s participation in football, however, he sustained a football injury and isn’t that always the way. He was in the end zone when another kid, who I was persuaded not to sue, ran right over him. My son, of course was sprawled out, drawing pictures of Star Wars Characters and it might be argued that he should have sketched in a less volatile environment, still…This all happened in third grade and I still have nightmares. I want to be clear about it, this actually happened and he won’t particularly like my sharing this, but football is dangerous and everyone should consider that.

Also, by my son’s avoidance of the sport, your sons (and occasional daughters) are safe from my wrath as evidenced by the time my kid was pushed by a fellow two-year-while I Jazzercised on the other side of a glass partition. I still find the occasional shard of glass in my teeth, although I’m told the child in question went on to live a perfectly normal life with only the smallest phobia of organized exercise.

There are those of you who might think I’ve tried to make my son less than macho, but the truth is, he came that way and I simply never tried to whip him into shape. We encouraged other sports, but a kid who is outraged at the rudeness of other players who take possession of a ball he is clearly playing with just doesn’t have the warrior spirit needed to knock out the teeth of his fellow four-year-olds.

Still you needn’t worry about him as he plays lead guitar in a rock band which seems to allay fear that I will not know a grandchild with my genetic material. For those of you that are worrying in that direction, please turn the page on your calendar, we’ve moved out of the 19th century, and whizzed past the twentieth. For those of you saying. “hehe…she said whizzed,” there’s no hope for you. Enjoy your raw meat.

Anyway, because a part of my religion deals with tolerance of those I don’t understand, I’ve had to internalize that football is something I will never understand but doesn’t necessarily make its participants or fans bad people; just people who are missing Animal Planet’s  Puppy Bowl IX; a game where teams are seldom formed and the worst thing that happens is pooping on the field, although you can’t tell me that doesn’t happen in the NFL from time to time.

I’ve come to the conclusion that while some people enjoy Wolverine, other’s understand that Jean Valjean is the greatest singing hero the world has ever known. Which is why Hugh Jackman has been elevated to sainthood in my religion, but has not reached the status of Chris Martin who should be aware that I’m considering an annual sacrifice.

With that, and because the Puppy Bowl starts in 40 minutes, I want to emphasize that no one should consider the previous paragraph as instruction to kidnap Hugh Jackman and demand he choose a side. Watch your Super bowl, spit out nachos as you yell at the team you support, complain about Beyonce as you smear chicken wings on your host’s couch, with my blessing.

Peace be with you. After the Super Bowl. Amen.


7 responses »

  1. Am I not an American, if the way I choose who I would like to root for came down to the fact I love the band Train, and decided to root for the 49’ners, for the simple fact is that is where they are from?
    What is this world coming to? I watch for the commercials, half time, because I actually like BB and not because she probably has witnessed Chris Martin doing things like eating, kissing his wife, and maybe he has even farted in her pressence, other things include, wings, chip and dip, and crunch and munch and the Etrade baby:)
    Have a great SuperBall event, where ever you might be!!!!

  2. as frequently happens, I’m left sitting on the fence. I, myself, love to play football and watch the Bears. my son doesn’t. neither does he like most musicals, although he did like Moulon Rouge. but, back to me. I’m no longer allowed to play football and the Bears aren’t playing in this SuperBowl, so it doesn’t matter. so on to the Puppy Bowl!

  3. Really good. I liked the paragraph on Les Mis. And the one about the dog shows. BTW, according to Sports Illustrated, these last minute drives with no huddle/break have been known to cause players to vomit on the field.
    Just thought I would share that.

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