Get Ready for Some Football! Why Don't I Care?
By Jason Marsh
October 1st, 2003
I recently began considering taking up football as an interest. Once I decided to go ahead with the idea, I figured it was probably necessary to pick a team to root for. After some painstaking research, statistical analysis, discussions with experts (my football friends), and a visit to my priest, I determined that the Giants and the Jets were, in fact, the local New York teams. Accordingly, one is supposed to root for their hometown team. This is definitely recommended for beginners, and required by law in some mid-western and southern states.
By this point you are probably asking yourself, why would I bother with such an endeavor? For the same reason every other red-blooded, meat-eating, beer-guzzling, Asian prostitute-loving male does.
So I was ready and gearing up for the NFL season. Go Jets! Kick some ass Giants! But due to technicalities with local customs and the tax code, it turns out that a NY resident cannot be both a Giants and Jets fan, anymore than he could be a straight man and a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fan. (Another area where I am also faced with making a difficult choice.) So it was back to research, statistics, sports radio shows, and ESPN to help me with my decision. Again, the experts (my friends) came through. As it turned out, the Giants were forecasted to be the better team, not to mention that the Jets just lost their starting quarterback for the season. I was told, once more by an expert-this time a cab driver-that this is a bad thing. Thus it became clear. Come Sunday, nothing else mattered. I was a diehard Giants fan through and through.
As a football fan just starting out, I felt it was important that I root for a competitive team, thus have something to actually root for, instead of setting myself up for disappointment and ending up just another disillusioned former football fan.
By this point you are probably asking yourself, why would I bother with such an endeavor? Mainly for the same reason every other red-blooded, meat-eating, beer-guzzling, Asian prostitute-loving male does: because the majority of games are played in the dead of winter on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights when there is, quite literally, nothing else to do, that is, unless you are already a fan of figure skating or enjoy day trips to IKEA. Not only that but it offers the same kind of male bonding experience I have not shared since my childhood friends and I discovered that taping a baseball card to your bicycle so that it interfered with the spokes, made it sound like a Harley.
Not withstanding how I got there, Monday Night Football had arrived and was to be my first big game. I missed the first week's games due to unforeseen circumstances - it was a nice day. But this was it, the moment I had been waiting for.
My Giants were playing at home against the Cowboys. From what I understood this was a huge match up. (No experts this time. I figured it out on my own, based on the intense soundtrack leading into the broadcast). And, to spice things up it turned out the head coach of the Cowboys, the Tuna, was formerly the head coach of the Giants, not that I have ever heard of either of these teams. I wanted a tuna sandwich. But at 9 pm sharp, I was ready to go, cheese steak sandwich in one hand and the remote in the other.
A few minutes into the game I found myself wondering if it was Monday night that the reruns from Arabian Idol were supposed to be airing . . . . I hung on though. I had to support my team. Mental note: Next game I should wear a Giants jersey, or at least a hat, to experience a stronger connection with my team. I have seen this method work passionately well for experienced fans. Hmm . . . maybe some face paint? Another mental note: Find out what the Giants colors are?
I fell asleep in the second quarter. I woke up at 12:30 am and to my surprise there were four seconds left in the game as the Cowboys kicked a field goal to tie things up. Now that's excitement. Wait, I'm with the Giants, so that's bad. And wait again, its four hours later, is this the same game? But, it seemed I didn't miss anything. Both team's scores were still equal, although I'm not really sure how they both went from 0 to 32 points each in nearly 4 hours. Nevertheless, the game went into "Sudden Death" overtime. I couldn't wait to see what that meant.
While I was busy calling the cops on my upstairs neighbors for a party that seemed a little loud at 1 am on a Monday night, the Cowboys were kicking another field goal. So I drew my attention back to the game knowing, just knowing, that my Giants were going to come back strong and even up the score. Then the Tuna Casserole guy from the other team was running down the middle of the field with his arms raised, while his players appeared to be throwing cups of water on him. But I knew his spring-break-like moment of joy wouldn't last, at least not once my Giants got the ball back. So after what seemed like several commercial breaks and a rerun of the 11:00 news without any football being played, I figured there must have been some kind of Half-Time-Out thing. I fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning, devastated to find out that the Giants were not able to mount the victorious comeback that I envisioned. But I wasn't devastated that the Giants lost. I was devastated because I really thought that I would care that they lost, and didn't. How is that possible? Why don't I care? The Giants are my team!
I need to go back to sleep. Thanks to that damn party last night I barely slept.