Lets rewind for a second and return to Saturday…
It all started when I was walking with my friend to a terrible Hollywood bar called “The Tavern.” Terrible for the service, not really anything else. As we were walking my friend said, “Hey do you know whose winning the Broncos game?” I said, “no.” It was at that moment I realized, I don’t really care about other games, and I’m probably not going to care about football if the Packers lose.
This thought scared because this is what I call… The 2007 zone.
The 2007 Zone:
In 2007 Brett Favre was in his final year and the Packers were doing work on the Giants in the NFC Championship game. In what can only be described as overtime madness the Giants proceeded to beat the Packers 23-20, which sent me in to a tailspin of hell. That night I proceeded to drink more than Charlie Sheen and argued with anybody. I was irrational. I was angry. But most importantly, I was embarrassed the next morning.
I called my friend and I told him I couldn’t get like that again, ever! He agreed. And I didn’t. It was my unofficial Frank The Tank moment.
When we arrived to the Tavern the Broncos game was coming to its unbelievable conclusion. The Broncos were about to lose on an improbable bomb from Matt “Jack” Ryan. Two guys, who were Broncos fans, and their girlfriends, who probably don’t care about sports, were sitting across from us. Watching them watch the game was basically foreseeing a domestic violence incident. These guys were pissed. At one point one of the guy’s girlfriends tried to kiss him and he batted her hand away. It was one of those moments where you could have swooped in on the girl and stole her from her boyfriend simply because the guy looked so fucking stupid.
I leaned over to my buddy and said “Dude, I really hope I don’t feel like these guys when our game is over.” He agreed and we had a nice laugh. But then it hit me - Watching these guys depressed in all their glory reminded me… The 2007 Zone. I mentally prepped for the worst-case scenario. I should have seen it coming. These guys were an omen.
And then it happened…
Colin Kaepernick decided to go Bo Jackson Techmo Super Bowl on everyone and he ran the Packers in circles. It was a difficult thing to watch. The last time I watched a Packers playoff game and felt so helpless was when Mike Vick crushed them in 2003 at home. I knew Kaepernick was going to be a problem, I felt it, I just didn’t realize how big of a problem and I still felt good about the game.
900 rushing yards later the game was over. At the start of the 4th quarter I asked my stupid waitress to close out. I wanted to bail and not deal with what was happening but apparently someone misplaced my credit card. Watching them try to find this thing was excruciating. It took about 20 minutes to track down and in that time I was surrounded by TVs and 49ers fans, all I wanted to do was run. It felt like one cruel joke. The Packer Gods wanted me to absorb what was happening.
The absorption and my stupid waitress may have been the best thing that happened to me. I realized that as much as I hated the game I’m fortunate it didn’t end like the Broncos game. I’m not sure I could’ve handled that. But I could handle this. I made peace knowing that the Packers got it handed to them. It was another game in a seemingly never-ending cycle of emotional ups and downs. I realized that I pretty much have moved on from the 2007 zone, I’ve grown. Fucking time does crazy things to a person.
The Packers season ended and so did my football-watching season. Every year I go through this push and pull. I wonder why I like sports and why I waste my time. I don’t know if I can go through another season of this. I wonder how long my push and pull love hate with sports will last. Hopefully I’ll come to terms sooner or later.
Damn you, sports.