Love/Hate Relationship: The NFL

Image I can’t believe what I’m about to type but I’m going for it anyway; I can foresee a day when I don’t watch the NFL anymore.

If you don’t currently know this, I’m a massive Green Bay Packers fan. When Brett Favre tossed an interception against the New York Giants during the 08-09 playoffs I cried. My friend Alex and I had mental breakdowns. We collectively went into the parking lot of our apartment and drank, bitched, groaned, screamed, and then drunkenly patted each other on the back. It was a low point in my life. I was 25 years old. I was a total loser.

The following morning Alex and I agreed that we loved the Packers too much (if there is such a thing) and both said we had to bring it in a little bit, and from that moment I did kind of bring it in. I dialed down my love, which actually translates to: I don’t drink that much during football games.

Years later I’m the slightly mature version of that human that once was, but I can feel the earlier version of me creeping back into my system. Last week when I found out Clay Matthews was injured I was pissed, then to see Randall Cobb, and James Jones get taken out in the same game I was irate. I went on a rant to anyone who would listen, only to be hit with the realization that I hate injuries in a football game. They’re obvious, common, and still infuriating.

I get it, injures are part of any sport, but the NFL seems to be leading the injury market… obviously. It’s a full contact “I want to rip your head off now” sport. I get it. I get that the NFL is a team sport. I get all the obvious things you could say but there is a growing issue inside of me that is having an adverse reaction to the NFL. The injuries are causing me to actually dislike the sport, for two reasons really. First reason being based solely on how brutal it is, the second reason because it causes the NFL to be completely sporadic.

I realize injuries have always been around but lately it’s really affecting me. Maybe it’s the media and the constant covering of sports. Maybe it’s the sports media constantly talking about neck injuries. Maybe it’s the sports media constantly talking about how to hit in the NFL. Maybe it’s the effing media! Maybe… But maybe not.

My awareness of how injuries impact a NFL game is literally hurting my viewing experience. Not only am I rooting for my team to properly execute, but also I’m rooting for my team to make it through the full 60 minutes without a serious injury. This inevitably makes me question whether I can put up with an extra layer of rooting.

Oh wait, shit, maybe I’ve reverted into the old version of me more than I thought. Are my emotions taking over? Is there any way to be more pragmatic about this approach? Am I just hiding my overbearing emotions somewhere deep in my soul? Is this normal?

So many questions, such little time. Hopefully I can one day find a perfect harmony to this balance but I think that means taking another step away from football and not care as much. If I keep taking these steps away I’m going to eventually find myself further away than I ever thought, unfortunately, I can envision this happening.

Until then… Go Packers.

Oh, and hopefully Jermichael Finley recuperates while he’s in the ICU from the neck injury he experienced yesterday. Effing, football.