Why I Started Watching Football Again After A 5 Year Hiatus - A Special "Thank You" To The NFL League And Its Players.
In my early 20s, I fell in love with the kooky characters of the Tampa Buccaneers...
…Not long after that, I was blessed to actually witness my team defeat the Oakland Raiders to claim Super Bowl XXXVII. With Brad Johnson as his QB, and too-many-other-great-characters-to-mentions-in-this-short-blog, Jon Gruden took down his former team, and made me proud to be a fan. Those were the good ol’ days, full of interesting characters, and attainable statistic records.
In the years following, despite a cornucopia of games, spectacular plays, and new players to join the league, something was lost for me. There seemed to be more hype than ever, and I continued to join my friends for fantasy football drafts. However, my season ending rank gradually dropped as my interest did. For an unknown reason, and for me at least, the game had lost its luster...
Fast-forward to 2016
This season had began relatively similar for me as it had in the several years past. There were minor excitements when I got to see my old friends that I really only meet with once a year at the Saturday draft, the week before the season officially kicks off.
I couldn’t help but notice the gathering has humbled quite a bit, and there were noticeably more wedding rings and mentions of new babies at home. I think these new concepts actually drove our typical humour in a new direction, and for the better. I must admit.
When it comes to the actual “watching” of the games, it can be quite a commitment over the course of the season. I have always appreciated the NFL more than other leagues for having a more modest 16 game schedule. Compared to 82 hockey games a year, or the seemingly endless baseball season, this is much more manageable with my schedule. Having most of the games are on Sundays like clockwork, is a thing of genius.
At the beginning of the season of the past few years, I would typically watch several games. However by week 2 or 3, I would alway seem to find a more more productive way to spend my Sundays. Before long, football was on the back of my mind, and without keeping up with the players, my fantasy team would be lacking. Before I knew it, I would be out of playoff contention to those much more dedicated than I.
Something happened during this NFL season...
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but for whatever reason, I craved that excitement that I used to hold so dearly., and I definitely believe that the current state of national and international politics has at least partly to do with it.
The more turmoil and uncertainty in the world, the more we need our comfort zones, and to know that there is stability somewhere around us. This year, I found my solace with the fun and energetic youths of the NFL. (Not you, Kaepernick)
For this, I want to thank the NFL and to thank those players who have worked so hard this year to offer us some much-needed relief.