Confessions of a Football Fan: I Hate Watching Games With People
I love the NFL more than any other sports league. Growing up in New Orleans, the Saints have always been “my team.” The reason I put that in quotes is because while I cheer for them and want to see them do well, my Monday isn’t affected by a black and gold win or loss.
As a season ticket holder, I used to spend my Sundays driving to New Orleans, tailgating and enjoying the Saints play in the Superdome. That was the highlight of my week up until a few years ago. I can count on one hand the number of home games I missed from 2004-2014. Now, I just sell them. I can count on two hands the number of games I have been to in the last 4 years.
As the years go on, the less desire I have to go. I started realizing during the run of 7-9 seasons, my desire dwindled. Between the time and money, I just didn’t feel like spending my Sundays watching the Saints throw themselves out of games. I didn’t want to watch losses repeatedly and spend my money in the process. I am what fans would call a “front runner” or “bandwagoner.”
Most people get up in arms about fans calling them that. I don’t care. I approach sports and entertainment with a simple rule, entertain me. If you can’t, I will find other things that will.
In the NFL, I promise you there is another team who can entertain me if the Saints play poorly. These day I just want my fantasy team to do well so that is really the only team I really cheer for.
Maybe I am not loyal, sue me. I would be willing to bet many of the people pointing the fingers probably aren’t either. I used to be at the Dome on Sundays during the Aaron Brooks era (a moderately successful era given the Saints standard for success prior to) and saw empty stands despite having a competitive team.
Like I said, it comes down to time and money for me. I spend too much when I go to the city and I would rather not make an all day affair out of a game that may end up being boring to watch.
The biggest reason why I lost interest in attending boils down to fans and being around other people.
I was watching the Saints and Cowboys Sunday Night Game a few weeks back at a restaurant/bar near my house with friends. I couldn’t help but mock and eye roll at the others watching. I let it slide for most of the first half. But by the second half of action, I couldn’t help myself.
Nothing was ever a penalty on the Saints. There were three clear and obvious holds by the Saints offensive line that I remember. When they showed the replay, there were two people in front of us screaming “hOw iS ThAt a PeNaLtY?”
All three of the holds had Saints players wrapping the arm around the neck of the Cowboys defensive linemen. It was the most blatant hold imaginable. Sure, those people probably don’t understand the rules. Then don’t be an armchair official.
Then there was a group of drunken guys at the bar moaning and groaning every time Teddy Bridgewater dropped back to throw a pass. They were making comments about how bad he is compared to Drew Brees and there HAS to be someone better out there.
One, you’re comparing him to a Top 5-7 QB ever and a likely first ballot Hall of Famer so no, he isn’t comparable. You’re setting him up to fail if you think he is. That is a you problem.
Two, there is a quarterback who isn’t on a team right now that is better than Bridgewater and has more meaningful wins to his name. If I had to guess based on their appearance and living in Louisiana, they probably wouldn’t want him on the team anyway. I will leave it at that.
By the end of the night, I just sat at my table laughing maniacally and making comments among my friends, but just loud enough to where maybe it would echo back to those in the bar.
For every time Bridgewater completed a pass, I would just scream “hE CaN’t ThRoW tHe BaLl!”
For every time I heard someone complain or question a call from the officials, I would make some snide comment. At one point as soon as “flag” popped up on the screen, one of the people cried “bullshit.” The referee said the flag was on Dallas so of course I took the liberty of screaming “oH BuLlShIt” after the call.
That night reminded me why I hate watching sporting events outside of my home or with close friends. Even some of them, I would rather not. There are a handful of people I can tolerate being around for games.
I get it. You’re cheering for your team. So am I, but that shouldn’t equate to being blind to what is happening. It makes me cringe hearing people bitch about every penalty, play call or anything negative that happens within the game.
I choose to spend my Sundays watching NFL Redzone at home with my wife and worrying more about my fantasy teams. Football life is much easier for me that way.