Tonight, the first game of the 2015 NFL season kicks off. FOOTBAW! Whoooooooo! America!
It was three years ago in this spot that I renounced my Washington Redskins fandom. Many readers scoffed in the comments section, predicting that I'd be back, that I'd find being a football fan without a team distasteful. So I chose a team.
I even made a trip to New Orleans to consummate my relationship with the Saints. Um, wait, that sounds weird. I didn't go to New Orleans to do that - I went to drink a shitload, listen to incredible music, and eat way too much. That part went really well.
But the Saints thing didn't take. Even so, I haven't looked back on leaving the Redskins. Their performance on the field, and more importantly, continued abject dysfunction and deaf disregard for fans and public opinion have made that breakup particularly easy on me.
And now, as a new season dawns, I find myself...unmoved. Used to be, the start of a new NFL season was a cause for celebration. Today, I think it's unlikely that I'll even watch the Patriots and the Steelers. And Sunday, I've got to travel to Charlottesville for my daughter's soccer game, and typing this sentence is the first I realized that it'll mean I won't watch any NFL games that day.
I'm fine with that.
I really don't know what the tipping point was in my drift away from professional football. Certainly, the NFL's grotesquely mishandled "investigation" of the Patriots' footballs played a role, and the league's egregious self-importance in that and so many other public efforts. I think the growing consensus regarding the game's impact on player health and the gladiatorial implications is a part of it. My burgeoning interest in soccer, too. (Two weeks ago, when my family was out of town, I watched 8 soccer games in a weekend. I don't know if I'll watch 8 NFL games all season.)
But whatever the reason, I really don't care that the NFL is starting today. I know lots of you do, though, so enjoy. Here's some Morrissey to get you in the mood.