Maybe it’s because I’ve been too busy to watch more than one NFL game this year. Maybe it’s because I’m not part of a fantasy football league anymore. Maybe it’s because my favorite team since I was a child, the New England Patriots, is done for the season. Maybe it’s because I’m consciously not calling it the “Super Bowl” so I don’t run afoul of the NFL’s trademark. Maybe it’s because I only know one song by the halftime artist, Bruno Mars. Maybe it’s a combination of those things, but I’m just not as excited as usual for “the Big Game” this year.
Like many casual sports fans, I’ll enjoy watching the masterful quarterback play of Peyton Manning. I’ll be happy to see Seattle’s much-talked-about defense (especially if they get some sacks). I’ll get upset when the referees miss a call that will decide the winner of the game. I’ll get a kick out of the super-creative commercials and I’ll scratch my head at the ones that are so creative that they seem really, really stupid to me. At the end of the game, I’ll congratulate my friends who are big fans of the winners, and I’ll commiserate with my friends who are big fans of the second-place-team (it’s not PC to call them losers). But none of that has me really fired up.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the sport. As a former coach and athlete, I appreciate the tremendous physical, mental, and emotional efforts that are all a part of it. I love the strategies and the gamesmanship involved throughout, from the linemen all the way to the owners. I’d love to be able to listen in to the locker rooms during halftime to hear the coaches (instead of listening to Bruno Mars) so I could work on my technique! But they’re not going to broadcast that, so we’ll have to settle for my 2011 version for now.
What I DO look forward to is cooking with my kids for the game (we’re making homemade pizza)! I look forward to watching them get excited for a big play. I can’t wait for them to ask questions throughout the entire color commentary and be silent during the commercials (ok, that was a little sarcastic). In short, I’m excited for the family memories we’ll make AROUND the game. In the final analysis, whether you’re rooting for the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks, shouldn’t the family and friends that you watch the game with be the real reason you’re cheering?