Could this be the last Superbowl I’ll ever watch? Perhaps. I feel un-American just typing those words. I’ve been watching the BIG GAME since the third or fourth grade, nearly forty years of football. So why the change? I still like the game of football. In fact, it’s probably the only sport I enjoy watching on television. I even like the Superbowl commercials and the cheesy halftime shows. The games recently have been mostly exciting and well paced, not over by the end of the second quarter like they were so often in the late 80’s and 90’s. So what’s the deal?
1. We’re ditching cable television. There are so many channels and yet nothing is ever on. We only watch stuff on DVR or streaming through a service like Netflix or Hulu. On demand is fine, but they won’t let you fast forward through many commercials there any longer. Plus, take away the cable and phone and leaving only the internet will save us about a grand a year. One side effect of this plan will be that we have no access to sports, unless they offer a streaming package online. But…
2. Once I accepted the fact that I no longer needed nor wanted cable and confronted the fact that I’d be no longer be able to watch football, I found I didn’t really care. It just didn’t bother me. Why did I lose interest? The game has certainly changed. The players are all over the league. Fantasy football has altered the conversation. Aside from a few players, it seems that “team” means little. Follow the check. It’s a business. The pay scales are beyond ridiculous. The injuries are constant. It’s only a matter of time before a player is hit so hard that they are killed. And…
3. I’ve been trying to focus my attention on important things. Being where I am. Not being tethered to devices. Appreciating the moments that are passing me by. And when I pondered the Superbowl, I found that it wasn’t important in any way to me. Football was not important. In fact, it felt like a trap–just another extravaganza to muddle my thinking and keep from pondering the larger verities. Maybe this isn’t just about football. Maybe it’s not about cable television itself. Maybe it’s just about me. Aren’t there things I want to do?
4. Yes. Be with my family. Practice yoga. Read more. Write more. Visit with friends more. Be outside more. Build more. Search more. Connect. Only Connect! (thanks to E.M. Forster).
5. No, I’m not saying I won’t watch TV shows. I’m ready to start watching season 2 of Homeland and season three of Justified and a whole host of comedies (Parks and Rec, Modern Family, and Bob’s Burgers), but when I turn the television on, I want to be in charge of what’s on the screen. And football is one of the casualties.
6. So, yes, this might be the last Superbowl I watch. So, I have one request to the giant gladiator-like men that are about to collide with each other next Sunday: please make it a good one.