Boots & Sabers

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1056, 15 Oct 17

To NFL or Not to NFL

I’ll just say it. I love football. As a child of Texas, football was a way of life. From the JV games on Thursday, to Friday Night Lights, to college football Saturdays, to the NFL on Sunday and Monday, I love it all.

After the NFL protests started, I found my habits changing. Sundays used go church, brunch, and then sit down to watch pre-game and NFL football for 10 or 11 straight hours. But the NFL protests have changed that for me. I’ll still watch my Cowboys play when it’s convenient. The same is true for the Packers. But that’s about it. I’m just not interested in the rest anymore. I’m not interested in spending time patronizing a business that clearly doesn’t value me as a customer. I still love the game, but I’m finding it easier and easier to do without the NFL. There is lot of football to enjoy without the NFL.

I’m not boycotting. It wasn’t really even a conscious decision. The NFL just turned me off… so I turned them off.


1056, 15 October 2017


  1. Brian

    Can I add something? As someone from Wisconsin, even from near Green Bay, I’ve always been put off a little with the obsession with the Packers, and the NFL. Half the paper has been devoted to it for as long as I’ve been alive. The way it takes over people’s lives has always struck me as simply pathetic. Even more so the last couple of decades as the league has been taken over by players with gross personalities (Favre?) and outright criminals.

    The last couple of decades, the sort of monopoly behavior of the NFL as a form of entertainment has given way to the usual issues: total disregard or even disgust for its customers, cheaper/crappier product while prices increase in the form of tickets, concessions, television packages and the like, and then the general hatred towards traditional acts of civic participation, like the anthem business.

    It’s a sport that would not exist at the level it does without billions of dollars of taxpayer support, starting with peewee park & rec leagues up to high school-sponsored stadiums, equipment and personnel, then the hundreds of college programs which make no money but are paid for through student fees, general tuition revenues, etc, and then the grand summit of the sport, End-of-the-Roman-Empire sized coliseums that are used maybe 12x a year.

    Overall, I wish the sport the worst. People should use Sunday to get outdoors, lift weights, make home cooked meals, (gasp) read a book, spend quality time with the spouse. Overall, get a life. It doesn’t matter if you are an (R) or a (D), the NFL does not care about you. The billionaire owners don’t care, the millionaire plays don’t care. The jackasses on sports radio don’t care. Move on. Get a life.

  2. Owen

    I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t begrudge people their passions. Many people get into their music, movies, sports, hobbies, or whatever entertainment they enjoy. It’s harmless and fun. Sports, in particular, become fun just as a proxy for rooting for your side. It’s fun to swap trash talk with folks from other areas when it’s done with good spirits.

    What has also been fun about the NFL is that its popularity has made it a great neutral bastion of conversation. I can’t tell you how many conference call I get on over the course of a month with people from all over the country and the conversation turns to NFL football. Or when on vacation in another country, seeing someone with a Cowboys hat on can become an immediate ice melter. But now it has ceased to be that. Some of those conversations quickly turn to, “man, what about the kneeling?” and one is forced into an inappropriate cultural/political conversation. I’ve gone back to talking about the weather or college sports instead when in unfamiliar company.

  3. Brian

    Owen, I think at least part of the difference is that in Texas, the Cowboys have been great but not the exclusive source of entertainment that the Packers have been in Northeast Wisconsin. Even as a Washington County resident, you can’t imagine the intensity of interest or obsession with the Packers the closer you get to Green Bay. It is truly the only game in town.

  4. MjM

    I thinks it’s more than “the only game in town”.  It’s pride in the fact that the team survives as a publicly-owned, true blue-collar, small town, non-glitzy organization as opposed to a field of narcissistic gazillionair owners and hollywood-ish mega-metropolises.  In this regard, the GBP are seen as the ‘little engine that could”, and not just by in-state folk.  And Lambeau Field truly has more of a high-school or college feel to it.  Indeed, we don’t have half-naked fake cowgirl cheerleaders running around;  we have actual high-school cheerleaders.

    And sorry (not sorry) Owen, but Note to Cowboy fans:  people outside of Dallas snicker behind your back when you make that silly claim.  The entire world knows the Green Bay Packers are the real “America’s Team”.

    I was a cheesehead before there were cheeseheads.  I watched Superbowl I and II as an 8 then 9-yr old, suffered though the post-Lombardi 30-yr calamity, and rejoiced at the return of great football to GB upon the arrival of Brett Favre and Reggie White.  I wear my smelly, worn #66 jersey with the strange word “Nitschke” on the back on game day.

    But I’ve also always been a football fan.  What I mean by that is, I HATE and DESPISE the Da Bears – I spit on their Superbowl Shuffle – but I could watch Walter Peyton highlights all day long.  And one of my best friends is a die-hard Bears fan.  And the digs and insults – and beer – passed back and forth is all in good harmless fun.

    Lastly, I believe that those who have participated in teams sports at some time in their lives are also more likely to be big sports/team followers and, yes, perhaps fanatics.  As the saying goes, it’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  There is nothing in the world like it, and even if your participation is now just cheering on your chosen team you still get a bit of that feeling.



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