Football season is now completely upon us, after tonight every NFL team will have played a regular season game, the only ones that really matter. (I think they should do away with 2 preseason games at least and keep the regular season to 16 games. Just to state my two cents in regards to the upcoming labor talks.) I haven’t done the research but I think it is safe to say that every college football team has played a game at this point, as well.
Normally I can’t wait for football season to start. There is fantasy football to look forward to, the possibility that my team, the Kansas City Chiefs, wont suck quite as much as last year. (I know I’m an idiot but I put a bet on the Chiefs to win the AFC West Division. I put down $90 and if they do pull it off, I’ll be the happy winner of over $550, that’s how much of a long shot it is. Not a smart bet but it will keep me a lot more interested in the KC games this year. Thanks a lot Bill Simmons for luring me into the world of football gambling.) And most importantly of all, it is a new season with renewed hopes of another Texas Longhorn National Championship!
What’s odd is that the euphoric joy that usually accompanies football season for me has been tempered this year. Why, you ask? What could possibly keep you from fully enjoying another season of the glorious and most entertaining of all sports, football?
Well it mainly comes down to the fact that I have personal goals, such as training for the Austin marathon in February and getting at least a couple hours of writing in everyday, goals which are put in jeopardy due to the allure of football.
At least 4 hours of my Saturdays will be taken up watching my beloved Horns. Don’t get me wrong I love watching UT football games, but that’s a big chunk of time to dedicate every Saturday. Okay, I can handle that though, this past Saturday I made it a point to go to a coffee shop and write and read for 4 hours before the game started. So College football is tough but I can make time for the Longhorns and still be productive. Sunday’s with the NFL this is where the real problems begin.
I participate in a fantasy football league which is a blast, and last year I threw myself into it, reading articles, listening to podcast and constantly keeping up with stats on individuals and teams. It was great, a wonderful way to pass the time and enjoy the competitive spirit. This year I can’t spend all that time devoted to researching fantasy football, because I want to spend that time writing. Some would say, “why don’t you write about sports, that way you are merging the two passions.” I like that idea at first glance, but I enjoy sports too much to take it from a wonderful hobby and turn it into just something else I’m working on. I want to keep sports as a leisure activity, something I can do to decompress and get away from my other worries. I don’t want to be watching a game knowing in the back of my mind that I need to be researching and really paying attention to the details of the game so I can share my unique take about it later. I want to be able to plop down on the couch, crack open a cold beer and just enjoy the pageantry, the strategy, and the battle of wills. The problem, again, arises from how much I enjoy what football has to offer.
Yesterday, for instance, instead of spending a good 3-4 hours writing or reading, I said “screw it, I’m watching the Texans vs Colts.” Those of you who saw the game know it is evident that I made the right choice. Here was a franchise that had only beaten the Colts once in 16 tries. The Colts a juggernaut of talent and precision, at least in comparison to the Texans, coming off of a gut wrenching Super Bowl loss are finally defeated by the formally doormat Texans. I’m probably blowing this out of proportion and the Texans will end up losing 10 games this year, but it was really an amazing thing to see unfold. It was truly a break out game, in which the Texans didn’t lose their lead late in the game as per the usual, they ran all over the Colts, and seemed to rattle the machine of a quarterback that is Peyton Manning. We could be looking back to this game as the game that changed the paths of these two franchises. Did we just witness the beginning of the end of the Colt’s dominance in the AFC South? Are we finally going to see the Texans harness their potential and talent and start to carry the confidence that “yes we deserve to be in the playoffs, we deserve to make a run at this division?” Only time will tell, but if this does end up being a turning point for one or both of these franchises, I know I’ll enjoy saying “I saw that game.” If I am true with myself though, I wish I could say “No, I missed that one; I was working on my writing.” Stupid maturity and wisdom with age.
Guess that’s the problem with true goals, you have to sacrifice in order to reach them.