OMG I turned 60 and forgot to fall in love with the NFL; is it too late?

OK, I didn’t actually forget.  Turns out the game of football hasn’t ever held much interest for me.  But now that I’m entering the twilight years, I wonder if perhaps I’m missing out on something by avoiding football games — especially the NFL pro games on TV.  Certainly the millions and millions of people who tune in every Sunday (and many Mondays, and now a bunch of Thursdays) must see something in the game that I have somehow missed.

So here’s my plan.  I’m going to give NFL football another chance.  When the regular season gets going next week I’ll be on board, ready to watch.

You’re welcome, NFL.

Boulder.OrangeAspenThere’s one catch, though.  Although I live in Minnesota, I don’t want to try to become a fan of the Minnesota Vikings.  It’s not that I have anything against the franchise, it’s just that I don’t feel any particular connection to them, either.  Also, I’m certainly not going to attend any games in person;  the Vikings’ old stadium got torn down and they’ll be playing outside this season (in frosty Minnesota?  No thanks).   No, like most fans, I will experience the game virtually via television and web streaming.  That being the case, I can bestow my support onto any team(s) in the NFL that I want.

So I’m shopping for a couple football franchises to fall in love with.  I think I’ll pick one from the AFC and the other from the NFC, and I’ll work hard in the upcoming months to get behind those two teams.  I’ll learn about the players, bone up on team history, and really allow that imaginary bond to grow between the players and myself.  I want to be able to say they’re “my” teams.

One team I may select to love is the New Orleans Saints.  I like that city, I’ve been taken with the drama of the whole Hurricane Katrina/SuperDome story, I’ve heard they’re pretty good, and I like their logo.  Whatta ya think?  That leaves me with another team to select for my affection and I’m pretty wide open, although it probably shouldn’t be the Green Bay Packers because those are the traditional rivals of the Vikings and I don’t want to get in the middle of that whole deal.

While I’m at it, I think it would be fun to select a couple teams to really hate.  Not with any “I’m going to commit a criminal act at the stadium” hatred, but just in that good ol’ American sense of having a most despised opponent.  With those enemy teams selected, I think I can really have some fun this fall.  If neither of “my” teams is playing a game that I have access to, it’s likely one of my enemy teams will and I can root for their opponents to win.

So here’s the question:  If you had to pick two NFL teams to love and two to hate (one from each conference), which ones would they be?

Comments welcome.  Do more real stuff.  Thanks for reading.

8 thoughts on “OMG I turned 60 and forgot to fall in love with the NFL; is it too late?

  1. I too have come around to professional football. After years of despising everything about the NFL, I had to come around if I wanted to spend ANY time with my husband. This has, as of last week, culminated in my joining a Fantasy Football league. The name of my team? “Stockholm Syndrome”.
    So here is a suggestion from another novice: If you want to love the Saints, your natural NFC adversary should be the Cowboys. Why? It’s oh so easy.
    As for the AFC, you picked a great nemesis in the Patriots. But a “hero” team? There are so many underdogs. But the team that feels the need for another chance, go with the Indianapolis Colts. Or if you want to have the same feeling as Cub fans, those “never say die” folks, pick the Cleveland Browns. (There is some interesting history for you!)
    Looking forward to reading more about this journey!

    • Holy cow Jen — what a great and helpful tip. And congrats on being the FIRST person to comment on this blog. I also smiled that you’re a Fantasy player (did you notice the post I just put up about the piece that appeared yesterday on CBS This Morning? I don’t judge you at all for joining — but I didn’t care for the shameless way CBS promoted it. Dallas — I’ll certainly take it under advisement. I’m a big fan of underdogs, so I’ll pay attention to the Colts and the Browns, too. Thanks!

  2. I wrote a paper in college on football: how it evolved with social customs and expectations following the industrial revolution. I was so impressed with my idea! Got a B. I used to watch it weekly but stopped in the 80’s. Now they have teams I’ve never heard of. I suggest you hate the Dallas Cowboys. They cheat. Ever since the famous Drew Pearson incident no self respecting Minnesotan has forgiven them.

    • Hi Beth! I would really to read that paper. But knowing when you went to college, I imagine it’s not available to attach digitally! Can you believe we typed all that stuff on actual paper? I thought of hating Dallas — just noticed on WCCO last night that they’re the most valuable franchise in the league — over 4 billion or so. Yikes. And of course I don’t know who Drew Pearson is/was, so that’s something for me to look into. Thanks for the tip!

      • Ha, Fred – no my paper is not available digitally. I’m not even sure I still have it! I’d have to clean out the very back of the top shelf of the linen closet to find out if it’s there,and THAT’S not going to happen. Hitting 60, facing the best years of our lives – it’s important to learn something new, challenge ourselves and do what is necessary to nurture healthy relationships. I like your blog – maybe reading this I’ll rekindle some affection for the game, tho I’m pretty sure it is dying. Remember Les and I were sports editors (to interact with boys) but lots of our good stories were written by Joe Kimball, of St. Paul Pioneer Press fame, and published book author.

        • And outstanding editors you were! Thanks for the kind words about my fledgling blog — needless to say I’m new at this. And you’re right, I hope, that the best years are ahead. Whether TV football actually will add value to them — we’ll see. And I’d like to think that Joe K learned everything he knows from you and Les.

  3. Fred-I am an off again on again NFL fan whose history of fandom has mainly been regional. When I was zero to three, I probably heard the Colts on local Baltimore radio or crawled across the floor while Johnny Unitas was throwing passes on the television in our living room. Actually, that’s very unlikely as my father never got the whole ‘sports’ thing. BTW, as you may know, the Colts preceded the Ravens in Bal’more. Then, on to MA where I wore Patriots pajamas as a third grader, and loved saying the name “Nick Buoniconti.” Dad took a job in NYC, and it was the Giants. LT kicked everyone’s arse back then…sorry Joe Theismann (ouch). We moved to the midwest, and my mom has been a die-hard Cheesehead ever since. I’ve watched the ongoing struggles of the Vikings, and even been to a game or two. What does this all mean? Fair-weather, whatever’s close…works for me. You are likely more discerning. You always have had good taste-why not in football too? (But if you route for Dallas-a curse upon you!) Be well friend. Miss you.

    • Thanks, Nick — I love this story. And actually I had no idea the Colts preceded the Ravens. But I love the narrative of the young lad traversing the nation and shifting loyalties to whatever team was at hand. Do you happen to have a photo of yourself in those Patriots jammees? Your advice re: Dallas is noted; I don’t think there’s any chance that I’ll choose to love them, and from what I’m hearing from folks I’m concluding that the Cowboys are almost too easy to hate. I may just disregard them until they come up against my Saints or Broncos. Thanks for posting!

Comments are closed.