I’ve made a big show about poo-pooing the NFL prior to this season. I still don’t really like the organization, but I’ve decided to lighten up a bit. I’ve decided that it’s OK to watch the NFL. I think I’ve watched almost all of the Vikings’ games this year, and you know what, I’m kind of enjoying them. It definitely helps that they are 4-0 and that their defense is one of the best in the league.
What’s changed? I’ve accepted that I am not going to agree with everything I take in. If I only consumed sports, movies, food, television, and other content that I 100 percent agree with, I probably would be pretty bored and hungry. (And there is plenty of shady stuff happening in my favorite sport, professional soccer.)
I also probably accepted that the NFL doesn’t really care about me. I’m usually taking care of other things while the game is on, I’m never going to buy tickets, and I’m not going to spend money on merchandise. I’m also perfectly fine with doing other things on Sunday afternoons (because fall is awesome.)
I also read something a few weeks ago about how it’s not good when voices leave a conversation. If there are only “stick to sports” fans left, what hope is there for change? I like talking about Colin Kaepernick. I think the domestic violence is a problem. I also think it screws over towns with new stadiums. If only apathetic fans are left, I don’t know if there will be too much hope for change. (Granted, I’m overhyping how important my voice is, but still.)
I’ve also come to accept that it’s OK to have fun. This year hasn’t been great on a national news front. (Personally, I’ve had a pretty great year.) It’s just a slog through arguments, deaths, disasters, and a bunch of other things. People are uptight, angry, and really annoying on Facebook. I don’t know of a national medicine, but football is probably the closest we’ll come. The Olympics tried and did just fine, but it was a two-week event and we’ve already forgotten many of the awesome storylines. (Maybe Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hosting of SNL will help a little bit.)
A few weeks ago, I wrote about people liking the Bachelor and how I’d judge them for it. I still think the Bachelor is equivalent to the NFL on a television front. It always seems to be on, people (mainly women, but not only) love discussing the dirt, and it’s also, frankly, a terrible product. Not in a production sort of way, but in the example it sets. It sets unrealistic expectations, it’s trashy, and it puts terrible people front and center on your television. After watching that, I’m OK with watching the Vikings.
It’s good to have fun. It’s good to take your mind off of the news of the day for a while. It’s fine to have something to root for. It’s also fine to acknowledge the many problems with something. Life is too hard to not have something you can enjoy.