I was once told by a friend of mine that if I pretended to like football, guys would like me more. Because isn’t that every girl’s dream? Changing who she is to please a man? Maybe that friend was right, I don’t know. But with the Super Bowl this weekend, it has never been more clear to me that I don’t like football and I never will.
This past month, and honestly all fall, I have been trapped in conversation after conversation about football. You must have been in similar conversations. They start innocently enough, “Who do you think will win this year?” But inevitably they delve into the specifics, “What do you think of Johannesburg*?” And they always get ridiculous, “How is your fantasy team doing?”
*Fake player’s name. But doesn’t it kind of sound real?
When asked these questions myself, I always smile politely and say that I don’t really care. From a family of aggressive Patriots’, Giants’, and Bills’ fans, you can imagine how well this went over when I was asked this at Christmas.
I don’t have opinions about football. I’ve commented on a number of occasions that I think the NFL could replace the football players on their advertisements with stock models and I would not be able to tell the difference. I don’t have a fantasy team, I don’t follow a favorite player, and I honestly don’t care very much who will win this year.* If Super Bowl Sunday didn’t promise endless delicious chicken wings, I probably wouldn’t partake in it at all.
*Unless it’s the Green Bay Mermen.
But each January I start to feel peer-pressure to be watching the games, to be rooting for a team, to belong somewhere. And maybe that friend of mine was right, maybe guys would like me more if I watched football. But either way, I’m going to sit this season out.
I actually like sports and therefore I know firsthand how annoying it is to have a disingenuous fan rooting for your team. You know that friend? The one who gets so pumped for the upcoming game and then somehow doesn’t know a single player’s name? That person is the worst. Why should I be that person? Why would anyone want me rooting for their team?
I made the tragic mistake of going to a bar two weekends ago with a few of my friends to watch the Patriots’ game. I had been lured there by the promise of previously-mentioned chicken wings and beer, but when I got there I felt terribly out of place. Something about the men and women in that bar, shouting at players, refs, coaches and at each other, made me cringe. Halfway through the game I pulled out my computer and started working on my resume. I’m not joking. (Job hunting is getting stressful lately.)
So to that friend who told me I should pretend to like the sport, and to anyone else who thinks football is the beginning and end of everything, I guess I let you down on this one. I’ll sit this season out. And, to be honest, probably all the seasons to follow. Drat, I guess I’ll just have to improve my personality in order to get guys to like me more. (Heavy sarcasm.) I don’t need to pretend to like anything to impress anyone. And even if I did, guys in tights that carry a ball two yards at a time? I think I’ll pass.