It’s been 30 years since I cared about football. At one time, it was a passion of mine. But somewhere along the line, the game stopped being interesting. It became predictable, even boring. So, I stopped watching games or even paying attention.
I recently tuned back in to see what’s what. Just a visit, mind you. I didn’t expect to get hooked again. And I didn’t.
But man…you go away for a few decades, and everything changes.
First of all, it seems like they had some sort of mix ‘n match with teams and cities while I was away. Los Angeles sent the Rams to St. Louis, which sent the Cardinals to Arizona, which sent…well, nothing…to Los Angeles. And what are the Ravens? What happened to the Colts? Oh, there they are…in Indianapolis. Sheesh…
And what’s with all these new team names? The Carolina Panthers? The Jacksonville Jaguars? The Tennessee Titans? They sound like the football equivalent of the Washington Generals. The only group I recognized were the Vikings and their traditional rivals: the Packers, Lions and Bears. Oh my.
The game itself has changed a bit, too. And not for the better. Apparently, kickoffs now are largely ceremonial affairs. First, there is a long series of commercials that fills the time it takes to move the kicking and receiving teams into position. This has apparently become a very complicated affair, given how many commercials are needed in the breach. It must be fascinating to watch…too bad we don’t get to see that intricate maneuvering, which has to rival Rommel’s tank movements in North Africa.
Once the ball is kicked, it flies into the end zone, where it is either caught and downed, or simply bounces out of play. That’s followed by several more commercials as the teams re-deploy their troops on the 20-yard line. So, there is about and hour and a half between the scoring play and the next real play. Double sheesh…
The flashy uniforms, the celebration for every play, and the sheer number of bodies on the sidelines are the other changes that jumped out at me. The game itself, sadly, was just as uninteresting as I remember.
I know lots and lots of people find football to be the most fascinating thing in the universe. I respect their opinion. I just don’t share it. I’m sure the good people of Jacksonville and Tennessee are excited when the Jags and Titans clash, but I can’t help but feel that putting the Harlem Globetrotters on the schedule might liven things up a bit.
It was just here a minute ago: The state capital of Texas has moved 15 times.