Now that baseball is in the post season, most people i know are very much into football at the moment. I have a few friends who are into hockey, but given the slow the start the Blackhawks are off to, most of the sports talk is about football. At one point in time, I actually had a huge working knowledge of football and was a huge Bears fan. I would have been able to carry on a conversation about football to the same extent that I can baseball. However, now, I am not so much interested in football anymore. Not because of some sort of dislike of violence (have ya watched a hockey game lately and seen some of the vicious hits those guys take), but because I find it dull.
Due to this new-found boredom of watching football I can root for whoever you tell me to. I will often go to bars to watch games because I am *that* fan who will yell at the tv at players who do dumb things. Not normally a problem except my upstairs neighbors are elderly and probably hate hearing me yell for dumb things that happen on the ice, the football field or the baseball field. So as a courtesy to them, I give them the occasional break from my yelling and watch at a bar. Because I have very little interest in football, I have actually seen more than my fare share of Packers games with some friends who are Packers fans. So many in fact, that I know most of the Packers cheers even though I grew up in an area that was decidedly Bears country.
All of that is fine and good except that I don’t understand college football (passion — i understand the game perfectly well) and the madness that accompanies those games. This may be because I missed out on that fun from college. I went to DePaul University and we did not have a football team. During football season, my school got a little “nutso” in the head and would root for Notre Dame during football season. I suppose mainly because it was the closest catholic school with a decent football program (although, that is hugely debatable). In any event, all love for Notre Dame ended when it was basketball season because the Blue Demons do actually have a basketball team (although, there is tons of work to do to make that program great again).
If I were a college football fan, then I should be a Fighting Irish fan. Personally I never became a fan of Notre Dame because I thought it was dumb to root for them just because of my school’s lack of a football team, the whole catholic school connection and because of my waning interest in football. Due to this, I never understood the whole devotion of saturdays to college football games and wondering who was ranked where and who was going to be in the BCS title game. However, lately, I have found myself expanding my horizons and occasionally watching games. And of all the teams to be interested in following, I have been interested in the University of Michigan Wolverines. I have to blame this on the fact that I know many people who went to Michigan and because one of the beat writers for the White Sox went to Michigan as well. That alone wouldn’t really do it to make me have a passing interest in Michigan. However this writer will also talk about the many White Sox players who have ties to Michigan. And if White Sox players are involved, somehow I find a bit more interest in something. As some people know, somehow many things I do in life somehow will relate back to the White Sox. I suppose that makes sense as to why I have a passing interest in Michigan. Although for picking a random team to follow, Michigan State would make a bit more sense since my sister went to school there and I actually own a sweatshirt from that school.
My biggest reason for just not understanding the whole college football experience is probably because of knowing so many people who root for teams that they have ZERO connection to. Or those who spend so much time rooting for their alma mater that I wonder if they have lives outside of keeping up with what their college teams did. I suppose the same could be said of my sports obsessions (White Sox, Blackhawks), but in my mind those are justified because they are professional teams as opposed to college. But the college games are a HUGE business, so maybe they are equal in some regard minus the college players getting paid.
Anyway, I am going to try to just enjoy it for what it is and not necessarily root for anyone, but at least see who might be the next great players in the NFL may be one day. And I won’t let anyone in on my dirty little secret when it comes to discussing football with many hardcore fans 🙂