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My 35+ year relationship with the NFL is over.  We’re done.  Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs – though, realistically, much more of the latter than the former.  I’ve suffered through lock-outs, replacement officials, Michael Vick, the tuck rule.  Hell, the Raiders haven’t been competitive since Marcus Allen was running the ball.  But still I persevered.  I tried to make it work.  Really I did.  But this past weekend was the final straw, the tail end of a one week span in which everything that could have possibly gone wrong did: illogical coaching decisions, baffling quarterback play, a 1 in 55 aberration, and an injury at the worst possible time.  A perfect shitstorm of improbable bad luck coming together to deny my Snow Monkeys a playoff berth.  My Snow Monkeys, ranked #2 in our 14 team fantasy league in terms of overall record!  The third highest scoring team in the league!  Denied!

I thought the time away would help, but it hasn’t.  I could have accepted a playoff defeat, even a first round exit.  But to put in all that time and effort and still miss the post-season the way I did?  I am angry.  Bitter.  And a notorious grudge-holder.  Just the thought of tuning into an NFL game infuriates me.  The football gods screwed me over and still expect me to keep my NFL package?  It’s the equivalent to the love of your life dumping you in the most heartbreaking way possible and then hoping you can still be friends.

Forget it, sweetheart.  You’ve hurt me for the last time.  There are plenty of fish in the sea.  College football may not be as polished as you, but its more youthful and possessed of a raw charm you’ll never have.  The same goes for college basketball.  Hockey may not be as popular with the in crowd, but it’s a lot more exhilarating and, unlike you who is only around for six or seven months of the year, hockey seemingly never goes away.  Sure, baseball may lack the excitement you offer, but there’s something to be said for a classic that can’t break your heart because it’ll never really have it.  And then there’s the NBA… Well, I’m not that desperate.

Yes, it was a great ride and there will always be those happy memories. The Raiders Superbowl thrashing of the Washington Redskins.  Those Patriot Superbowl losses.  My Snow Monkeys capturing last year’s fantasy league championship. I’ll treasure them always.  And maybe, just maybe, a friendship could be possible in the distant future.  But only provided you accept responsibility for the hurt you caused by offering up one of the following:

An apology from Drew Brees for playing the worst game of his career when I depended upon him the most.

An apology from the Green Bay Packers organization for obstinately attempting to establish the run game down 3 touchdowns.

And apology from Aaron Rodgers for not once targeting James Jones in that impotent display vs. the Giants (preferred).

Until then, it’s time to go our separate ways.  And, should we pass one another on the street some day, me on my way to pick up an iTunes gift certificate for my sister, you in the throes of some resplendent televised playoff match-up, let’s – if not politely acknowledge one another – then reflect back fondly on the happier times.  That you ruined.

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to the Landsharks, Dead Reckoning, the Mighty Molsons, the Hurtin’ Albertans, the Mighty Merkins, Tebow Sucks, the Vinegar Strokes, and Crossplane.  Best of luck in the playoffs, boys!

25 thoughts on “December 4, 2012: Me and the NFL are done!

  1. My husband and sons would say you should try out baseball. We’re a baseball family here—watching as well as playing. Favorite teams are the Atlanta Braves and the Detroit Tigers. Why yes, I know that’s an unusual combination, but hubby has liked the Braves since he was a kid, and we spent four years on Michigan where younger son became a fan of the Tigers.

    Have a great night!

  2. I was done with the NFL about 10 years ago, and I don’t miss it one bit. Actually, I almost can’t stand watching football now, and I was a HUGE Broncos fan. I still have so much memorabilia/crap in boxes that I have no idea what to do with, and when I think of the money spent on games, trips to games, blah blah blah, I cringe! Now, going to Sci-fi conventions is different, right? Right? 🙂

  3. Hockey never goes away unless it’s the NHL which average a strike every decade. Here in Nash the ice has melted and the zamboni guy is doubling for Santa at the mall to pass the time.

    @das
    It’s funny to watch Boo watching the snow fall on the blog while snow falls on the blog showing him watch the snow fall on the blog

  4. @ Joey – Rugby, Joe…rugby. The only drawback to getting into the sport is that gridiron football fans usually can’t wrap their brains around the unpredictable nature of the game. But that’s the beauty of it…that, and when it rains…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOHEd4j4dXM

    😀

    @ Tam and ftloB – Boo is a terror! He ran outside today when I opened the door (I think he surprised himself, actually) and got scared, and bolted. Thankfully he took cover in a hedgerow and I was able to capture him. Now we must be very careful going in and out of the house, something we haven’t had to do with any of our cats. Being a kitty parent has never been this hard!!

    Okay, that’s all I got. We spent another whole day doing yard work and I am POOPED! We managed to rake all the leaves, pollard the crepe myrtle, straightened up the woodpile, cut back the grape vine, and cut down the clematis (paniculata – the invasive sort that has to be severely cut back each year or it will take over the world, like vinca vine 😡 ). I also tried to tackle said vinca, but I think I’m going to hire someone else to do it. It is THAT bad. It must really, REALLY love dry, acidic soil.

    I planted the vinca back in 1995 or 1996 in window boxes right after we bought the house. The first year or so it was okay, but then one year the vinca managed to reach the ground, and it took root. It crept around from the front of the house to the side, and then to the back. I didn’t mind it in the back because I have a lot of shade there and with the dry soil it’s hard to get things to grow. But on the side and front of the house where there’s more light the vinca just went crazy!! It grows on top of itself and if you don’t cut it back once or twice a year in just a couple of years it’s two feet deep!

    So I started pulling the stuff out and tossing it in my mulch pile. Now here’s the thing…my mulch pile is located behind my shed, where my property butts up to three others. All four properties have sheds or garages in this corner. Here the vinca took root and started growing like crazy, invading ALL of my neighbor’s yards by ‘hiding’ behind their sheds and garages. Ugh. 😛

    Okay…now I’m really tired. Nites!

    das

  5. Hey Joe,

    I was wondering if you could do me a HUGE favor? No, not that again. I signed up for Reddit.com’s Secret Santa, according to Guiness, it is the World’s Largest Secret Santa, this year boasting over 58,000 people across 124 countries. Anyways I ended up matching with a young girl in Belgium, among a few of her likes was Stargate. I was going to purchase some DVDs but then I learned they are in a different region and won’t work, so i picked up a few Stargate books and trading cards (who knew?). But I was wondering if you had a script or something you could sign? I think it would absolutely blow her socks off. I know you are a super busy, super secret guy, although I hear your Sundays have now opened up significantly. In exchange I would be more than happy to take you and Akemi out to lunch. I work nights and am available almost every day. Let me know, thanks!

  6. Well!! You’re dumping football? No! Football dumps you!! You choose a bad lineup and blame the game. Look within Joe, look within. Apparently you have forgotten all the good times. Typical. What about the weekly anticipation and excitement? What about all the family/friends gathering together and all the bonding? What about all that good food? The bake-offs for goodness sakes!! Pulled pork!! You willing to just walk away? “Nice know’in ya chum.” No! Don’t go like this! How can you be so cold? Give it another chance. The sun will come up tomorrow. Next year could be a super bowl year. Don’t leave this way! All you care about is winning? You’ve got to think about the snow monkeys. What about them?! Who’s going to take care of them? What about Lulu and Ivon’s Sunday dates? Pull yourself together man! Don’t be a quiter!

    Okay, fine. Enjoy your hockey. They’re on strike, you know. 😉

  7. Dearest Joe.

    Thanks again for the hospitality on Sunday. As you may or may not have noticed – I have drawn Daryl and his 158 pt monster of a team in my first round of playoffs. I have no chance.

  8. Obsession is always tough on the heart. You love too much for too long…and 🏈🏀⚾ can surely drive you nuts.

    I spent so many years as a ⚽soccer Mom. I do not watch the sport ever now.

    I did sit court side to a Jazz and Clipers game with a celebrity game after. That was a fun one time thing.

    Sports has to be in person for me. I worked for a year for FOX while they had the NFL, NHL, MLB & horse racing. I worked on all the big deals and was reminded that any error would get me fired. Murdock was obsessed with sports. I enjoyed TV and film much more.

    Your rant was great. Very to the point. *smiles*

  9. Your anger tells me you’re still a wee bitty stuck on game, but I’d walk away from it too as a person can only take so much disappointment. In my country it’s football that’s the big draw. But, as much as I love my country I can’t bear to watch the national side play…it’s too painful. They make your team look like a success story!

    Okay…here’s something to cheer you up. A really, really different version of the Three Pigs. Enjoy (I hope!)

    http://biggeekdad.com/2011/11/the-three-little-pigs/

  10. *reminds self never to disappoint Joe*

    I actually feel that way about most profession sports now – it frankly seems more of an entertainment industry than actual sports. It seems the real sports is down almost at the local or regional level. I used to watch NHL games with some frequency, but after the first strike a few years ago, I pretty much fell out of the habit and of course this year, it’s the same issue – how the owners and players and going to divvy up the untold gazillions from ticket sales, distribution rights and marketing. A pox on both their houses, I say!

  11. You want to try supportng the England Football team through a number of world cups.

    They break your heart every time.

  12. I’ve given up on football myself. I was a huge Raiders fan as a kid, and once the Eagles signed Vick, I switched back to the Silver & Black in a heartbeat. Then I realized that they really, really sucked. So I just gave up, and turned my full attention to hockey…

    So this season I’m doing a lot of reading and catching up on my favorite TV shows…

  13. Sorry for your loss, but pardner you have to get back up on that horse and ride like the wind, or fall off into a cactus patch, whats a little prickly feeling now and then. And think of all the good food that will be missed if you don’t have the get togethers.

  14. An NFL tidbit… while the teams are money making machines, the NFL itself is a non-profit organization. Huge tax breaks, like churches. Let’s close that loophole, hmmm?

    @quade1 … oooh, I’m doing reddit secret santa also! My giftee has zip online presence, other than she has two toddlers and “likes reading and drawing”. I painted a picture for her, and got books for her kids, plus a few other things. My SS found my Amazon wishlist, I’m going to die of embarrassment. Some time ago, I added “adult pleasure items” to mess with some friends and never took them off the list. Oh my. My santa must think I’m a raging pervert.

    Joe, if you can help quade, it would make that young lady’s holidays merry and bright!

    Speaking of Santas, hubby and I are going to Vegas for Santa Rampage … not too late to book tickets and buy a Santa suit … Santa needs a drink!

  15. I wonder how you’d feel about the NFL with your feelings not obscured by the lens of your fantasy football losses. I also wonder how you’re gonna feel next August when things start ramping up again and talk of draft day fills the air.

    Remember that feeling of assured contentment watching your fantasy team’s players play in their games after you had already won the championship last year? I do(because I won my league, too). It’s a great feeling of hubris-ic joy that you can ride into the first few weeks of the following year’s fantasy season.

    But, like you, in those years that I was not triumphant, as soon as I lost, I could care less about who’s doing what to what team, who’s got what amazing stats, or who did what amazing thing to get to the Super Bowl(did you know Apple has an autocorrect that capitalizes “Super Bowl”?).

    In fact, to me, fantasy football saved the NFL, in multiple ways. I was a staunch LA Rams fan mainly for their rivalry with the 49ers and partly because I’m a lifelong Dodgers man. When they move to St. Louis, I let them go. I chose not to “move” with the team because the rivalry didn’t mean as much as before, and it was kinda just an LA-convenient thing anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I was into football. Hell, I even played all four years in high school on both sides of the line!

    After the Rams left LA, I just became a fan of the sport again, no real favorite team. I had players I liked, but that was about it. I bandied about with liking the Vikings because part of my family is from Minnesota and some distant relatives still live there. But the same could be said of Seattle, so I never really settled.

    Then came fantasy football. Eight years ago, my friend approached me about this FF stuff, and I thought it(and he) was crazy. Well, since the time he convinced me to join, I’ve won the league twice, placed second once, placed third twice, and won the Toilet Bowl(where the two bottom teams play a best-of-three for half their money back) once. I’m essentially “in the black” with playing FF and hence my team name the last couple years was OperatingProfit. It’s that crazy, crazy up and down, who flew off the stat page, and “if this guy gets two more catches for 18 yards” or “if this kicker gets one more field goal” I’ll win scenarios that make it a true love-to-hate game. I love FF and I hate it. And I love to hate it, if that makes sense. I think you and I are a lot alike with respect to FF. Hell, probably half of the North American continent can commiserate with us.

    Except, I won my division and made it to the playoffs, again. Sorry. 😉

    “I’m so sorry, Mr. Cripple.
    But I just can’t feel too bad for you right now.
    Because I’m feeling
    So insanely super
    That even the fact that you can’t walk
    Can’t bring me down.”

    I truly don’t mean to rub it in, Joe! Honestly! I just know that you’ll know that song since you Stargate crew types were such big South Park fans(a fact that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside everytime I think about it 😉 ).

    No hard feelings?
    -Mike A.

  16. @deni. Sci fi conventions are definitely different. It’s about interacting with other fans as much as seeing or meeting the guests, and its interactive. You don’t just sit and cheer(unless you want to). You volunteer, you dress up, you get into debates in panels….all with an air where someone wins and someone loses.

  17. @joanie. Loved the three pigs. I would suggest reading Doc Savage pulp stories as well for enlightened erudition. Or at least to come across bigger words. Always loved translating johnny Littlejohn’s speeches..

  18. This sounds like a dysfunctional lover that knocks your socks off. Hate that lover when she breaks your heart, but given some time away, will be begging to take her back. You know NO ONE will let you forget about this statement come next year. Except for me because I probably won’t remember (LOL). And NO SUPERBOWL for you mister.

  19. Hey Joe

    Seeing that Denver is coming to Oakland tomorrow, it’s probably a good thing you’re getting out of football. 🙂

    Elminster

  20. Joe – You just need more time. This wound is still fresh and healing. Imagine you have some bumps and bruises from a bar fight – you would still be feeling the aches and pains. (For some reason I’m thinking of the poor bastards that took on SG-1 in Upgrades)

    I’ve been snake-bitten by the unexpected every year since I was lucky enough to have good health and production from my main guys and managed to pick up Colston his rookie year and play him as a TE because he was rated as a TE/WR by Yahoo and he had over 1k yards and 8 TD.

    On the bright side, your tales of woe have inspired me to scrub the waiver wire even more closely even though I’ve clinched the playoffs in both my leagues.

    My suggestion is that you join a more anonymous online league too so that you still have something to root for if one of them goes to crap.

  21. I’m done with the NHL. They can cancel the whole league for all I care. The fact that there is no season this year is just plain stupid. They have completely lost me. I love hockey but the NHL is just a bunch of spoiled good-for-nothing brats.

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