So, apparently there is a big football game this Sunday that most of the country will watch.
I am not sure I will.
As a Green Bay Packers fan, it’s hard to watch other teams enjoy success when your team is so tantalizingly close to reaching the pinnacle of the game.
Granted, this year’s loss in the NFC Championship game to the Atlanta Falcons wasn’t nearly the gut punch as the loss to the Seattle Seahawks two years ago.
In the game against Seattle, the Packers were so in control of the game that they needed 92 things to go wrong for them to lose, and 93 did.
Against the Falcons a week and a half ago, it was obvious almost from the start that the good guys were too banged up, running on fumes, perhaps a bit satisfied and, frankly, not good enough.
Speaking of good guys, the infuriating thing wasn’t the loss.
They happen. In any given season, the average NFL team has a 3.13 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl (of course those odds rise when you have Aaron Rodgers).
No, it was hearing coach Mike McCarthy talk about what “quality men” he has in that locker room. That’s all well and good if he is the president of the local Optimist Club. However, he is running an NFL team.
Could perhaps three of the 53 guys on the roster be vile, anti-social outcasts who live for nothing more than making life a living hell for the other team’s quarterback?
Is that too much to ask?
Before moving to Wisconsin, I was just a general NFL fan with no strong allegiances, and I enjoyed watching various teams. Watching the Super Bowl every year was a given.
However, when your own team makes it so close, but comes up short, it can be painful.
Two years ago, I did not watch the Seahawks lose to the Patriots (talk about a matchup with two villains). It would have hurt too much.
Instead, I watched “The Godfather” for the first time.
I didn’t even know about Left Shark until the next morning.
I realize that, being in the newspaper business, I should have at least a passing knowledge of the current cultural zeitgeist, but there was no way I was planning to watch that game.
At this point, I am still debating whether to watch this year’s matchup between an Atlanta Falcons team I have a difficult time mustering much fan hatred for and a New England Patriots team that has been the envy of the NFL for the entirety of the 21st century.
Perhaps I could watch another classic movie I have never seen before.
I know the counter-programming that night won’t be very strong, so it will have to be a movie, or I could even go to the local cinema and watch something that is Oscar-nominated or just a good “popcorn flick.”
That’s the nature of fandom: We sometimes do irrational things like setting aside a “game-day hoodie” or eating the same snacks during games, especially if our team is winning, or we avoid any situations where another team’s fans could be having more than us.
Oh, and if you can bring yourself to watch the game, I think it will be Falcons 38, Patriots 34.