Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fake Life

The reason I like football so much is that it's like life in so many ways, but it's not real. You go through life making friends, hanging out with family, and generally trying to accomplish something. The media gives us so much information about football players these days that we probably know more about them than we do some of our friends and family. We like and dislike these guys. They're fun to get to know.

The players are even like kids. They enter the league as newborns (sometimes they're a little late getting out of the womb a la Michael Crabtree this year) and we learn about them. Sometimes they grow up to be superstars (McNabb). Sometimes they're just neat role players (Reno Mahe). Sometimes we never really understand what they turn out to be (Shawn Andrews).

The coaches are like the fathers (Head Coach) and uncles that we all have. I could go on with the analogies here, but I think we all know who our favorite and crazy uncles have been over the years.

I don't have any hobbies so it's nice to be passionate about something that doesn't really matter. I can care deeply about my fake life and I can bond tightly to it because it's not real. I can shape it to what I want out of it. Whether it's just a couple hours of hope on a Sunday afternoon or it's an in depth analysis of where this team is going. I can focus on the positives if that's what I'm in the mood for. Or complain to high heaven about the nagging penalties, inability to run the ball, and constant injuries to the LBs.

The best part is that I can detach myself from football when it gets too depressing. Eagles just toss up a choke job against OAK? No problem. I can avoid reading anything about the team for a whole week. I can ignore it with zero negative consequences. How cool is that?

We all have so much emotionally invested in this team that at times it can feel too real. It's not. It's times like these that we need to remember why we've picked this as “our” sport and specifically the Eagles as “our” team. And it has nothing to do with a team's style of play or who coaches the team or plays a given position. These will change over time. We'll like some of the changes and dislike others. The reason I watch is because I love FOOTBALL. 11 on 11. I love the strategy. I love the violence. I love that my TEAM can go out on Any Given Sunday and put on a show of entertainment that I'll be talking about for weeks or months or years to come.

Some of this entertainment is good (playoff wins against division rivals) and some of this entertainment is very, very bad (never winning a SuperBowl). At the end of the day though, the Philadelphia Eagles win more than they lose. And can you really ask for anything more than that out of life? Fake or otherwise?

Check back for an upcoming post:

Should We Conditionally or Unconditionally Love the Eagles?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this piece, Phil.

Ed Wade

7:49 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Phil are you a writer? If not, then you may be missing your calling. This is a well done, well considered piece. It was an enjoyable read and pretty poignant. Although I would assume that you do in fact have friends and hobbies.

10:19 AM EST  
Blogger The Happy Apologist said...

Thanks. I do have friends, however football from a pure time standpoint has got to be my biggest hobby. I probably spend at least 10 hours a week (sometimes much, much more) watching games or reading about it. What else do you do that takes up that much time?

9:37 PM EST  

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