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What Is So Boring About Football?

Hey guys, here's an open thread to mindlessly chatter about sports!

It seems like every other status update on Facebook these days has to do with football, specifically Auburn/Alabama football, but sometimes a TN team or two is thrown in there. Right now I'm listening to two of my co-workers on the other end of the office discussing, I think, a game that was on this weekend. I'm not entirely sure, but it's SO BORING.

I've long wondered what is so great about spectator sports. I've never watched them and I've never enjoyed being forced to watch them. I've tried to get people to explain to me what is so fun about them in the past, and I've never found a compelling argument for it, so I query instead: What is so boring about football (/baseball/soccer/etc.)? What is it that makes me mind go numb when I hear the jargon? What makes me dread those horrid six hours after Thanksgiving lunch? Is it something innate, or does my childhood history of being subjected to it play into it?

I shall pit the other 50% of my brain that is not being used at work against the task of figuring this out. I'll let you know when the process is complete.

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( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
We are tribal beings. Our basic instinct is to bash in the heads of people who aren't like us, and steal their women. This satisfies survival of the fittest, while still ensuring that the gene pool doesn't get too narrow.

Society, however, frowns on this. So we channel these feelings into football, a savage game that pretends to be civilized, with pretty girls on the sideline in almost no clothing encouraging their team, and looking like booty waiting to be plundered.

We love those hard hits, where one guy is thrown up in the air. We love those collisions where both collidees end up unconscious on the field.

Notice how football teams all have violent names. Vikings. Lions. Bengals. Giants. Rams. Trojans. Badgers. Hoosiers. Buckeyes. Crimson Tide.

You should watch some football on the weekends and burn off some of that natural belligerence. Otherwise you'll bring it to work on Monday morning.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
You should watch some football on the weekends and burn off some of that natural belligerence.

Hey yeah! I should also watch some exercise videos to get in shape!
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
That's what's so great about it! You don't need to! Those big guys on the field do all the hard work. You can achieve all the social benefits of the game while passively watching in a beer-induced stupor!
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
Social benefits?
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Why, yes, the safety valve that keeps you civilized.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
I fail to see how watching sports has any more social benefits than other activities involving people.
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Nothing keeps you from bashing your neighbor better than football. Except maybe hockey. It's true. You could look it up.
skate_or_die82
Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
Participation is nine-tenths of the law...
Spectator sports are a cultural homogenizer. They give people a geographic identity and a common ground. Also, it's a relatively harmless subject for people to bond and connect over, as opposed to, say Politics.

I'd say that what makes sports so special is the regional aspect. An episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" will play out the same whether you view it in Arkansas or Alabama, but team sports gives your region an identity and a way to connect with and interface with other regions.

Having said all this, I'm not a fan of spectator sports. I occasionally watch boxing. If I'm watching a game, I can be happy for the players when they win and the school or region they represent, but I will never say "we won". I didn't win. I didn't do anything to influence the outcome of the game. I didn't participate. Which is why, for me, participation is nine-tenths of the law. It is when I am reminded of this that I grab my skateboard and greet the day, with the goal of making my destiny my own.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Participation is nine-tenths of the law...
Also, it's a relatively harmless subject for people to bond and connect over, as opposed to, say Politics.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
skate_or_die82
Sep. 23rd, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Participation is nine-tenths of the law...
you don't think political discussions incite conflict?
chris462
Sep. 22nd, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
Some people just don't "get" spectator sports. My grandfather was one of them. He absolutely hated when my grandmother and I would hunker down in the den to watch seasonal playoffs in each of the NHL, NFL, and MLB seasons.

Personally, I find the pace of football and baseball to be mind-numbing. There's a good game every once in a while, though. I don't mind watching them in a social setting (football moreso than baseball), but I very rarely choose to watch a game of either by myself.

Hockey, on the other hand, is definitely one of the greatest sports in the history of the world. I don't know why or how a redneck kid from Alabama became a loyal fan of the New Jersey Devils, but it happened sometime around 1992 (I remember when Scott Stevens was traded to NJ). Ever since, I've loved watching hockey -- both on TV and in person.

The pace, the strategy, the play-making, the special teams ... it all adds to something that I, personally, really enjoy watching. I get a good shot of Cup Fever for 8-10 weeks, starting every April and lasting through the first part of June. Michelle goes out of her mind some nights, because I'll watch four different games a night for 4 or 5 nights a week during the opening rounds.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
Hmm. The "pace" argument would work if I found fast-paced sports entertaining. But somehow, soccer and hockey are just as boring as football and baseball. In fact, I probably watch more baseball than any other sport. But that may be because slower sports are easier to follow along with.
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
I love baseball. A thinking-man's game. Hit and run, run and hit, double steal, safety squeeze, suicide squeeze. Except nobody actually plays that way above teen-age Pony league. Home runs. Bash the ball as hard as you can with your club.

I made baseball history once, getting thrown out at first by the right fielder. The only 9-3 play ever recorded in the annals of the game.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
I didn't mean for my last comment to sound like I LIKED baseball. I hate it, but maybe just not quite with the fervor that I hate football américain.

Edited at 2008-09-22 07:13 pm (UTC)
chris462
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
Either the outfield was playing VERY shallow or you run like a snail.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
Well, if he runs like a snail, then he probably also hits like a snail, and if the other team knew that, they would be playing shallow.

Edited at 2008-09-22 07:31 pm (UTC)
chris462
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
Outfield usually plays shallow they think you hit like a girl. :P
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Hey, I had great form.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
...that's kinda what I said. Except I said snail, because I'm guessing they can't hit very hard either.
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
See how much fun you can have discussing sports at work on Monday?
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
OK, I wasn't the fastest runner on the team. OK, I was the slowest runner on the team. But it was disrespectful for him to play in so shallow.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
Disrespecful.. or strategic??
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Both! He was betting I couldn't hit it over his head. He was right. That was strategic. He embarrassed me in front of my teammates, and that was disrespectful. If I'd have gotten on base I'd have probably been forced at second on the next play anyway.

I also had a coach give me a take sign on a full count one time. I never asked him afterwards if he knew it was a full count.
djinubito
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
I like the edit.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, no use false-advertising a 20+ comment post as anything but what it is.
chris462
Sep. 22nd, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
So how about them Cubs?
bjbass
Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
I dunno, they always find a way to fold. But this is the centennial of their last championship, so maybe this year's the magic year.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
Ok, that tears it! I won't have both sports and magic here at the same time!
chris462
Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
They might pull something out if they pray enough for it.
happinessiseasy
Sep. 22nd, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
I thought I said NO magic!
bjbass
Sep. 23rd, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
Perhaps it's God's will that the Cubs win at least once a century. Isn't there something in Revelations about that?
happinessiseasy
Sep. 23rd, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
The Republican Party is the only thing left in order for this thread to win the "Worst Discussion Ever" award.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 23rd, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Why is this blog so boring? Gosh, I wish there was a football game on right now so I wouldn't be so bored.
chris462
Sep. 23rd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Seriously?

There's an entire internet, full of awesome, at your fingerprints.

How can you be bored?
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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