The long summer doldrums are about over. Oh, the mugginess and heat will stick around for a few more weeks but alas we have reached the gates of Autumn; the arrival of College Football. We get news of the first football game of the season and get our snacks, beverages, and portable electronic devices ready. And then it happens. The television turns to ESPN for first game of the season between South Carolina and North Carolina and its…its…its boring. Well its to be expected; after all, one is a nationally ranked team led by one of the greatest coaches in college football and the other team has forever sucked in college football (great in basketball but that doesn’t count here Tar Heels).
We can write off that football game as a sloppy, initial performance. Its the first game of the season, its on Thursday night and for the most part the expectations for that game wasn’t so high. The broadcast however, for being professional entertainment, was terribly boring with the same usual cast of sports geeks and ex jocks commenting on the game from the booth. The play by play guy is always yelling in a monotone and the ex jock commentator is always too much of a know it all. Listening for extended periods may cause you to hit mute on the remote or simply lop off your ears. Sadly this was not a simple case of a bad broadcast its all the games on ESPN…and FOX…NBC…CBS….OK its the whole school of broadcasting but its the worse on ESPN. (Bring back Keith Jackson or clone him.) Its this sports-elitism attitude they have that sports is something more than entertainment. And when the game gets boring even for the announcers they then bring up the dreary topic of Texas A&M’s Johnny Football signing autographs for money. Outside of the NCAA and sports journalism who cares? But they bring it up anyway and they do it again and again and they tease it on commercials for “SportsCenter”, and they cut away to the studio to talk about it…etc…etc…It’s a broken record played over a loud speaker and meant to drive you nuts by the end of the game.
Yes but wait that is not the end of this tale of torture then there is the over dramatic commercials plugging anything football related. A commercial from Dick’s Sporting good was the worse offender when it did this whole “Friday Nights Lights” thing. I suppose the message was about being on the field from the player perspective but honestly it was like watching an over dramatic replay of what I was just watching before the commercial break; however, before these fake football players actually snapped the ball…the commercial was over. Really? Seriously? Because everyone knows the most exciting part of the game is the set up before the play. Yes, I understand its for athletes but excuse me for being a bored couch potato. Whatever happened to football is fun for the whole family? Football is “sis boom bah” and “rah rah rah?” Even the promos for upcoming games were over dramatic. They might as well open it up with a movie announcer saying, “In a world where #5 takes on #8 things are about to explode. Oh how the heart pulses from the anticipation only to be followed by the probable let down that the game does not come down to the wire. That is certainly true with the boring mismatched bowl games at the end of the season. Sure football can be exciting that’s why we watch it. It doesn’t really need to be set up dramatically, though. It’s not an action movie. If it was, Thursday nights game wouldn’t have stopped for a thunderstorm. Rambo was never afraid of a little lightning.
I’m trying to figure out where football actually registers in the American conscience these days. Sometime its feels the sports world is too presumptuous. It assumes we are all obsessed, that sports is everyone’s religions and that we’re all as dedicated to our football as Trekkies are to Star Trek. Its just not the truth…at least not for me. I just want to have fun and relax…maybe catch a couple Zzz. Sorry I don’t know all the stats or follow breaking news or play fantasy football. I just shake my head because these annoyances seem to get worse every year and yet I watch because there’s nothing better, for the cheap, than watching football on the weekend. Maybe its time to save up money for a jet-ski…oh probably not…just pass the chips and refill my Coke, football is on…darn it.