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What I Like: Football

This “What I Like” should be titled something else entirely.  “Like” isn’t the word that best describes my feelings toward football.  It’s borderline obsession.  I know, I’m a guy, I should like football, love it even.  But it really has become an obsession of mine, an extremely unhealthy one for that matter.  When the lockout was in place, I was panicking a little on the inside, more and more each day as the future looked bleak for a 2011 season.  This depressed the shit out of me.  I couldn’t picture a fall and winter without football.  I’d die of boredom.

I always liked football as a kid.  I’d watch the Patriots on Sundays and be content.  The Pats were all I needed back then.  And they weren’t even good, so it was sort of bittersweet.  But when I got older I got into a little game called Madden.  Ever heard of it?  Kind of popular.

Anyway, I started playing Madden and it was a wrap after that.  I was hooked.  I not only played as the Pats, but every team.  I was a preteen learning about defensive formations, screen passes and hot routes.  It gave me hours of enjoyment late-hitting Peyton Manning every snap, but it also taught me a shitload about football.  The kind of stuff only a video game would be able to teach a young kid.  I would take Madden games seriously, yell at the screen, and belittle anyone who picked up the sticks against me.  But watching real NFL games made a lot more sense to me.  I understood what was going on and I wanted to know more.

And then I got a little bit older and started playing fantasy football.  I know, fantasy football was only created to give guys something to do that made it seem like we were being productive.  All it really provided was a new way to gamble, and a new way to become obsessed with my favorite sport.

And make terrible, terrible bets.  But fantasy football hooked me into the sport for life.  No longer would I only care about my Patriots every week.  Now I was tracking stats of every athlete in the league, including third wideout options on terrible teams.  Stuff no one should do unless they have a lot of time on their hands or has a problem.  And I have a problem.  I stare at my screen, constantly checking the waiver wires, seeing if one person could be added to my team to ensure I wouldn’t get a terrible tattoo or lose all my money.  Shit, I watched all of the terrible Broncos/Raiders game on Monday after the Pats wrecked Miami just because I needed Darren McFadden to get me 15 points to win the week.  You know, normal stuff like that.

And now it’s happening all over again.  The first week of the 2011 NFL season is complete.  I’m watching every second of every game I can, my fantasy teams are battling it out in the trenches, and the new Madden game is played whenever I have a chance.  It will be like this until February.  It’s a great time to be a football fan.

And yes, that is a tattoo…on me…for life.  THAT’S how much I “like” football.