Jebus Cobbers, what kind of black man allows football season to start without comment? Even those fairies in the Ivy League have football. It's the American passion, where we can violently disagree, yet stop short of blood letting, at least everywhere except a Raiders game.
Oh. The last time I cared about football on a consistent basis was when Bob Griese had a perfect season. I was ruined for football by growing up in Los Angeles and watching Dallas win the division every freaking year. As a kid, I slept under football blankets, but by the time I was in high school.. well it was over because I was no longer big enough to play.
I was fast. Of course I played wide receiver and safety in street games. But all that ended somewhere around 1974. I started skateboarding, body surfing, springboard diving. My real thing was gymnastics and I had just about all the street cred a tumbler could have, I could do fronts and I had a full twisting back. I could not imagine possibly getting better without formal instruction, which I couldn't find, nor having found it, could afford. So I became a diver - as my high school had neither gymnastics nor wrestling, the things in which I could kick ass. And judo. Odd that.
Every Friday I go to my kids' highschool games. This week, in which we lost the most bizzare football game I think I have ever seen, in an overtime tie-breaker, I realized that not once did I ever attend my own highschool's football game. Not even the year we won the 4A CIF title. My daughter is a cheerleader. My son is lead trumpet in the marching band. The football team sucks, but the cheeseburgers are perfect.
I like USC but I don't love them. I hate Ohio State. I hate both Florida and Florida State. Any team that beats any of those three is alright with me. I have a small soft spot in my heart for the Georgia Bulldogs, but not big enough to check out how they're doing during the season. I used to root for Navy in the Army Navy game. I used to root for Yale (of course), and between the Sooners and the Razorbacks, I take the Razorbacks. I don't watch until the playoffs for the most part, and now don't bother to watch the bowl games.
As for the Pros. Well, I did care for the Bears when McMahon was QB. Only because he had a hiphop attitude. I cared for San Diego when Fouts was almost the man he was supposed to be. But that's the most modern times. I lived on the east coast for most of the time the Raiders were in LA, but I was completely fed up with LA when I left, so the hell with them and Ice Cube.
In the game it came down to the men I thought were all that. That would include Roman Gabriel - Jack Snow, Daryl Lamonica, Gene Washington, Billy Whiteshoes Johnson, Mercury Morris, Walter Payton, Lawrence McCutcheon, Jerry Rice, Bo Jackson, Emmit Smith, and because I had to play center in peewee league, Jim Otto. Like most young men of my generation, I thought that Vince Lombardi was, next to my favorite astronaut Michael Collins and my all time hero Matt Henson, the epitome of American manhood. But these are things from the days before shaving.
These days I watch football like an Alzheimer's patient. It's all in the present tense. I have no anticipation of the games before they air, and no memory of them after. There are times when I watch that I wonder if others are experiencing the same emotions as I am. I love the beauty of the game - the speed and the impact. I hate quarterbacks with too much time in the pocket. I love a good bootleg play every once in a while. I admire running backs who bull down the field 4 yards at a time, play after play after play. I love a good pass rush and a cornerback who can read the offense. There's nothing like a fast tight end who step back, catch a screen then switch direction and run back to the inside. But the greatest play in football will always be the simple down and in. The receiver who has the balls to cut to the middle, the QB who can land the bullet through zone coverage. That's fucking football.
I don't care who lands the plays. The announcers talk too much anyway. Just give me the high definition and the instant replay. I don't care who wins the Super Bowl or who goes to Disneyland. I watch with my daughter the cheerleader. My son played second string freshmen ball. I could not possibly obsess over the sport enough to support him - besides, he's a band geek. The Spousal Unit is still a Michigan fan.
Let me see, what have I not covered? I hate corporate bowls. That there is something called the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is evidence of the most bold faced whoring in the world of sport, well next to Nascar and Premier League Footy. And yes, the NCAA should find a way to pay college athletes real salaries.
But to answer the question directly, I am the kind of black man who writes an 800 word essay so I never have to answer the question again.