September. I love September. I love that the leaves start to change and the weather turns just a bit cooler. I love that it’s the time of year to make soups and warm drinks. I love dusting off my cardigans and boots. I love the smell of cinnamon when I walk in the grocery store and buying canned pumpkin. I love going on walks in the crisp, autumn air. I love that my kids are in the swing of school and activities. I love having friends over to watch football. I love making the game day food. I love hanging out on my deck while my kids play during halftime. But here’s the thing…
I don’t actually care to watch football.
Shock and awe, yall. Yes. You read that correctly. Don’t adjust your glasses or your screen.
I’m not a die-hard football fan. I should be. I went to UT when we won the National Championship in ’98. I should bleed orange with all of my being. My husband has UT orange pants for goodness’ sake. I’m all set up to be an invested fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll root for them when they’re playing, but don’t be fooled…I probably didn’t watch more than 1 quarter of the game. I feel like more than anything I’m just indifferent.
Let me back up a moment and give you a little history lesson. My childhood revolved around sports, specifically baseball. My brothers played all the sports and I played many myself on a much less competitive level i.e. church league. (Can we really consider church league sports a competition? Isn’t that where we came up with the idea that everybody wins? I’m sure some parent made up the rule that no one loses on God’s team.) Anyway, many of my days were spent sitting on metal bleachers watching my brothers play various sports. I wouldn’t say I hated it. At some point, I figured out boys were cute and didn’t actually have cooties (shhhh, don’t tell Caitlin) so I rather enjoyed going to my brothers’ games. I also liked cheering for my brothers and their friends that I knew on the team. The games were often intense because in our house you played to win. And when people want to win something, they eat, sleep, and breathe the game. That’s what our family did. ESPN was a constant. Sportcenter was our theme song. Our family vacations were to baseball tournaments in Pensacola. Our spring breaks were spent at double headers in Bartlett. This was our life. It was great. It was all I knew.
Then I became a grown up and kind of defected. I began watching HGTV and Food Network in my free time and found those to be much more entertaining than ESPN. I didn’t start caring about sports again until my kids started playing. I like to watch my kids’ play and can get a bit riled up like any other parent. But I don’t care what game is on TV, who’s playing whom, or what the line is on any football game. I like football for the by products: the food, the friends, and the energy that comes from rooting for a team. Hanging out is so much fun! The actual game? Meh. I could go the rest of my life without hearing the Sportcenter “De-nuh-nuh-de-nuh-nuh.” It was a comfort when I was homesick in college but now I’m over it. It’s not that I hate it or anything, I’m just indifferent. I never really understood why we needed to watch it if we saw the game anyway. If I saw what happened the first time, why do I need to see it again? Nothing changed. I didn’t forget what happened. I don’t need to see the replay 48 times, I’m good.
I know I should feel bad about this. I live in the SEC, for Butch Jones’ sake. And don’t think for a minute that I didn’t just Google that just to make double sure he was the head coach. Football is great if you love football. For me, if it gets my friends together and we get to eat things wrapped in bacon, then I’m all Vol. I might even shake a pompom for you. But if you expect to see me screaming at the TV over a dropped pass, go ahead and get comfortable because it’s gonna be a while. Now if you really want to see me get fired up, bring over some homemade guacamole and chips. I will fist bump and cheer til the cows come home.
For those of you who can’t be friends with me anymore due to my lukewarm feelings about our country’s favorite sport, it was nice while it lasted. Go in peace to love and serve your other SEC fan friends. But if you change your mind, you’re always welcome to come watch a game at my house. It’ll be understood you’re only there for the bacon wrapped food.
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