I’ve got a very unpopular opinion for you today.
I don’t like football.
I know there was a big game on last night, but I don’t watch college football. I don’t watch the NFL. I did go to high school football games as a high school student at North Gwinnett, but I couldn’t have told you a thing about what was happening on the field.
There’s a meme that circulates on social media this time each year showing Julie Andrews, arms spread wide in the Austrian mountains in her role as Maria in “The Sound of Music,” with the words “This is me not caring about football season.” Yes, that is me. I’d much prefer watching that 3-hour movie to watching a football game. And I’m positive I watched more hours of that movie as a kid than any TV football game, though I sometimes make an effort to watch the Super Bowl, for the commercials of course.
In the South, where college football is king, this distaste for football feels more dangerous than disliking a beach vacation or President Trump or sweet tea.
In fact, I think you Georgia fans would probably prefer I be a Tech fan or Florida fan or Notre Dame fan than no fan at all.
If I were any kind of fan, it might be a Gamecock, my parents’ alma mater. They’ve got all the paraphernalia to show off their fandom, but for some reason it never rubbed off on me except perhaps to influence a further dislike of the Bulldogs.
So, sorry to disappoint you, this column will not provide you thoughts on Vince Dooley Field or the latest, greatest player or even Uga the bulldog mascot.
I won’t have watched a minute of that Notre Dame game and likely will have fallen asleep well before it finished. It will probably be the talk of the morning in church halls and across the brunch table and at other gatherings across the region. It’s a point of connection for you, I get it. And you clearly really enjoy it, judging by all that chatter and all those G logos I see.
So I’ll sit quietly through your chatter about touchdowns and bad calls and great plays and try to keep my opinions to myself henceforth.
I will add that this is not to say I’m sports illiterate — I’m probably not reading at college level, but I’m surely at least at third grade reading level.
However, I know baseball much better than football. I didn’t play but a couple of seasons, but I spent a lot of time at the ballfield, usually watching my siblings play.
I sometimes keep up with the Braves, though not enough to subscribe to a service to bring those games to my TV.
Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of T-ball. I know enough to shout at my kid about what he should do, though I’m not shouting nearly as loud as my normally very quiet husband is shouting.
And I see the value of teaching him a sport. He recently told my husband, “In sports, you’re not really nice to people.” The goal of course is to win, and he’ll learn some sportsmanship along the way — about healthy competition, trying your best, being a gracious winner and loser and playing fair. Hopefully he’ll also learn how to catch the ball and where to throw it to get an out.
It’s the first sport he’s tried, and we may give him a shot at basketball or soccer, though the Little League schedule is already grueling.
If he ever asks to play football, I’ll likely be one of those moms concerned about concussions and giving him a hard no. Perhaps that answer would be different if I liked the sport — hard to say.
It’s not as if other sports don’t have risks. My brother had to get stitches in his eyebrow when he missed a flyball. I lost a thumbnail when a ball hit me in the batter’s box.
I never got injured singing “The Sound of Music,” but no one’s watching choral competitions. They’re watching football. And the strategy and skill of that is admittedly more entertaining — it’s just not for me.