I don’t know how Harry Potter fans, NFL fans, and people who read my blog intersect, but I’m hoping this title appeals to those in the middle of your standard Venn diagram.
Yesterday was my first football Sunday since the NFL’s Most Prolific Scoring QB, Peyton Manning, retired after an amazing career walk-off Super Bowl win. I bid him farewell with shouts, profanity, and tears. Then sighed with relief. When Peyton Manning walked off the field in Super Bowl 50, he set me free.
“Who’s gonna be your team now?” curious friends ask.
After years of sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, throwing pillows, and expletive-laced tantrums, I am worn out. No more missing game watch parties to protect my friends from SBG the Raging Hulk. No more anxiously checking scores Monday morning at 1:00 AM because I forced myself to sleep before the end of Sunday Night Football. No more nauseating dread watching my team go down by two possessions. I am a football divorcee too exhausted to settle down again. Don’t ask me about picking no new teams, fam.
I am done suffering at the hands of what should be entertainment. Call me “fairweather” or “bandwagon.” Cue up Chris Brown’s “Loyal” if you’d like. I’m loyal only to my personal pleasure.
How was my first free Football Sunday? I watched the Browns until they got too Brownsy. I cheered for chaos in the final moments of Jaguars vs. Packers, hoping Jacksonville upset Aaron Rodgers. During Giants vs. Cowboys, I clapped when Zeke Elliot (Go Bucks!) scored his first NFL touchdown and shouted when Victor Cruz hit his first end zone salsa dance since 2014. I celebrated Derek Carr’s (one of my fantasy QBs) epic comeback on the Saints. When I realized I had conflicting fantasy interests in the Sunday night game, I said “Let’s go everybody” and drank more rum.
It was fucking amazing.
May the odds be ever in your favor, “real” football fans. I’ll be over here drinking, eating, and not emotionally investing. Dobby is free.*
[*] I’m aware Dobby died. We’re not talking about that right now.