This morning I was at the gym working out. Today was leg day. Four hundred calories burned on the ellipse machine in thirty minutes and then forty five minutes on the weights. I had just started on the weights with the inclined leg press. I was on the second of six sets when two men started discussing some college game. I was only half listening and I really didn’t care that much. But they were loud and overhearing their conversation simply couldn’t be helped.
One of the men was telling the other that somebody had to get by Indianapolis. I really don’t know if they were talking about an upcoming game at the college or professional level. All I could tell you was that one of them is going to inevitably lose a bet.
I really don’t know when it happened. I guess it was a progression over the past few years. I remember not too long ago I was an avid football fan. I couldn’t tell you what player came from what college and recite his stats from the time he played little league or pee wee football. I never could get into college football with various conferences and such. And the only little league I ever watched had to have some family or a seriously close friend’s son in it. I couldn’t tell you what some player’s favorite color was or whether or not they prefer Chevrolet or Ford. But I could tell you with a reasonable amount of accuracy who was going to win the game on Sunday. You probably couldn’t take my word to the bank, but I’m happy to say I won more bets that I lost.
There was a time I couldn’t wait until football season started. I would watch as much of the preseason games as I could. I would spend every Sunday watching at least five good hours of football. I would start to watch Monday night football but would conk out at the half time. But come Tuesday morning you could take it to the bank I’d know who won the game from the night before. I got a kick out of watching Dallas play football on Thanksgiving Day with my brothers and the rest of the family who was interested. Football was fun.
When I lived in a city that didn’t have a football team I would actually drive five hours to a town that had a professional football team to see a game and partake of the atmosphere. The teams were sometimes awful. But it was fun to sit in the crowd and root for the other team to the dismay of the other fans. It was all good nature and it never turned confrontational.
I used to watch basketball games. But some time back when the basketball players went on strike I quit watching. I just lost interest in the whole affair once it hit me that millionaires were arguing over my twenty dollars or so. Of course the differences between the two sides went a lot deeper than that. But nevertheless I felt like a pawn in their tug of war. Neither side wanted to consider their fans in their dispute. The same thing happened with baseball. And when the baseball strike actually caused the cancellation of the World Series I was through. But through thick and thin I actually managed to stay a reasonable football fan.
It may have started with my year of initiation into Ifa. As an iyawo I had to be most discerning with what I watched on television, listed to on the radio, or read in a magazine, newspaper, books, or where I went on the internet. I was initiated in January and I missed the majority of the playoffs. Just weeks before my initiation a tsunami had ripped Asia apart. And regardless, prior to my initiation I was spending the vast majority of my weekends at the ile anyway. But I could always watch the Monday night game or the occasional Thursday night game. But in order to be a good iyawo my initiation required me to go cold turkey.
The following August I found myself pulling away from the traditional practices of Ifa and falling away from my spiritual home. The last thing I had on my mind was pre season football. That was the year Katrina hit New Orleans and football just wasn’t very important in the grand scheme of things. Before I had realized it , I found myself not thinking much about football at all. I didn’t even think about it enough to know I wasn’t thinking about it anymore.
And it’s not like I don’t want to see football or that I hate football. If somebody invited me to watch a game with them I would have gladly accepted the offer, provided that nothing else was on my schedule. More than likely I’d pick the team opposite theirs just to make it interesting and give us something to jaw over. I would welcome the chance to socialize. But please don’t expect me to really care about who is going to win or who is going to go to the next round of the playoffs or what teams will show up in the Super Bowl or who will ultimately win the game. There is just too much other stuff happening that requires my attention.