One Thousand Words on Football, Football, Football

I don’t care about football.

I know, I know. I live in Patriots country. Everyone is wearing red and blue jerseys and yelling “Go Pats” at each other because they are in the Super Bowl.

This is how little I know about football; I just had to look up to see if Super Bowl was one word or two. Or maybe that just proves that I can’t spell.

But football just seems violent to me. And I don’t understand that whole downs thing.

I get that people love the sport and I’m not suggesting that they don’t. It’s great that people get so passionate about their teams and have fun.

And hey, any excuse to eat buffalo wings and onion dip is just fine by me.

I just don’t get why the Super Bowl has practically turned into a national holiday. It’s just a game.

I love tennis and make sure to watch every grand slam final. I don’t expect everyone in the country to stop what they’re doing and watch it with me. I don’t scoff when someone tells me they don’t follow tennis. And I certainly don’t accuse them of being un-American because of it.

But for weeks we have been inundated with Super Bowl talk… guesses on the outcome, discussions on the ads, menu planning, offense, defense, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, on and on and on.

If not for all the hoopla, I might have actually watched the Super Bowl, or at least some of the commercials. But I’m so sick of hearing about it that I decided to watch a Lifetime movie instead. (I will admit that I paused the movie long enough to watch Madonna singing “Vogue.” I love that song.)

We had heard that Super Bowl Sunday is fourth worst box office weekend for movies, so my mom and I decided to go to a matinee. We thought it would be pretty empty and how better to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching George Clooney.

I was pleasantly surprised, though. I was half expecting to be the only two people in the theater, but there were probably seventy five or more people. Most of them were little old ladies, but that’s ok.

My faith that the entire world hadn’t gone football crazy was restored until I heard one of the women say to her friend, “The game doesn’t start until six.”

Leaving the movie theater around four, the streets did seem to be a bit more deserted than they were when we arrived, but we ventured on to a restaurant for an early dinner.

We picked a place that is usually packed at any time of the day. In fact, it’s rare that you don’t have to wait for a table even at 11:30 in the morning or 3:00 in the afternoon.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I said, “I think they’re closed” because there were so few cars in the parking lot.

That wasn’t a crazy suggestion. Three of our local restaurants close on Super Bowl Sunday so their employees can enjoy the day with their family, the same excuse they used for closing on Christmas.

But the restaurant wasn’t closed. It was just empty. We were one of maybe four tables.

I don’t live in a largely populated area, but the city has 12,000 residents and the entire region has a population of maybe 50,000 or 55,000. Wouldn’t you think that out of that 55,000 people there’d be more than four groups that wanted to eat out on Super Bowl Sunday?

And it wasn’t just this restaurant. Even the fast food places were ghost towns. The Wendy’s parking lot was empty; there were two cars at McDonald’s. Even the Pizza Hut looked vacant, and I thought pizza was a football food.

The only restaurants what had customers were the ones that have six TVs and serve beer.

After the meal, we decided to pick up a couple of things at the grocery store before heading home.

I’ve learned that Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect time to go grocery shopping. There was no one in the aisles.

The people who were in the store were buying soda, pepperoni and Doritos; not cat food, paper towels and Lactaid.

I got my shopping done in record time, even though I did have to walk past Patriots cupcakes and football shaped bowls and encountered a girl in the parking lot who had dyed her hair red, white and blue. I’m assuming it was for the Patriots not to express her love of America.

Even the drive home was desolate and spooky. I hit all green lights and only saw two or three other cars.

I’ve been out on major religious and national holidays. I’ve been in restaurants on Easter Sunday and in Wal-Mart on the Fourth of July. I have never seen the streets as quiet as I did today.

I’m not a religious person, but even I find it a little sad that people consider Super Bowl Sunday more sacred than Christmas and Yom Kippur.

One of the blogs I follow regularly is written by author Matthew Dicks. Over the few months I’ve been reading his posts and tweets, he has frequently mentioned his annoyance with everyone’s fascination with and dependence on coffee.

Even as I coffee drinker, I can understand his frustration. People just assume that everyone drinks coffee and is interested in talking about coffee when that’s simply not the case.

That’s how I feel about football. I’m tired of the tweets and the Facebook statuses and the Today show segments.

I think that’s why I post about tennis. Not to feel like I’m a part of the sports crowd, but to point out that there are other sports out there, that not everyone in New England cares about the Patriots or (God forbid) the Red Sox.

So I hope everyone had a happy Super Bowl Sunday but please remember to practice a little religious tolerance when someone tells you tomorrow that they didn’t watch the game.

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