This time of year, I often see Tweets and TV commercials hailing the new football season as if it is an annual religious experience. Many fans simply appreciate the Xs and Os of the game, while others fool themselves into believing their favorite cast of characters will find the perfect combination to reach the Super Bowl. Most fanatics, even in early August, can devise a calculation of what-ifs that convince them a Super Bowl run is realistic. How silly this is considering even when last season’s NFL playoffs began, I heard few people pick the Giants as the obvious team to hoist the trophy.
I once was a football fool until I grew up. I am a former Miami Dolphins season ticket holder, a fan in their corner the last 30 seasons. (That’s me in high school, not to be confused with my dog Molly, an obvious fan.) And I say with disappointment that eight victories this season will pleasantly surprise me. A football fool would instead argue that players in their mid-30s will recapture past glory or a rookie quarterback will grab lightning. But chances are the Hollywood underdog story will not unfold on the field.
I still approach football with excitement because fans find interest in even a mediocre product. But the days of passing a stack of money over to Sunday Ticket are over. For me, Twitter notifications from South Florida sports writers are an economically responsible way of following my favorite team. I still haven’t persuaded myself to buy a ticket to watch the Dolphins in their visit here in the desert. I enjoyed attending their last trip to Arizona, but my end-zone seats left me spending most the game attempting to determine the line of scrimmage.
But I really fear for my friend the Bears fan. After his team traded for our Pro Bowl wide receiver, he legitimately believes his team has put the pieces in place for another Super Bowl shuffle. For his sake, I hope he’s right considering the Cubs, which he insists will be good soon. But countless other teams also potentially have pieces in place and their fans also are texting about a clear path to the promised land.
So all hail football season! For most of you, the season will shockingly end in disappointment. Enjoy the honeymoon of disillusion. There’s nothing wrong with living a football fairy tale. But don’t hate me for learning my lesson. I’ve come to understand enjoying the game is as much about the personalities and the story lines than it is about winning. My Sundays won’t glue me to a TV set, but my phone will be all-abuzz will bings and dings of updates. Call this my virtual reality. And if the Fins eek out more than eight wins, I’ll try to be the first to Tweet it.
Tags: Arizona, Communications, cubs, dolphins, Hollywood, media, miami dolphins, nfl playoffs, PR, Social Media, South Florida, south florida sports, super bowl, super bowl shuffle, Tweet, Tweets, Twitter