Somewhere around the hour of 11:30 PM eastern time this past Monday, Twitter (or “the Twitterverse,” if you’re an intolerable asshole) exploded after the bush league replacement referees called up by the National Football League to wring a few pennies out of the regular officiating staff made a horrendous call on a last ditch Hail Mary play, gifting the Seattle Seahawks an undeserved victory over my beloved Green Bay Packers. The reactions on Twitter included angry disbelief (two thumbs - this guy), jokes ranging from funny (Morgan Murphy had some of my favorites) to not (most of Twitter) and then a third group, which was tweeting mainly sanctimonious reminders that they do not care about sports.
To that third group: Good for you. There’s nothing wrong with not caring about sports. But constantly bringing it up puts you in the same category as people who say “I don’t own a TV” and grown-ass adults who are outraged at what they perceive to be the low quality of Justin Bieber’s music. If you’re going to live in this world, you might as well face the fact that not everything is going to be for you, and that doesn’t make it your job to see that nobody else is able to get any joy or satisfaction just because you can’t relate to it.
The most annoying segment of the proud non-sports-watchers was a group implying that the widespread outrage over this week’s Monday Night Football fiasco is indicative of society’s decline overall. Which is stupid. Some people lose perspective, but that’s true of anything that people are passionate about. I know it’s just football, but it’s something I love, that I’ve been following closely since I was seven years old. The subpar officiating makes me mad because it’s fucking up something I love. I’m upset by this in the same way that I’m upset that they’re not making any more episodes of Firefly, or that they’re remaking Videodrome (don’t even fucking get me started). I can be pissed off while still knowing it doesn’t really matter. I’m smart enough to know the difference, and I think most other people are too.
Ted Alexandro, a very funny comedian out of New York, tweeted this:
I think he’s missing the point. If anything, the problem is that people like me follow politics in exactly the same way as we follow sports, and politics are not the same as sports. If people want to scare the NFL, they just have to stop watching. Making a difference in politics requires a lot more effort. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve been completely obsessed with following this election on television. I have my team that I root for (basically, Team Not-Romney). I’ll tweet jokes about the indefensible things that Republicans say. I’ll talk a lot of shit with my friends. I’ll vote in November. But I’m not involved on the local level. I’m not informed beyond what I can absorb passively. I just follow politics because I like watching the ball move. The problem isn’t that I love the Packers or the Twins or, for that matter, weird David Cronenberg movies from the 1980s. The problem is that I’m lazy. We’re all wasting too much of our time, I’ll give you that. But don’t act like your way is more useful, more important or in any way better than mine.
And to any of my friends from Seattle who might be Seahawks fans, I’ve cooled off a lot since Monday. But I still don’t ever wanna see you again.