As I watch the NFL Conference Championship games, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the drama of it all. Today is a day of big moments and epic plays that will be shown time and time again for years to come. This is a day of bonding moments between father and son, big tips for pizza deliverers – if their team is winning – and screams of joy mixed with groans of rage and frustration.
So as I watched these monumental events unfold, I began to think of my own feeble emotional alliance with a professional football squad. That’s right; I am an Oakland Raiders fan. I use this blog not to justify my decisions – goodness knows my therapist and I talk on this very topic weekly to no effect. Rather, as I watched the game I began to think of the many benefits of supporting a team that, well, sucks. Here they are in no particular order:
More time to spend with the family – Instead of being inexplicably drawn to the television like a chemical addiction, we can do whatever we want with our Sundays. They don’t even show our games, so there’s literally nothing to get sucked into. So feel free to go out and enjoy your day with the fam.
Health Benefits – Since you’ve got all this free time on your hands, go ahead and invest that time in other pursuits. Instead of watching your health levels decrease while your cholesterol and blood pressure increase, you are allowed to get off the couch, put down the 5.5 pieces of pizza you would’ve consumed during the game, and do some actual work. Don’t just watch healthy people – minus the linemen; be healthy people. This also increases your odds of surviving a zombie apocalypse, which is a benefit that cannot be overstated.
Improved Children’s Mental Health – Since we don’t watch football – some of us have taken a vow of anti-masochism – our kids won’t be exposed to it. The brain is basically the consistency of warm butter. And now by not watching football, my kids have a fighting chance of avoiding the fanatical indoctrination of football. Hey, if my emotional pain can prevent their long term mental health, then my team doesn’t suck in vain.
Worry-free shopping – While everyone else is watching the “big game,” I get to roam the aisles unencumbered. This provides an awesome opportunity to purchase possibly embarrassing items, like Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles – the supposed “kid cereals”. Also, the odds are that employees are watching the game while on “break” in the back. So if you’re looking to test out the speed of the shopping carts in a TP aisle drag race, then feel free. It’s like the apocalypse happened, but only for a few hours. Take advantage of it.
Financial freedom – Adequately supporting a professional team is certainly a financial investment. Just as we spend money on those we love, we financially invest in our professional romance. It’s like every Sunday is Valentine’s Day. There’s the obligatory favorite player uniform investment – not to mention a secondary investment when they get injured and you have to buy their replacement’s jersey. Then there are the snacks – beers, chips, pizza, etc. – which you don’t have to buy any more, also aiding in the whole health benefit department. Also, you never really have to worry about buying tickets to see games. Yes, they are dirt-cheep, but the gas money just isn’t worth the trip.
Less Social Media Drama – There’s no reason to get in Social Media fights over whose team is better. The answer is simple; their team is better. So there’s no reason to jump on Facebook and trash anybody or try to defend your team’s honor – they pretty much have none. This allows you to keep more friends, avoid the succubus that is social media, and have a much more cheery disposition over the weekend.
Emotional Disentanglement – Last, and certainly not least, is the fact that you know you’re team will not let you down. Low expectations equal no disappointments. In fact, your team has done you a favor by not forcing you to become too heavily invested in their lack of success. And when the playoffs role around, there’s no reason to get anxious, angry, or develop an ulcer. You can just relax and be happy, because, well, you’re team’s not even in the playoffs. Why cry over milk that doesn’t even exist to be spilt in the first place? So smile, cause you just don’t know any better.
Go support a bad team today. There are many awful teams out there just searching for a good fan – or at least a fan who will just watch them every now and again; you could be that fan. It’s the perfect blend of low commitment and high reward. You’re heart, family, body, mind, checkbook, and emotions will all be glad you did.