>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf

August 16, 2006

Mandy: So, are you watching football this year?
No, I figured I’d take a year off.

The National Football League’s regular season is only a few weeks away. Finally, I have a reason to attend a bar in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday. You see, without a doubt, my favorite thing about football is getting to go to bars on Sunday afternoons without having people judge me. My least favorite thing about football: all the people who crowd my bar in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. Get lives, you losers.

I don’t like furthering ado (hey, I’m no enabler), so let me just kick off my favorite things about football season in no particular order (I’m not feeling very organized today).

Putting the Fun in Sunday

God aside, Sunday is laundry day. Sunday is grocery shopping, apartment cleaning, and maybe barbecuing later if energy level permits day. Then comes football… and Sunday becomes something special again (sorry, God).

“I developed a personal rule that I throw liquid on people who root against my team (if it’s their team, too) in the name of fantasy football.”

Now, there are two football fan reactions to the first Sunday of the season. Either the fan wakes up in the early afternoon, runs to the television, turns on a pre-game show and screams, “Fuck yeah,” or he/she wakes up late, starts the laundry, casually turns on the TV, and then smiles from ear to ear as he/she thinks, “Oh yeah, football season.” And I have to admit, I’ve had both reactions to the first regular season game of the year and both are really sweet. In fact, it’s hard to tell which feeling is better. Either way though, football makes Sunday fun again. That’s important.


I spend my Thursday evenings in the local pub, pondering the spread and making phone calls to fellow gamblers, who are also trying to figure out just how they can outsmart the odds-makers in Vegas. Now, it is true you can gamble any sport. But none of those sports give you as many things to bet on or as much time to think about those bets as does football. Because of this, football is the most gambled sport in the US (source: educated guess). Winning money on a guess is like getting paid for being a fan. Which is such an awesome concept, I can’t help but get behind it.

Throwing Water on Fantasy Football Owners

Look, I have no problem with fantasy football participants. I think anything that combines role playing games with sports is probably good for the whole geek/jock relationship, and thus good for culture as a whole. Nevertheless, there is nothing more annoying (in a bar) than rooting for your team with a fellow fan of said team and then hearing him/her say, “Damn, I wish [other team’s running back] would get a touchdown, here. I really want to win my fantasy league.” First off, it’s not a real league and it doesn’t matter—no matter how much money you have invested in it. And second, how about rooting for your fucking home team, not your fake team for the love of God?

Anyway, a while back I developed a personal rule that I throw liquid on people who root against my team (if it’s their team, too) in the name of fantasy football. Since I developed this rule, I’ve been a much happier person. I highly recommend this, by the way. It’s one of those things that just helps everyone.

Male Bonding

I talk to my dad three times as much during the football season. If you don’t think that’s something special, you’re a heartless bastard and should be forced to listen to my dad and I discuss the weekly spreads. Maybe then you’d understand the importance of football as it relates to male bonding. I mean, you probably wouldn’t, but maybe. One never knows and all that.

The Random Stranger High Five

I love the random stranger high five. You know what I’m talking about, right? You come out of the bathroom or in from being outside for a bit, and right as you walk in you watch your team score or stuff the quarterback or something, but your friends are too far away to be high-fived. Nevertheless, there’s always that stranger just waiting for you with his hand high in the air. You don’t know him from Adam Ant. He could be a drug dealing pedophile for all you know. But you slap his hand. And he slaps yours. Why? Because of football. Man, I’m choking back tears, here. I mean, that shit is beautiful.

There are many reasons to love football. Too many to name here (which is odd because you’d think we would have enough bandwidth or memory or whatever we’d need—I hate computers—to pull it off). Now, it is true that there are many people who don’t appreciate the game of football and thus, don’t watch it. And I for one, am fine with that.

I mean, the bars are crowded enough on Sundays.