Football Sunday: An Odyssey

by Bryan

For the first time this year, I headed out to the bar to watch the Patriots. And oh, what a decision!

From the friendly confines of O’Keefe’s on Court Street in Brooklyn, fivethirtyeight.com and I watched the late-afternoon games over Jamesons, alternatively splashed and on the rocks. There were also beers, but not until overtime of the Jets/Bills game. Which was later. These things take time.

For the first time this season, yr. author skipped the 1 p.m. games at home. After a long day on Smith Street enjoying the college football action—and arguing the merits of our public education system—I was football’d out by the time Vikings/Ravens rolled around. I was even man enough to head over the lady’s house for some Trader Joe’s Indian food and some HGTV. DO YOU REALIZE THE TYPE OF HOUSE YOU CAN GET IN CHICAGO FOR $600,000? I bet you didn’t, because you were sucked in by Giants/Saints.

(That is not an altogether bad thing.)

I came home in the “Feels like 36 degrees” weather only to head back out to the bar at 4:15, as Joe Flacco was setting his team up to miss a game-winning field goal. Nevermore, bitches! There was no place to sit at O’Keefe’s due to the preponderance of Eagles fans. One World Series isn’t enough, their demeanor said. It’s hard not to respect that. Then the Eagles lost to the Raiders. Then the situation changed.

John Doe has the upper hand. Or maybe JaMarcus Russell.

I was throwing back whiskey-and-waters as I watched the Eagles choke, and the Patriots exert their dominance over the hapless Titans. 59-0? That’s the biggest Patriot win in history. Tom Brady threw 5 touchdowns in the second quarter alone. That’s also a team record. Also: an NFL record. My favorite part was everything. But something ringed in the back of my head. A question.

Isn’t football bad?

It’s true: after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s article on the consequences of football hits, it’s hard to retain the same enthusiasm for the game that I did before. There’s basically a concussion on every play. We may not be long from a maximum age of 30.  That the NFL is underwriting studies that may torpedo the league is the height of irony, but it was inevitable. The game is simply too violent to continue unabated. I think. But I digress, because Pats/Titans didn’t involve a lot of hitting, unless the football hitting the endzone after being spiked counts. Take that, “No Fun League!”

I will admit: I partook of everything that was advertised during the NFL game. “Tailgate tested? Tailgate approved!” Really, Miller Lite? THEN BRING IT ON! It’s the best way to enjoy the Pats, according to the people on TV. Saving that money to enjoy it at home, or just kicking back with an-ice cold soda? Humbug!

In the end, I schlepped my drunk ass after the game to Trader Joe’s, where I was too glassy-eyed to find Indian food, but I managed to buy $20 worth of pizza, burritos and french onion soup. It is, I am told, good value. Enough to offset the nearly $30 I spent on booze at the bar? Probably! Let’s face it: I’m going to drink either way, so I might as well make money on the back end. The Pats’s 59 points don’t carry over, but I can make sure my buzz translates into savings. I can apply that savings to things that really matter, like real estate. Don’t you know what kind of house you can get for $600,000?