Like many, perhaps most Americans – especially those who claim a Y chromosome – I am a fan of gridiron football. (However, I am in the small minority of people, generally made up of immigrants or yuppies, who happen to be a fan of association football, otherwise known as soccer.) For about 24 weeks of a 52-week year, I give up my time and wherewithal on Sundays (and on occasion Thursdays, Fridays, and Mondays) to watch the pigskin fly (even though it’s leather and not pig).
However, I hate the hyperbolic coverage that the NFL brings. Not even before the Super Bowl was complete, analysts and other people paid to talk about sports (an envious position indeed), not to mention many not paid to talk about sports yet do so anyway, were writing up their mock draft lists. This was three months before the draft in April. (Further, the fact that about 9,000 people come to Radio City Music Hall to watch people be chosen for teams they may never even play for is pretty ridiculous.) Football coverage encompasses all seasons, all weeks, and most minutes of SportsCenter – in other words, it is omnipotent. Instead of focusing on baseball’s spring training, the Winter Olympics, or the home-stretch of the basketball season, they talk about – story of stories! – the NFL Draft. In summer, instead of focusing on baseball’s regular season, the Stanley Cup Finals, or – gasp! – the World Cup, they focus on whether or not Brett Favre will unretire or stay retired (and frankly, among all their talk, be unsure themselves) and the start of mini-camp.
And while football training camp is a great story, it generally receives wall-to-wall coverage on the sports networks. (I must say, by the way, that while NBA TV and MLB Network is putting out excellent programming and receiving viewers because it appears on most cable subscribers’ televisions, NFL and NHL Networks are still trying to get viewers because they try and play hardball with cable companies.) If I have to see another football player hours away from being cut with little padding and a mesh jersey on my television screen, I may just break it. Even the regular season is rife with hype – there’s a reason I don’t watch SportsCenter on Monday nights, as they are talking exclusively about football, not about all sports as is their freakin’ job.
Join me for next week’s installment of Tuesday Afternoon Stuff I Dislike, when I discuss why I think Yo Gabba Gabba! is, if not annoying, very, very creepy.