Beathard: Why football is the best thing ever
Football is life. Or so I jokingly tell my friends who don’t understand my passion — and who I don’t understand because of that. They’re good sports about it, accommodating my need to catch the game in our bar selection. Celebrating and day drinking are universal in Aspen, even if a love of sports isn’t.
Elsewhere in the country, football is universal, which is a big plus to my addiction. It’s an excuse to text friends and family. It’s a way of staying connected to home, college friends and a former part of my life.
I used to not even be that into football. It all started when I got to Texas A&M University, and out of a desire to participate in everything that college has to offer, I bought a sports pass and went to every single home game.
When I became the managing editor at our newspaper and started editing sports copy is when it really clicked. Reading statistics and learning the backgrounds of the players — the most memorable is Von Miller, who decided midway through his college career to focus on training and school and wound up going second in the NFL draft when he graduated — led to a deeper appreciation of the impacts that sports can have on people.
It was also something you could bond with anyone at Texas A&M over. Sports fanaticism at a state school is a sort of patriotism for your university. It’s not the only thing, but cheering for your team is sort of the most obvious thing that people of any degree or background or class year, even people who went to the college decades apart, can connect on.
The same applies to people who live in a certain area. Rooting for the Broncos is a way of cheering on Colorado. Cheering on your hometown team is a way of keeping in touch with your roots.
It’s also just fun to have something to care about so much. When A&M’s win was sealed by Auburn fumbling a snap on Saturday, I jumped out of my seat, hugged my friends and ordered us a round of shots. I had dreaded that game, and instead it was the best game I’d watched in weeks. Every Saturday is different in college football; it’s a plot with infinite twists.
I can’t wait for this Saturday.
Jill Beathard is not exactly a sports writer, but she is winning her fantasy league. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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