Growing up in my childhood home, you got used to the TV being on. My dad worked the 3-11 shift and watched TV, particularly sports, or napped on the couch when he was home.
It was not uncommon for the TV to be on during a Sunday dinner. IF Dad chose to come to the dinner table, his seat was arranged so that he had a clear view of the TV set if he sat a little straighter. If he was too involved in his game, he might take his food to the living room table while Mom and us children ate at the kitchen table.
The TV was always LOUD. Very loud. It was offensive, in-your-face, drowning-out-your-own-thoughts loud. Dad was very focused. He was very much into the game, and there was many a fork full of peas that went flying across the kitchen when he didn’t like a call, or thought an error had been made. He’d erupt into an enraged critic, letting all know how he felt about the situation with a fist to the table or copious cursing and impassioned commentary causing us to jolt at the kitchen table, our peas launched off our utensil by the unexpected rage and volume.
This is not a blog about the horrors of my father, nor his love for football, but I can’t say that my past didn’t color my present. He loved the game. He had season tickets to the Washington Redskins. He collected team paraphernalia and football was a part of his life. I get that some people are fans, some use football as a time to bond over a similar event, some are fanatics and some just like the community. That’s ok. I accept that and respect that these feelings exist.
I hate football, and I’m not a huge fan of sitting and watching TV for long periods of time. Anyone who didn’t see this coming?
OK, maybe it’s not fair for me to say I hate football, because I really don’t think I hate the actual game. What I find disturbing about football and TV is that they were the chosen focus of my father. Maybe a bit more of a clarification would be, that I become disturbed when I see others promoting their love of the game above their personal interactions with those who do not.
I get that some fans love the game and collect the paraphernalia and enjoy getting together for an event. All points well taken about how football can enhance your personal relationships.
But when choices are made to put a game above time spent with people who perhaps are not quite the fanatical fan that you are, I find that upsetting. If you tell me that you can’t come to a Sunday afternoon birthday party for your friend because you can’t possibly miss a game, I’m going to look at you as if you’ve grown another head. Especially if you also tell me that there is no excuse for me to miss spending time with you on your celebratory day. Hello?! Priorities?
Because that’s really what it’s all about. You will always have time in your life for the things you make a priority. If you choose a group of strangers known as a football team playing against another team your priority, there is always time. If you make sitting on the floor and playing games with your kids a priority, then that’s what it is. So what if there is a game on that you are missing, that time you have with the children and their games is all you really have. The here and now.
I love my family and friends and would prefer to spend time with them above all other things. My life is now, not after the game is over. I choose now to focus on the people that matter to me, not just during commercials or a break in the action.