Okay football fans, here we go. Are you ready for some nonsense?
A mind altering obsession with millions across North America including thousands in good, old Sault Ste. Marie, the National Football League begins the 2021 regular season this week.
A league of billionaire owners who somehow allow for sub-par officiating that affects the outcome of games week in and week out, the NFL is a lot about self-hype and faithful followers who are mindlessly loyal to their favourite teams and can’t enough of the week to week action.
Being a Detroit Lions fan, you can put me in the mindlessly loyal category. But I have plenty of company — and not just as a Lions fan.
We get dressed up in the jerseys, hats, jackets and hoodies of our favourite NFL team and for at least one day a week during the season, we allow for any sort of common sense to be taken over by a ridiculous fixation.
If we aren’t attending the game in person, we get together at home with family and/or friends and begin the day at noon with cold beer, sausage on a bun and potato chips and wearing jerseys with names like Stafford, Goff, Rodgers, Mayfield, Roethlisberger and whoever happens to be the Chicago Bears quarterback of the day on our backs.
But hey, it’s a diversion.
The NFL, for all of its coercion, deception, double dealing, fudging, manipulation and other synonyms, serves as week to week amusement and relaxation during the season. If properly self managed, it really can be healthy fun.
I have family and friends and know many people in the Sault who are football fanatics. They cheer for the Lions, the Packers, the Bears, the Steelers, the Browns, the Cowboys and yes, even the Vikings and their awful purple and gold jerseys. And many are on the Brady bandwagon that has gone from New England to Tampa Bay.
Me? I will continue to root for the Lions, either from home or in person. I will continue to take good natured grief from Packers fans like Bob Shami, David Ritchie and Doug Rhodes and Bears fans like Aaron Nolan and Ellen Basham and Vikings fans like Scott Cleminson, Kenny Bonnell and his daughter Kim and Cowboy fans like Ray Basawa, Jamie Henderson and Randy Muto.
No matter. It’s all part of the Nonsense Football League.
Are you ready?