Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Off Topic Football Rant
Okay...when I started this blog I decided to only include running-related content. I didn't want it to become a place where I would discuss my personal life, or politics, or the ten best chicken recipes. Not that there is anything wrong with those blogs. I read some of them. But I like to keep my distance a little bit. Sure, you guys have shared some emotional times with me, but I'm usually not shoving my personal opinions at you or igniting any sort of debates.
However, I must deviate from the plan for today. Then, I promise, I will get back to the matter at hand - training for my first race of the year (in less than two months!) and, ultimately, for the marathon in November.
I live near the Wisconsin/Illinois border. I am, without doubt, a Packer fan through and through. And I couldn't be happier that my team is in the Superbowl! I have a lot of friends who are Bears fans. And even though I have participated in years and years of Packers/Bears rivalry, I am surprised at the amount of mean-spiritedness going on these last two days.
Admittedly, I have seen some Packers fans going a little overboard with the smack-talk. I have a couple friends (Packers fans) on my FB feed who certainly crossed the line and made things uncomfortable for those of us trying to enjoy this. But the number of Bears fans being just downright mean is startling. I understand what its like to support a losing team. I've been there for plenty of years. But, seriously people...its a game.
Do you really "hate" the other team? Do you really "hate" their fans just because they wear the wrong color? That whole gang mentality is a little dangerous if you ask me.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about all Bears fans. I have some friends who have been incredibly classy and proudly sport their Bears jerseys in support of their team while congratulating the opposition. Some have expressed their sadness and nursed their wounds quietly. But then there are others who have grown horns and fangs and, frankly, scare me a little right now. Some have even turned on their own QB for not playing through an injury. Its like football cannibalism. If there is a bright side for the Bears fans it has got to be that they discovered their third-string QB can hold his own.
But I digress....my point is that if you are a football fan aren't you a fan of the game? Are you a football fan first and then a Packer fan? Or are you a 'insert team name here' fan and then a football fan? I have certainly seen folks who are a fan of their team, above and beyond anything else. So your team loses and it feels like you have nothing left to cheer for. I agree that I'm not nearly as excited for a game if my team is not there - but I still enjoy the game. So, I guess that makes me a fan of football first. And a Packer fan second. I don't think it makes me less of a Packer fan. Anyone who sees the decor of my office or the licence plates I sport on my truck can see where my loyalties lie. But I think the game is bigger than any one team.
I'm thankful I get to watch my team play a few extra games this year. But when it comes right down to it, no matter who is playing - its all about the game.
To bring this back to the intended topic of this blog - I'm super excited to run the Soldier Field 10 miler in May. Finishing on the 50-yard line at Soldier Field is an amazing thrill for me! That stadium has a rich history and, being a football fan, I appreciate the tradition and history of the team that plays and practices there. Although, after the goings on of this past weekend....I'm not so sure I should wear my Packers NFC Champions shirt for the race :)