My 35+ year relationship with the NFL is over. We’re done. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs – though, realistically, much more of the latter than the former. I’ve suffered through lock-outs, replacement officials, Michael Vick, the tuck rule. Hell, the Raiders haven’t been competitive since Marcus Allen was running the ball. But still I persevered. I tried to make it work. Really I did. But this past weekend was the final straw, the tail end of a one week span in which everything that could have possibly gone wrong did: illogical coaching decisions, baffling quarterback play, a 1 in 55 aberration, and an injury at the worst possible time. A perfect shitstorm of improbable bad luck coming together to deny my Snow Monkeys a playoff berth. My Snow Monkeys, ranked #2 in our 14 team fantasy league in terms of overall record! The third highest scoring team in the league! Denied!
I thought the time away would help, but it hasn’t. I could have accepted a playoff defeat, even a first round exit. But to put in all that time and effort and still miss the post-season the way I did? I am angry. Bitter. And a notorious grudge-holder. Just the thought of tuning into an NFL game infuriates me. The football gods screwed me over and still expect me to keep my NFL package? It’s the equivalent to the love of your life dumping you in the most heartbreaking way possible and then hoping you can still be friends.
Forget it, sweetheart. You’ve hurt me for the last time. There are plenty of fish in the sea. College football may not be as polished as you, but its more youthful and possessed of a raw charm you’ll never have. The same goes for college basketball. Hockey may not be as popular with the in crowd, but it’s a lot more exhilarating and, unlike you who is only around for six or seven months of the year, hockey seemingly never goes away. Sure, baseball may lack the excitement you offer, but there’s something to be said for a classic that can’t break your heart because it’ll never really have it. And then there’s the NBA… Well, I’m not that desperate.
Yes, it was a great ride and there will always be those happy memories. The Raiders Superbowl thrashing of the Washington Redskins. Those Patriot Superbowl losses. My Snow Monkeys capturing last year’s fantasy league championship. I’ll treasure them always. And maybe, just maybe, a friendship could be possible in the distant future. But only provided you accept responsibility for the hurt you caused by offering up one of the following:
An apology from Drew Brees for playing the worst game of his career when I depended upon him the most.
An apology from the Green Bay Packers organization for obstinately attempting to establish the run game down 3 touchdowns.
And apology from Aaron Rodgers for not once targeting James Jones in that impotent display vs. the Giants (preferred).
Until then, it’s time to go our separate ways. And, should we pass one another on the street some day, me on my way to pick up an iTunes gift certificate for my sister, you in the throes of some resplendent televised playoff match-up, let’s – if not politely acknowledge one another – then reflect back fondly on the happier times. That you ruined.
Today’s blog entry is dedicated to the Landsharks, Dead Reckoning, the Mighty Molsons, the Hurtin’ Albertans, the Mighty Merkins, Tebow Sucks, the Vinegar Strokes, and Crossplane. Best of luck in the playoffs, boys!