Today is the day that I officially said my goodbye as a fan of the NFL and the Oakland Raiders. This has actually been something that has slowly been happening over the past few years but today was the absolute final straw.
I wasn’t exactly thrilled when the Raiders traded for Antonio Brown back in March. As much as I dislike the Steelers, I dislike asshole athletes all that much more. Any time an athlete acts like a fuckhead and somehow ends up with a better contract or in a better spot I like sports a little bit less.
It really started for me last year when the Raiders fired Greg Papa and traded Kahlil Mack. It wasn’t so much those two things that bothered me as much as it was my reaction to both of those things. They made me angry and in the latter case, it ruined my day.
I started to ask myself why I even cared enough to be angry? I have no control over this crap, so why do I allow it to have any kind of control over me? I couldn’t find a good answer to that question, so I decided to take a year off. I didn’t watch or listen to any NFL game last year. I did follow the sport through my subscription to the athletic and I did make NFL picks because the group had already been set up. Figured I would walk back my interest a bit and see what happened this year.
Something curious did happen this year. Actually, it started to happen shortly after that decision last year. I realized that there were other things in my life that used to bring me pleasure but no longer did. I realized that I wasn’t really all that happy with Star Wars anymore. It didn’t lead me to give up Star Wars just yet but it did help me discover that I wasn’t the only person who was feeling this way. I found Youtube channels like: Geeks & Gamers, WorldClassBullshitters, Comic Artist Pro Secrets, Mauler and Overlord DVD among many others. I also
discovered this website which does a pretty good job of chronicling some of the issues I have with Star Wars.
Then, WrestleMania happened. I have loved pro wrestling since 1989 but after this year’s WrestleMania was so bad it put me in a horrible mood for a month, I decided that I was done with WWE. I ended my network subscription, reduced my purchasing of WWE figures (I have bought some) and haven’t seen a show since WrestleMania. I realized pretty quickly that I actually still like professional wrestling, I just hated the WWE product.
That brings me back to the NFL. I decided to give the Raiders in particular but the league itself another chance. Then all this Antonio Brown bullshit happened today and I was angry again. I was in such a bad mood that I ended up canceling dinner plans with a friend because I was afraid I would snap at her or that my mind would be elsewhere and not where I thought it deserved to be. That was the final of final straws. So I did something I don’t ordinarily do. I posted that I was done with the NFL on Facebook, I even cursed liberally which isn’t something I like to do when I write.
It wasn’t really all that hard to not listen to any NFL games last season. It hasn’t been hard to not watch the WWE product. Star Wars is so bad that not being interested in books, TV shows or the upcoming episode 9 has been incredibly easy. Things that are meant to be entertainment shouldn’t make me angry and it is realistically as much a problem with me as it is a problem with those forms of entertainment. But I can’t change Star Wars or WWE or the NFL. I can change my personal behavior though and cut out things that shouldn’t make me angry but somehow do.
Honestly, what I have realized is that saying goodbye to things I used to love has been quite beneficial. It turns out that I love New Japan Pro Wrestling because while not a perfect promotion by any means it gives me what I want and before anyone asks, I will be checking out All Elite Wrestling’s TV product at least at first.
Finding people who are as disenchanted with Star Wars as I am helped me to become more analytical. Watching MauLer’s Critique of The Last Jedi has helped me to become better and undestanding and appreciating good writing in a way that I didn’t before. It has taught me to think deeper about media than I did before. It showed me how to apply the skills I learned in debate towards the assessment of film, television and books. I wrote book reviews before but given what I have learned in the past year, I don’t consider any of them to be all that good.
I have also discovered that I really love baseball. I always knew I loved baseball but I had always thought football was my favorite sport. It turns out that it is baseball and it isn’t even all that close. Again, not a perfect game or league but I’m not looking for perfect. I can live with baseball’s issues. Plus, my favorite baseball team doesn’t whore itself out to any player with a famous name.
Also, I got back in to watching Boxing. I hadn’t watched a fight in quite some time. But then I decided to see if I still had an interest in it so signed up for DAZN. I watched some fights back in May and June and definitely had a great time. So saying goodbye to things I used to enjoy has allowed me to say hello to things I used to enjoy but had neglected. I’ll take that trade all day.