This column originally appeared in The Jambalaya News on January 27,2011.
I would have continued to do it, too, if it weren’t for a life-changing event last weekend that gave me a swift kick in the seat of the pants.
That’s right; my football team lost in the playoffs.
I really don’t understand how they could have done this to me, after all that I have given to them. For four whole months – five if you count the pre-season- I sacrificed my Sundays to the team. My loyalty never wavered, as I religiously made my weekly pilgrimage to the sports bar across town. I was always on time for the kickoff, the lone soul wearing my team’s jersey amidst the sea of Dallas Cowboys fans, enduring their ridicule! I’ve bribed the waitress twenty bucks to put the game on the bar’s smallest TV, where I had to squint to see the plays, squinting harder with every beer. All of these things I endured all season long for the love of my team! Then what do they go and do to me? They blow a two-touchdown lead in a playoff game, that’s what!
I’ll tell you, this whole experience was an eye-opener for me. Yes, dear Football, I know that our relationship goes back a long way. I know about all of the times that we had together, all of the ups and downs. But I’ve finally had enough of you, and I have got to say that this latest episode is the last straw. It was a tough decision, but you leave me with no choice. I’ve decided to leave you for another form of entertainment.
I’m going to become a devotee of the fine arts.
The way I see it, the fine arts would never let me down the way you have, dear Football. There’s no way I walk into the Louvre, only to find that someone had unexpectedly taken a Sharpie and drawn a mustache and glasses on the Mona Lisa. And I don’t have to go to the opera worrying about whether the orchestra will screw up and break into Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” in the middle of Madame Butterfly.
Here’s another thing—I won’t ever again have to put up with obnoxious fans from opposing teams. I can go to New York and safely walk into the Museum of Modern Art to view The Persistence of Memory by my favorite artist, Salvador Dali, completely unafraid of having to confront an unruly mob of drunken Picasso fans, spilling beer all over the marble floor and wearing those big foam fingers, all the while getting in my face shouting, “We’re number one!”
What’s more, I won’t ever have to worry about my favorite 18th century composer tearing his ACL and being out for the season. Heck, he’s already been dead for over 200 years! How much worse can it get? Nor do I need to be concerned about any kind of scandal suddenly being unearthed about my favorite Impressionist painter. All the dirt on them is already out. And there’s no cause to complain about outrageous salaries, either. Most of these guys died penniless; their works only became priceless many years later.
Somehow I can’t picture Tom Brady signing a contract that defers his salary until a century after his last game in the NFL.
As a former sports fan, there’s a lot that I can bring to the world of fine arts. Take tailgating, for instance. I’ve never noticed a whole lot of that going on outside of a symphony hall, but I really think that it could become a real hit amongst classical music listeners. Ok, so Instead of baby back ribs and Miller Lite, we have beef bourguignon in an orange-burgundy sauce served with a 1989 Chateau Vieux-Certan. That would be the only difference.
I do have to say there are certain things I’ll miss about being a football fan. For one, it’s going to be really hard to strike up a conversation around the water cooler on Monday morning about The Cubist Paintings of Diego Rivera exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. But I can try.
So, think about these things when you are at your Super Bowl party, and I’m at home watching Don Giovanni on PBS. Perhaps you, too, will come to see things as I do, and suggest flipping the channel.
Just be prepared for the barrage of chicken wing bones.