Futbol Americano

I'm not exactly a huge football fan. I love my Packers and Fightin' Irish. And I enjoy stinking it up in fantasy football week after week. But, other than that, it's hard for me to stay captivated for an entire game. There is so much downtime, television timeouts, and reviews during a typical game that I usually get bored and turn the dial over to Vh1 or some other mindless TV station (hey, it's Sunday and I'm hungover, I'm not exactly in thinking mode, ya dig?)

Which is why I surprised myself on Sunday. The Lady Friend and I were in Indianapolis for a wedding over the weekend (if you're scoring at home, that's the third weekend in a row we've done on the wedding circuit. December weddings? P.U.) While I was talking to some dudes at the wedding reception Saturday evening, the conversations would always steer towards talking about the Colts. And, again, while I'm not exactly a football fan, per se, I try to know enough to keep up a conversation.

And after talking about the Horseshoes for an entire evening, I found myself seriously enjoying the conversations. There was something about the passion for their team that all of the fans in Indy had...very reminiscent of a late August night outside of Busch Stadium...like all the while the only thing going through their heads was a scrolling banner saying "Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Manning Colts Colts Edge Colts Colts Marvin Colts Colts Colts Manning Colts." Something which, as a fan, I could relate to. And enjoy (although, maybe that was the free Killian's doing the thinking for me. Maybe.)

That next morning, as TLF and I dined on the Marriott's finest selection of melons and tea at our hotel about two blocks up from the RCA Dome, home of the AFC leading Indianapolis Colts, we could see the fans marching towards the stadium; jerseys on, beers open, 10:30 in the morning. I sat there, in my room, and I took it all in. And that's when I realized, it's not football itself which has me down on the game...It's the city of St Louis, and, to be more precise, the St Louis Rams.

The Rams, right now, remind me a lot of the early-90's St Louis Cardinals. Glimpses of promise from time to time, but overall, mediocrity reigns supreme. And that has more to do with my current football malaise than the Packers being one of the worst teams in the NFL (Hell we may just end up with Reggie Bush wearing Green and Yellow next year because of it!)

The Rams went 8-8 last year to make (or as many would say stumble into) the playoffs, and the general reaction throughout the city was "The Rams are in the playoffs? Don't they stink?" And then the Rams even won their first playoff game, and again the general reaction was "The Rams won a playoff game? They stink." It's as if most people just don't really care.

Adding in the fact that the Rams play in one of the most depressing and atmospherically dead football arenas ever doesn't help matters. Throw in the additional fact that they, in all of their glorious mediocrity, are almost always the NFC game of the week in the St Louis TV market on Sundays and, yes, it makes perfect sense why I haven't really been following football all that closely for the last two years.

I'm pretty sure if I lived in Chicago, or Indianapolis, or even Seattle, I would be singing a different tune. Hell, it only took one weekend in Indy for me to listen to the majority of a Colts game on the radio while driving back to St Louis Sunday afternoon. And listening to football on the radio is something which I have rarely, if ever, done in the past.

Of course, the Colts went on to lose their first game of the year while I was listening, so I don't know what that's supposed to tell me.

Stupid Rams.

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"I'll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize the state of Missouri."