For those who know me, it is no surprise that I spent today watching NFL football. For those who know me only slightly, it always seems to come as a large surprise. I am a geek, a secular humanist with intellectual leanings. I am supposed to like chess. I might be a "george will" intellectual, and be forgiven a passion for baseball. But I am not fond of either game. I LOVE football. I really care if the Ravens or the Redskins win. I yell at the TV. I eat salty snacks and drink beer. I read the sports pages. I have been known to bet on games, or get in on a football pool when I can.
There is nothing deep about football. It's all right there on the surface. There are no sabremetrics in football. Nobody pretends it's a mental game. It's honest. I love the competition, the athleticism, the sheer brute masculinity of it all -- large sweaty men pounding at each other. I love the emotion on the sidelines, the prayers, the crying, the yelling. I like the mud, the snow, the rain, the steam rising from the heads of the players.