Even though this gets posted on Thursday morning, at the time of this writing, the first regular season game between the Dallas Cowboys and the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants, has yet to take place on Wednesday evening. On the eve of the start of another year of football, I’m having something of a football identity crisis.
My position in brief: I didn’t grow up in a household with any particular football team to root for, so when head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez joined the New York Jets a few years ago, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and see where that road went. While being a Jets fan has been equal parts exciting and painful, I was proud to back my team—officially underdogs when compared to that other New York team. But then this past off-season, they went and acquired Tim Tebow, a player for whom I’ve got very little love, complicating my loyalty to a team I’ve only really followed for a couple seasons.
Meanwhile, I moved to Minneapolis last summer, and here I still am. So do I root for the Jets with their crazy Tebow-centric plans? Or the Vikings, who are nearly guaranteed to have a lousy season (they won two games last year, I believe)?
So while I try to spend the next few months figuring that out, I’ve compiled a list of STUFF that I want that will supposedly help me figure out what team I will fill the football shaped hole in my heart:
1) A subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket.
Last year, I barely got to watch any football game while I was figuring out my TV situation. This year, I can get a subscription to DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket that I can use on my PlayStation 3—for a whopping $299 for the season. With my aforementioned ambivalence towards the Jets this year, I’m not sure I’m ready to drop that much cash on something that’s only going to make me feel terrible if they play like junk. That said, having the subscription would let me catch every Sunday game for all 16 weeks, meaning I could go ahead and pick some new team I might never see broadcast locally. Hello, Tampa Bay Buccaneers! (Just kidding.)
But while we’re on the subject of PlayStation 3:
2) Madden NFL ’13.
I’ve spent the last month researching and writing about the history of video game maker EA Sports for my other job, and even though I’m done with that project, I’ve got a hankering to play some video game football. I hear that the latest version of the franchise is pretty solid, and while I think both the Jets and the Vikings will not do very well this year, I can see which team I like more in a virtual reality situation, thus preparing me for next season before it even begins. It’s scientific!
I learned this year that the next best thing to watching sports live (and in the case of the New York Mets, much, much better) is reading about legendary games of the past. That’s why I’m intrigued by this book by Ed Gruver from 2009 that’s all about when the Jets’ most famous quarterback, Joe Namath, decided it’d be a good idea to guarantee a Super Bowl win. I know pretty much nothing about that season or that game, so I think looking into the Jets’ franchise past might either help me fall in love with the team for real (Tebow or not) or decide once and for all to go with the purple and gold.
Any items in your NFL wish list as the season gets underway? Go [insert football team name here]!