How My Dad Stopped Me From Becoming One of Those Women

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How My Dad Stopped Me From Becoming One of Those Women

by baldilocks

At the New York Post, Jay Cost talks about why he’s con­sid­er­ing giv­ing up watch­ing the NFL; mostly about offi­ci­at­ing and “freak” injuries.

It’s not that much of an inter­est­ing read, but it made me think about the time that I almost became one of those women.

12-​year– old me to my dad: “I hate football.”

Dad: “How can you hate some­thing you know noth­ing about?”

Long before I met the man who became my dad when he mar­ried my mom, Dad was a tall — 64″ — lanky teenager who played foot­ball and bas­ket­ball in high school and in col­lege. He says he was bet­ter at bas­ket­ball, but that he enjoyed play­ing foot­ball more.

Later, like almost every­one else’s dad, he’d be in front of the TV on Sun­days. This was before he became a Chris­t­ian and, after that, a pastor.

By the time Dad asked me that fate­ful ques­tion, I was begin­ning to par­rot what I’d heard adult females say, even though I don’t remem­ber if Mom ever gave her opin­ion on the game. I do know that she wasn’t watch­ing it.

My par­ents had spotty suc­cess with get­ting me to do what they wanted using threats or shame, but they could almost always manip­u­late me with logic. So, when Dad asked me The Ques­tion, I was forced to con­clude that he was right: that I could not come to a valid con­clu­sion about the qual­ity of foot­ball because I didn’t know jack about it.

To rem­edy this, Dad sug­gested that I join him in front of the TV each Sun­day for one sea­son, while he explained the goal, strate­gies, rules, tac­tics, etc. of the game, and then, after­ward, make an informed opin­ion about the game.

By the end of that sea­son and for many years after­ward, I was a big fan of foot­ball and the NFL. Then some­thing hap­pened; some­thing long before Colin Kaeper­nick first knelt dur­ing a ren­der­ing of the National Anthem.

I got tired of foot­ball play­ers and their off-​the-​field antics. I think Rae Car­ruth was the death knell – in more ways than one. Kaeper­nick was the cremation.

Some­thing that has always been an aver­sion to me is ingrat­i­tude for the bless­ings which God bestows, what­ever the nature of that bless­ing: intel­lect, phys­i­cal gifts, earthly oppor­tu­ni­ties, etc. I’ve only been able to artic­u­late this aver­sion in recent years, but it has always been there as neb­u­lous, un-​evaluated dis­gust. And, as the char­ac­ter qual­ity of NFL play­ers seemed to descend, my inter­est in being enter­tained by them var­ied directly. (The same thing hap­pened with the NBA; I stopped watch­ing them even earlier.)

[cap­tion id=“attachment_103951” align=“alignright” width=“300”] The future LA Sta­dium in the Rams’ and Charg­ers’ dreams[/caption]

But now that I’ve eval­u­ated that dis­gust, I do won­der how long the NFL will last, con­sid­er­ing that I’m far from alone

in turn­ing my back on the NFL, if all the empty sta­di­ums and the losses incurred by ESPN, etc. are indi­ca­tions. Here in LA, we have two foot­ball teams that can barely sell its dirt-​cheap tickets.

Back to Dad. As I said, he long ago read­justed his Sun­day pri­or­i­ties – and so did I. It’s for the best.

One won­ders what an NFL-​less Amer­ica would look like.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Fol­low her on Twit­ter and on Gab​.ai.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

by baldilocks

At the New York Post, Jay Cost talks about why he’s considering giving up watching the NFL; mostly about officiating and “freak” injuries.

It’s not that much of an interesting read, but it made me think about the time that I almost became one of those women.

12-year- old me to my dad: “I hate football.”

Dad: “How can you hate something you know nothing about?”

Long before I met the man who became my dad when he married my mom, Dad was a tall — 6’4″ — lanky  teenager who played football and basketball in high school and in college. He says he was better at basketball, but that he enjoyed playing football more.

Later, like almost everyone else’s dad, he’d be in front of the TV on Sundays. This was before he became a Christian and, after that, a pastor.

By the time Dad asked me that fateful question, I was beginning to parrot what I’d heard adult females say, even though I don’t remember if Mom ever gave her opinion on the game. I do know that she wasn’t watching it.

My parents had spotty success with getting me to do what they wanted using threats or shame, but they could almost always manipulate me with logic. So, when Dad asked me The Question, I was forced to conclude that he was right: that I could not come to a valid conclusion about the quality of football because I didn’t know jack about it.

To remedy this, Dad suggested that I join him in front of the TV each Sunday for one season, while he explained the goal, strategies, rules, tactics, etc. of the game, and then, afterward, make an informed opinion about the game.

By the end of that season and for many years afterward, I was a big fan of football and the NFL. Then something happened; something long before Colin Kaepernick first knelt during a rendering of the National Anthem.

I got tired of football players and their off-the-field antics. I think Rae Carruth was the death knell – in more ways than one. Kaepernick was the cremation.

Something that has always been an aversion to me is ingratitude for the blessings which God bestows, whatever the nature of that blessing: intellect, physical gifts, earthly opportunities, etc. I’ve only been able to articulate this aversion in recent years, but it has always been there as nebulous, un-evaluated disgust. And, as the character quality of NFL players seemed to descend, my interest in being entertained by them varied directly. (The same thing happened with the NBA; I stopped watching them even earlier.)

The future LA Stadium in the Rams’ and Chargers’ dreams

But now that I’ve evaluated that disgust, I do wonder how long the NFL will last, considering that I’m far from alone

in turning my back on the NFL, if all the empty stadiums and the losses incurred by ESPN, etc. are indications. Here in LA, we have two football teams that can barely sell its dirt-cheap tickets.

Back to Dad. As I said, he long ago readjusted his Sunday priorities – and so did I. It’s for the best.

One wonders what an NFL-less America would look like.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!