Football is my church.
It WAS my church.
Growing up, all I wanted to do was play football. To the extent that I convinced myself I would make it to the NFL. Those dreams were shattered in college. To be blunt, I didn’t put in the work needed to achieve that goal. I got wrapped up in the “college life”. You live an you learn.
That’s beside the point. I used to follow football religiously, pun intended. I wouldn’t miss a game and I especially would not miss a Cowboy game. If I did, I would get incredibly irritated and my day would be shot because I missed a game. Hell, if the Cowboys lost a game, my week would suck. My emotions were tied to the game. I knew every update, every stat, what every reporter and sports analyst had to say, etc. I ate up anything that was NFL football.
Then a few years ago, I started missing a game or two. I didn’t watch ESPN that day and it began to snowball from there. It got to the point where I even missed a Cowboy game here and there. The blasphemy!
The strange part, the more games and updates I missed, the more I didn’t miss it. I couldn’t figure it out. Now, I have yet to sit and watch a cowboy game this season. I can’t go back and forth with friends and coworkers about football, arguing about stats and who is better than who and why. I barely know what the Cowboys record is.
For a while, it bothered me that I wasn’t bothered by the fact that I was missing games. It bothered me that I wasn’t bothered by the fact that I didn’t know who was leading the league in passing, rushing and receiving or who the favorite for MVP was 5 games into the season. Then I took some time and thought about what I was doing when I wasn’t watching the games. There I would find the answer to why I wasn’t bothered having less NFL in my life.
What was I doing during game time?
I was doing the activities that aligned with my values and my goals. I was doing the things that really mattered to me. I AM doing the things that really matter to me. First and foremost, I was spending more time with my family. More quality Dad time and Husband time. I was working out, reading, writing, completing projects around the house, etc.
Football has become an afterthought. I’ll still catch some highlights here and there, but it is no longer a priority. Truth be told, it is beginning to feel like a waste of time because any time dedicated to watch a 3-hour game and who knows how many hours of a 1 hour rerun of SportsCenter, is time taken away from the things and people that truly matter in my life.
It’s upsetting to me that it took this long to realize this.
So, when Sundays roll around, they are not dedicated to football. They are dedicated to my family and the important things in life.
I will always love the game of football, but I will never love it as much as I love my wife, my kids and myself.