Listening To 30-Somethings Talk About College Football Is All The Motivation I Need To Stop Caring About College Football
This morning I awoke with a craving for a sausage, egg, and cheese on a garlic bagel. I knew the risks involved - a garlic bagel to start the day is not going to make you any friends in the office.
That’s a stench that stays with you for eight hours bare minimum - I don’t care how many Altoids you’re popping. In any case, I wanted an SEC, and so after a shower and a grueling two step moisturizing routine for body and face I got in my car and made a stop at a renowned bagel shop near my office.
This place is constantly busy, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is or what the weather is like - you’re going to wait at least ten minutes for your order. It’s a primary reason why I don’t go very often, but I left myself enough time where I wouldn’t be late to work if I got the bagel to go.
Now I’m a big fan of eavesdropping on other peoples’ conversations. Always have been and always will. There’s nothing like silently judging two humans who have no idea you’re listening in on their conversation and this morning my mark was easy.
Two men stood about ten feet down the counter from where I was standing - the topic of conversation was Big Ten college football. My ears perked up because I heard the words “Redbox Bowl” and immediately zipped up my jacket to hide my Michigan State sweatshirt. What a shitshow that bowl game was. They made a few passing remarks about how bad MSU’s offense looked and then the conversation turned to one of the men’s alma maters - The Ohio State University.
Now I can get down with a little college football talk any day of the week. But the guy who was talking sounded like he was just spouting off, verbatim, from something he had heard on First Take the night before. Both gentleman looked like they hadn’t seen the inside of a weight room for the better part of a decade.
They were overweight, unkempt, and balding, and yet here they sat in a bagel shop on the north side of Chicago, criticizing with a fine toothed comb the throwing mechanics of a 19-year-old quarterback whom they have never met.
And is it too bold to assume that neither of these men, outside of some 3 on 3 games tailgating before Bears games, have ever gone under center competitively? I mean the audacity of these two was just astounding. At one point one of the guys said he was happy the OSU QB who led the team to a Rose Bowl victory this year was glad he declared for the NFL Draft because he “didn’t like how he wound up to throw the ball.”
I sat there waiting patiently for my sausage, egg, and cheese in amazement. How can people care so much about something so trivial? These guys were talking about OSU football as if they were members of the team and in that moment I realized how stupid, how meaningless my fandom was.
How could I, a person who tries not to take life too seriously, continue to let college sports make or break a weekend? Those two guys in that coffee shop have me thinking that I need to re-prioritize a little bit. Maybe stop screaming at my television when my favorite colleges’ basketball team doesn’t win a game. Quit getting in petty screaming matches with friends from rival schools. Start reading more or finding a new hobby. Because if I’m 35 years old one day, sitting in a bagel shop with a buddy of mine breaking down college football doing my best impression of Kirk Herbstreit just kill me now. I can’t believe there are blogs, message boards, and Twitter accounts dedicated solely to this kind of shit. It’s just depressing to think about, and I don’t think it’s crazy to say that some of you (myself included) need to get a fucking life.