FOOOOOOOOOOTBBAALALLALLLALAL is back. Football is back. It’s back, baby. Thursday night the Denver Broncos trampled the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 49-27 marking the beginning of a 6-month Bud Light-powered journey to the Super Bowl.

Over the past few weeks I’ve gone through an inner struggle.  On one end, I am very excited for the start of the NFL season. ESPN and this commercial have not-so-subconsciously ingrained me to believe this is what we’ve all been waiting for. This coupled with the fact that the team I follow is one of a handful of real contenders means that in the past month I’ve seen more Trey Wingo than I care to admit.

All that said, I really can’t stand the culture of football. This can be said about anything popular in society, but the game has been positioned for a lowest-common-denominator audience. I cannot seem to escape this fact, as hard as I try. Whether it’s Ron Jaworski speaking in absolutes or my friends on Facebook touting the newest 49er-themed Bud Light bottle, I cannot move past the fact that this is thing we know as football is half about the snaps and half about creating low-level entertainment during the in-between.

I sit here trying to reconcile my excitement for Sunday’s games with the stupidity of the fans, media personalities and players themselves. The fact that football is the most popular sport in America probably says enough. This is not to be pretentious or imply that football needs to be more intellectual. I just want to be able to enjoy the sport without the constant reminder the NFL is one giant beer ad for people who enjoy Skip Bayless and actually heed the advice of the Swami. Everyone loves the NFL and yet it’s only marketed toward people who actually say “c’mon man” IRL. And I know a lot of people do say “c’mon man” IRL, but I surely don’t hang out with them IRL.

This is no doubt the result of  the widespread popularity of the sport. It caters to an audience that gets really drunk on every Sunday because they don’t watch Breaking Bad that night. Sure, there are millions of people who watch the NFL and Breaking Bad, but we’re not the target audience.

The thing is, I really do crave football. It’s barbaric nature calls out to my most innate entertainment needs. Gunslinging quarterbacks and hard-hitting free safeties — what’s not to love? Oh, this:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDUuy6yAMQc&w=420&h=315]

I don’t know why this upsets me so much but it does. There is no greater example of stupidity .  Al Michaels spent the rest of the quarter absolutely roasting Danny Travethan, and for a second there it looked like the Ravens might have a chance to get within a touchdown, further highlighting the stupidity of Danny Travethan. This would have made me happy. Stupidity should be highlighted.

But it’s football. I hate that I get sucked into the culture and I have to dumb myself down to watch my favorite team , but goddammit if I’m not going to enjoy the hell out of it. I’d be a real asshole to think I’m better than football. That would be like saying I’m above burgers or Sundays or driving on the right side of the road. So I’m going to sit down with chips and guac for the next 20 Sundays and try to be as uncritical as possible. I may have to turn off Facebook, however.

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