Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy

Karla's Kolumn: Remember It's Just A Game


September 9, 2017

Football season is here. One of my favorite times of the year. I love watching college football and the NFL. But, no matter how many games I watch and no matter how my favorite teams do, I remember it’s just a game.

It’s a game where players and coaches are trying their best. They all have one goal in mind – to win. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s no excuse to berate or belittle players or coaches.

One Texas A&M fan, so angered at the Aggies colossal collapse of a 34-point lead last weekend, wrote a hate-filled, racial letter to the coach, sending it to his home.

Seriously? Is that fan’s life so unfulfilled that the Aggies performance affects him so much that he, or she, has to attack another human being.

As a Broncos fan I have endured some embarrassing losses, including some in the Super Bowl. I have never had a desire to attack a coach or a player. I watch the game, I root for my team and then, for me, after the game, my life goes on. My overall happiness does not depend on whether my team wins or loses. Don’t get me wrong, I may yell at the TV after a dropped pass or a turnover, or hoot and holler when there’s a touchdown. But, it’s during the game and I don’t make it personal.

I listened to the Wyoming Cowboys game last weekend. I was disappointed we lost, that we didn’t play better, but I was able to joke about it with an Iowa fan I met at the Meeteetse Museums. You see, we have our life in perspective, we have kept sports in perspective. Her joy was based on the fact Iowa was winning. Her joy was in relishing the wonderful exhibits at the museum and being in Wyoming. My joy was my photo assignments were nearly complete and I was about to head home.

However, some fanatics can’t separate their “real” lives from the game. Yes, that’s right I’m calling them fanatics, after all fan is short for fanatic and unfortunately in today’s world there are more fanatics and fewer of us “fans of the game.”

When I’m watching a game, l will cheer a great play, even if it is made by the other team, except in the case of the Raiders, BYU or CSU. Sorry, some rivals never die.

When fantasy football arrived, I thought that might help the fanatical fan as they weren’t so focused on their team but rather on their fantasy team. But I’ve heard of people getting irate at their “fantasy” players because they didn’t perform well that week. (For you fantasy fanatics please remember the key word is fantasy.)

If watching a game or participating in a fantasy football league makes your life so miserable you become angry and your heart filled with hate it is time to take a step back and step away from the game.

As for me, I’m going to enjoy watching football on Saturdays and Sundays because I enjoy (note the word enjoy) watching the game of football. It’s OK, because I can handle it, win or lose.

I watch the game for fun, not for politics, but that said I am going to take a moment and get political.

When watching the season opener Thursday night between the Patriots and Chiefs, I didn’t care who knelt for the anthem or who didn’t but NBC did, focusing the camera on them and Al Michaels making sure he noted who knelt.

To me, as a journalist for one. It’s not news anymore, for me that story is old. Too many players are doing it and I wonder if some players now are just doing it for publicity rather than to try and affect change.

So I’m not boycotting the NFL because players disrespect our country, our flag and our serving men and women by not standing for the national anthem. I’m not boycotting because teams won’t sign Colin Kaepernick. It’s a business and no team needs the distractions that come with Kaepernick, but it’s not because he kneels during the anthem otherwise all those other players on all those other teams would be out too. Perhaps it is because he has attacked verbally and with his choice of socks, police officers and because he has praised Fidel Castro and the way Castro ran Cuba.

Coaches and owners realize that football is a game but it’s a business for them as well. If a team truly thought Kaepernick would make their team better, you can be sure he’d be signed. People say he’s a great quarterback. Let us look at his last season with San Francisco. He played the final 11 games. Yes, he had 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. How many wins did that equate to? One. That’s right, the 49ers under Kaepernick last season were 1-10.

Even as a Broncos fan I’ll take Trevor Siemian who had a much better record (8-6 with 18 TDs and 10 INTs) in his first full season at quarterback. Last year was Kaepernick’s fifth full season and sixth overall season in the NFL and he won one game.

So, once again, let me reiterate, I’m just going to watch some football this weekend. I’m not going to protest or boycott. I watch football for fun.

If it’s not fun for you, maybe trying watching Bob Ross paint a scenic landscape on PBS. It can be very soothing and less stressful for you fanatics out there.


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