You might have noticed that I have not written about picking my new NFL team for the last couple of weeks. This is because:
It’s baseball playoff time, and that has been dominating my attention.
I’ve tried on a bunch of different teams, and they just didn’t take.
The second reason has been the big one, I guess. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve speed-dated the Jets, the Giants, the Eagles, the 49ers (after the Christian McCaffrey trade), the Panthers again (after the Christian McCaffrey trade), the Lions again, the Bears again, the Dolphins, the Vikings, the Titans and even the Jaguars.
When I started this project, I really thought it would be interesting to see how it feels to root for each team. But, for the most part, it hasn’t been especially interesting to me, which I suppose would make it even less interesting to you.
You know sometimes you’ll see a shirt on the rack at a store, and you’ll think: “Oh, that looks like something I’d wear.” And then you try it on and look in the mirror and go, “Oh, wow, that’s not at all what I thought that would look like.”
That’s more or less what it has been like for me … except for two teams, which I will get into in a minute. I just don’t FEEL anything for these teams. Fandom is emotional, as we all know, and what I have been looking for is that emotional connection, that feeling in the pit of my stomach that dances a little when the team does well and aches a little when they don’t.
Here’s my very brief observation of each team I tried on:
The J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets: My best friend in high school and one of my best friends in the world now are Jets fans, so I’ve always wanted them to do well. And with the Jets doing pretty well this year, I thought that might translate into a bigger relationship. But, I have to be honest: None of this works. All I felt watching the Jets was emptiness. Running back Breece Hall is kind of fun, and young quarterback Zach Wilson might be something someday, I can’t really tell. But I just felt no spark there.
The Giants: My connection to the Giants is mainly through Danny Dimes — quarterback Daniel Jones — who grew up around where I live and played high school football at Charlotte Latin, which is more or less around the corner from our house and also the school where Dean Pelton went. There’s actually a lot of good football in the immediate area. Possibly the best high school quarterback in America, Jadyn Davis, goes to our daughter’s school, and it has been reported that he is very nice.
Anyway, I do enjoy rooting for Jones. but I just can’t root for the Giants. It doesn’t feel right. For the most part, Yankees fans are also Giants fans.
The Eagles: I really wanted this one to work out — mainly because being an Eagles fan has always seemed very cool to me.