There Are Too Many Dang Sports On

I really never thought I would be the one to say this take. I have long held that October is the best sports month of the year, because all four major sports leagues are playing. When sports were canceled at the beginning of quarantine, I was counting down the days until they returned and provided some mild sense of normalcy. But now that we’re at this point, I must say—with a very heavy heart—that there are too many damn sports on.

I want to keep up with everything. I really do. But it’s just too much. To spend all day Saturday watching college football, all day Sunday watching NFL, and Monday and Thursday nights watching more NFL; to have NBA conference finals showing every night, Stanley Cup finals showing every other night, baseball games airing every god forsaken day, and push notifications coming in from ESPN announcing the result of some UFC fight about which I could not give a solitary shit—it is all just too much.

Take some of them away. Not permanently, but just for a bit. Pause the NFL season until the NBA and NHL are done (thereby making some time for 15% of the league to recover from their torn ACLs). Let the MLB players rest. Nobody needed to watch the Dodgers bend the Rockies over three more times when their postseason fates were both already sealed. Delay college football for a month, except for the games where Oklahoma and LSU lose in their season openers, which I want to watch now.

Either that or just delay my grad school program so I can watch all of these games all day long and finally know the true meaning of inner peace.

The Monday Night Football Double-Header is Decadent and Depraved

To try and establish even a loose hierarchy of the NFL’s idiotic, inexcusable policies is a fool’s errand. But for all the talk about concussion protocol, the catch rule, COVID-19 policies, and some half-baked platitudes about racial justice while using a very powerful platform to do precisely nothing, there is one outrageously stupid NFL policy that doesn’t get nearly enough flak: the second Monday Night game on Week 1 of each season.

The NFL’s gradual encroachment of the American weekend has, generally, been both understandable and fairly successful. There was once a time when football was for Sundays, and Sundays only. Now the football weekend starts on Thursday night, ends on Monday night, takes over Saturdays after the college season ends, and sometimes begins at 9:30am Eastern on Sundays so that, from the moment we wake up to the moment we lay our head to rest, we do not have to spend a second not staring at Roger Goodell’s bare ass.

That’s all well and good. Most sports fans would probably agree that only having to suffer two days a week without any football, college or professional, is a good thing. But who—I mean, seriously, name one goddamn person—really wants to watch seven hours of football on a Monday night?

Most of us have jobs. They know that, right? I—nor my compatriots of the coastal elite—cannot afford to stay up until two o’clock in the morning watching a limp-dicked interdivision butt show. We are perfectly content to watch the first game and go to bed. 

And for those of who are fans of a team in the second slot? The NFL is forcing us to stay up three hours past bedtime to watch a game we’re going to hate anyway. 

The worst part is that the NFL clearly knows this. There’s a reason why the MNF doubleheader hasn’t been extended past week one. If there were a market for it, there’s no doubt they would have already expanded it to the whole season. So it’s really just an exertion of power and control. It is a yearly reminder, to set the tone for the next five months, that we are completely beholden to every sadistic whim and fancy of the world’s worst-run non-profit organization.

Anyway, you bet your ass I stayed up until 2am last night watching the Trevor Siemian Revenge Match between Denver and Tennessee. But man, I really wish I didn’t have to. 

Is Kap Too Big for the NFL?

Colin Kaepernick should be on an NFL roster. 

More specifically, Colin Kaepernick should be on the Chicago Football Bears. Even MORE specifically, every NFL GM who failed to signed Kap in the past five years should be forced to personally bankroll the campaign of one-to-five senators who would vote to reauthorize voting rights for Black people.

But Kap is not in the NFL. And even as the nation comes to agree that—shocker—the man the president called a “son of a bitch” for demanding an end to extrajudicial police killings was probably in the right, it doesn’t appear anyone is set to sign him.

That’s a travesty, but not a surprise. Be it domestic violence policies, player safety, or the definition of a catch, “travesty” is a pretty good word to describe most of the NFL. 

So the question at this point is really whether Kaepernick should even want to play in the NFL. His Nike deal is worth millions per year, with his own brand of apparel reportedly in the works. His Know Your Rights Camp has emerged as one of the most prominent civil rights organizations of the recent movement. He’s set to narrate an Ava Duvernay-produced Netflix docuseries about his life.

He is, in the most cliched way, bigger than football.

Which gets back to the question of whether it would even make sense for him to spend his time playing a game when he could be affecting policy. 

Certainly, he’s got every right to do whatever he wants, and I can say from experience* that it’s exceedingly fun to play professional football when you have his kind of arm strength, speed, and agility. He’s already done more than enough for one lifetime off the field, and no one would blame him for taking a nice payday to back up Tom Brady for the next 15 to 20 years.

But suddenly the NFL feels too small for him. His return would be like Jordan going to Birmingham, or Obama being president. Yeah, he can probably do it… but why would he?

With Washington changing its name and nearly every major sports league embracing his message, Kaepernick’s return at once feels inevitable and impossible. By blackballing him, the NFL has backed itself into a corner from which the only escape is a roster spot. But by so forcefully winning in this billion-dollar-industry vs. mobile-QB-from-Nevada fight, Kaepernick would be almost degrading himself if he were to return.

Admittedly, I’m probably getting ahead of myself. Maybe the NFL will continue to snub him. No one’s ever lost money betting on oligarchs to do the wrong thing.

But if the day comes when Kap suits back up in the NFL, it’s hard to imagine it’ll be satisfying.

*Legal note: I cannot say this from experience.

The Worst Things We’re Going to Do When Quarantine Ends

  • Keep talking to people about my sourdough starter
  • Go back to letting the faucet run without actually washing my hands, just so people outside the bathroom don’t judge me 
  • Touch
  • Produce Season 2 of Netflix’s Tiger King
  • Hold the subway poles with my mouth
  • Watch NFL football
  • Feel
  • Proclaim to be pro-science on things like climate change, but quietly hold an internal skepticism of vaccines
  • Get seriously injured and waltz into the hospital
  • Hold
  • Greet all strangers with an open mouth kiss
  • Scream, “I missed you, man!” at every passing stranger
  • Continue going on walks wearing a bandana around your mouth like an 8-year-old dressed up as a cowboy 
  • Stop tipping delivery drivers for a few months, to balance things back out