Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/22/12

A long-time New England Patriots fan - and a friend of mine (justifiably) - had very strong feelings about the Super Bowl. After the big game, he described the loss as “(It was like) getting over a rape and PTSD. Then my persecutor returned a few years later and assaulted me on National Television yet again.” Certainly, in no context are such feelings healthy or admirable. It is my opinion that many are beginning to lose the essence of football.

This is that it is fun. It is, quite literally, a game. It is not something worthy of centralizing our lives or even our emotions. It should never be powerful enough to draw from us anything other than positive emotions. When football gets to a point where you are feeling as though you are being sexually assaulted, it is time to evaluate our relationship with this sport.

I made this discovery toward the end of the past regular season when my New York Jets rested with a record of 8-8 after building such a high expectation. I found myself actually depressed, and I looked up at Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan conducting a press conference explaining how they have had a bunch of 'locker-room' problems. I then found myself wondering how it was that those two men actually caused me to be depressed. Why should I be so loyal to them? Why should I root for Mark Sanchez's success above all others' success? What is so special about him?

It would appear that all who take a position of fanship toward a specific team would suffer the burden of such questions. I do believe this is a proper transition into my evaluation of the anticipated answers of these questions.

Because, they're my team!
Because, it's the way I've always done it!

These depthless philosophies are the cause of many problems throughout the world. Teenagers are discouraged from church when parents parade it as a mere tradition. Further, The way I have always done it, philosophy is exactly why I refuse to remove my elbows from the table. Give me a strong foundation or even a single reason, and I will consider adhering to this mannerism.

Likewise, give me even a single reason to applaud when the green team kicks a field goal to skip ahead of the Indianapolis Colts in a 12-10 thriller, and I will consider it. It is my opinion that there is simply no explanation good enough for torturing our emotions.

Further, I do not believe that loyalty is a valid argument. Detroit Lions' fans will bear the gear even when the team is doing poorly to indicate that they still have great love for them despite that they are 1-15. This indicates to me that such a person will torture themselves with false ideals and absolutely no promise of retribution in their life, ever.

However, when adopting the agnosticism model toward the NFL, we can  embrace the positivity of the games and there will be absolutely no risk involved. We can return to our childhood roots and actually enjoy football rather than describing it as sexual molestation.

In rejecting fanship of any team, we gain credibility in every NFL topic. An agnostic has no loyalties and therefore no reason to be biased. To the end of avoiding bias, our minds are also clear of false ideologies of Fantasy Football which our loyalty will often lead to. (I ought to bench Tom Brady – after all, he is playing against the overpowering New York Jets!) With our minds untethered by such things, we will accelerate in Fantasy Football.

Finally, if you want to root for Tim Tebow in Week 13, your fanship may not allow it because perhaps Tebow needs to lose so that your boys can maintain a run toward that No. 6 Wild Card Seed. You cannot make a valid bet or argumentation because you are hindered by emotion. You describe loss as similar to sexual assault. Your Fantasy Football game is slumping. You cannot even root as you want to because your loyalty toward a team that does not care about you or even know you exist is hindering you.

Are we really this stupid, to make completely emotion-based decisions; to allow ourselves to be raped time and again? Come on, people. We need to give credibility to the statement 'it's just a game.' If you find yourself struggling with this, then I advise you do some self-reflection.



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