I’ve been watching football all day today. As much of a football fan as I am that is not a normal Sunday of football watching for me. Often I’ll have games on but actually watching them is a whole different matter. I’m a New York Giants’ fan so it’s normal for me to watch their games but after that it’s anyone’s guess as to what other games I’ll watch on any given Sunday. It really all does come down to the Giants for me. They can set the tone for the day by winning or losing.

In general there are four start times for pro football games. 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 8:30 PM on Sunday plus around 9:00 PM on Monday night. All times are US Eastern Standard time in case you were wondering. I prefer that the Giants play the 1:00 PM Sunday game. I don’t want to wait around all day for them to play. I want to see them play first thing. After all that’s what I’m watching football for. Not everybody likes their team in the early game. Especially people on the West Coast where the early game starts at 10:00 AM because of the time difference. But I’m an early bird. Heck, I might even like a 10:00 AM game.

Waiting all the way until Monday night is the worst for me. I want to see the Giants play now. Not later. When the game is on Monday night then it feels like the whole football word has passed the Giants by. At least it does on Sunday. When Monday night finally rolls around I’m too involved in the game to care. Like I said, I just want to see them play.

Of course the worst part about playing a night game is that it ends so late. A game that starts at 8:30 PM won’t end until 11:30 PM at the earliest. That puts a 9:00 PM game at midnight. That’s only a little bit later then I’m usually up but it’s hard to fall asleep immediately after watching a Giants’ game. It takes a while for the excitement and adrenaline to wear off. Or the disappointment if they lose. So I’m losing at least an hours sleep with a night game. I like my sleep and don’t like losing it.

I can remember one Giants’ game that I went to that was as late as it gets. It was a Monday night game, the September 15, 2003 one, where they played the Dallas Cowboys. Not only was it a night game but it went into overtime so it ended later than usual. I was staying with some friends in Brooklyn, who went to the game with me, and we took the subway to the bus to get to the game and did the same thing coming back. Not a bad way to get to the game in the daytime but the one thing I remember thinking while standing and waiting for the subway at sometime near 2:00 AM was that it was no time to be getting home from a football game. Especially since it was now Tuesday morning and the work day would be starting soon. And the Giants lost the game making it an extra miserable 2:00 AM ride.

If the Giants lose their game it makes all the other games less interesting to me. That’s common with any fan. Who can get involved in the drama of another team winning or losing if your team has already lost? Your stake is gone. That’s why gamblers love all the games. Even after their team loses. If they have a bet going they always have a stake in things. But I’m not a gambler. I’m just a football fan. Plus if a person’s team loses then most people don’t want to see the score or the highlights of the game flashed on screen all day. I’m no different.

What else makes for a good day of football watching? The other games being interesting of course. If I haven’t seen every Giant’s game since about 1980 or so then I’ve seen close to every Giants’ game. Since I live in the NYC area that means the Giants are are TV every week and so are the Jets. Sometimes there is another game on opposite the Jets but most weeks there is not. That means I’ve seen a lot of Jets’ games too. Sure I’ve watched plenty of them with only one eye on the TV and even napped through a bunch but I guess that I’ve watched at least a fourth of the Jets’ games since 1980. That’s a lot of games.

It happens to be that the Jets are good this year so they’re fun to watch. That hasn’t always been the case. I think it was the two 1992 Jets v. Colts games that were a couple of the worst football games I’ve ever not watched very closely. They were so dreadful that I remember them all these years later. The Jets have been awful in many a year so there have been many an uninteresting Jets’ game. So I like it when the Jets are good because I have more of a chance of seeing an interesting game.

So today the Giants were on at 1:00 PM and they beat the Lions. Always good to see the team get a win. And then there were two interesting games on at 4:PM. The Jets vs. Broncos were on one channel and the Cowboys vs. Vikings were on another. I have two TVs near each other (don’t be too impressed one is from the late 80s and the other from the early 90s) so that I can watch both games at once. And both games were tight contests that went down to the wire. That’s what you want in a football game. Unless it’s your team playing. Then you want to see them trample their opponent in a laugher.

So a Giants win and then two interesting games to follow. I don’t think I’ve sat down and watched that much football in one day in a while. Sure I turned off the later games to have dinner for a bit but I turned them back on and they were still interesting. It was quite a pleasant day of football. I’ll take that. Especially since the Giants play their next game on Monday night.