Alas football season is over. My favorite team, the New York Giants, didn’t do as well as I hoped and they missed the playoffs entirely. It was a crushing defeat by the Philadelphia Eagles when the Giants had the game in hand that will be defining memory of this season. That is despite the Giants having a 10-6 season which is pretty good most years. The Giants missing the playoffs never makes for a good post season tournament for me but that’s true for every football fan who’s team doesn’t make the playoffs. With the Giants out I was hoping that The Packers would win being that they’re a team I like.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Packers because when I was a kid watching football, in the 1970s, the Giants were real bad. A terrible team. So were the Packers too. So when they played the Giants that meant the Giants might actually win a game. The Giants were competitive with so few teams that I looked forward to them playing the Packers. I’m not even sure how many times they played each other. I don’t think it was too often but I remember a couple of exciting games from the early 80s.

Another team that I have a soft spot for is the Minnesota Vikings. The Giants didn’t even make a playoff appearance until sometime in the early 80s. That’s when I was in High School. So all during grade school whenever the playoffs started I’d have to find a team to root for since the Giants never ever made it. For some reason I picked the Vikings. Probably because they were in the playoffs a lot in the 70’s and weren’t one of the teams I hated. Of course the Vikings never won a Super Bowl but I cheered for them in a bunch of them.

And speaking of teams I don’t like I was also glad that the Steelers didn’t win another Super Bowl. Once again because I was a Giants fan as a kid I dislike all the teams that were successful in the 1970s. I didn’t even dislike the teams because they were winning I disliked them because of all their little grade school fans that I had to put up with at school.

The 1970s were a time when if you had a good team they got on TV a lot. So the winning teams from the 70s: the Steelers, the Cowboys, the Raiders, and the Dolphins dominated the airwaves and as a consequence have a lot of fans who don’t live anywhere near those four cities but know the teams from TV. I don’t know what was different about the NFL TV rules in the 70’s but teams don’t dominate the airwaves like those four did anymore. Maybe it’s just because there are more teams and games on now but I’m not sure. Even the 49ers who won a lot of Super Bowls in the 80’s don’t have the number of fans that those other four teams do.

Anyway, from about the third to the fifth grade I remember going into school wearing a Giants shirt or some such and hearing from other kids that the Giants suck and they love the “Fill in name of one of those four teams here”. Even in the forth grade I knew those kids were fair weather fans. The kids who were really into football didn’t talk that way. It probably didn’t even happen that often but I still remember it. I never even argued with those kids because I knew it was pointless. But to this day I assume everyone who is a fan of one of those four teams and isn’t from any of those cities or whose father isn’t from one of those cites (sports allegiances get passed down) is a fair weather frontrunner fan. Thus I’m glad the Steelers disappointed all those fair weather fans. Sorry for the people from Pittsburgh though.

The first Sunday of the offseason was a little strange as it usually is. Even though I knew there wouldn’t be a football game on I was still, sort, of waiting around for one to start. Not in any sort of active way but occasionally a stray though would pass through my mind wondering how long until a game kicked off. That’s, in part, because of the playoffs. Those playoff games are not always at the usual Sunday times so you have to keep track of them if you want to watch them. I watched some of them. But not all of them. A couple were plain unwatchable. But still I knew when they would be on.

I fear that I’m not going to get to watch any football for a long time. The owners are threatening to lock out the players unless their demands are met. I think there is going to be a lockout and next season might get cancelled. The owners appear to me to be really greedy. Football is the most popular sport in the country with huge money deals everywhere and the billionaire owners are carrying on like they will be heading to the poor house soon. It’s crazy and a blatant grab for more money and power. I say that if you’re not making any money than sell your team. I’m sure some other billionaire will snap it up. I’m totally on the players’ side.

The only Super Bowl I didn’t see was the one after the 1987 year. That was when the players went on strike and after they did I went on strike from watching football. It wasn’t too hard since I was in college that fall and there were plenty of other things to do but it took until the following year for me to start watching games again. So I might miss two years of football if there’s a lock out. I hope those billionaire get their act together but I doubt they care one bit about my hopes.

I wish the video game “John Madden’s Football” was better than it is. I used to be able to pass some of the off season by playing some video game football but those days are long gone. Electronic Arts is the publisher of “Madden” and half a decade ago they bought the exclusive NFL license for making video games. No other game can use real NFL teams or players. Therefor no other publisher even bothers much with football games.

I haven’t enjoyed a “Madden” football game in a lot of years. Maybe it’s me but I don’t find them much fun. I would think that after twenty years of making football games they were have it perfected by now but that doesn’t seem to be the case to me. It’s still a best seller and a lot of people love the game but what little I’ve played of it has left me cold. Oh well.