Now that football season is in full swing, I was thinking about a few traditional items about the game that everyone takes for granted even though they don’t make much sense.
Here are a few of them:
Why do people want to eat hot dogs at football games? – Sure, they are easy to eat, but stadium hot dogs often smell funny, the ketchup dispenser is usually empty or jammed so that the ketchup gets all over you, and hot dogs just make you thirsty. If I am going to pay too much for an overpriced food item, I would rather pay $10 for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
What is the deal with blimps? – Why are they so often at football games? Isn’t this a huge waste of money for just a few images of the stadiums from high in the air? Is there much of a job market for blimp drivers? Does anyone use blimps to travel around the country or are they just for football games? Why not use a helicopter? Or what about a drone camera? Why do we even have blimps anymore? How do they make me want to buy car tires?
What kind of a name is Chargers? – If I hear the term “charger” these days, I just think it is something I am using to power up my cell phone. I get that it represents electricity, but who thinks electricity is a good mascot? Maybe we could use gas for a mascot, too. At least it would correlate with the hot dog sales.
The Detroit Lions can’t win playoff games – I don’t like this tradition at all. The Lions have won just one playoff game since 1957. One playoff game in 60 years! That is a terrible tradition.
The term wide receiver – Why is there no near receiver? I know there is a tight end and you used to hear players called split ends, but why not make the terms match? They should either have tight receivers, wide ends or loose ends. This could lead to all kinds of great lines from announcers about the defensive backs tying up the loose ends.
Announcers saying “That’s why they don’t play the game on paper” – Football announcers really need to come up with some new phrases. The only way to play the game on paper is to fold up a piece of paper into a triangle and then try to flick it through your buddy’s fingers (shaped into a goal post) while you are bored at school. Do teenagers still do that?
Other position names, too – They have a fullback, halfback and a quarterback so they fit together, but they don’t make sense to me logically. If the quarterback is next to the line and the fullback is right behind him, why is the halfback behind the fullback? How can you go from quarter to full to half? Along the same lines, if these players behind the line are all called “backs,” why not call the punter an eighthback or a sixteenthback?
Face and chest painting fans – Why does anyone do this? You always see people on television with painted faces or chests, but it just looks cold and uncomfortable. Does it hurt when the paint peels off? You don’t see people doing this at other sporting events or concerts. I would like to see a group of fans paint their chests before going to watch a Broadway show or a big political debate.
The Cleveland Browns constantly losing – Why do they have to be terrible according to NFL tradition? They were losing by 31 points on Sunday to a team that was 0-3, and the game wasn’t that close. A performance like that is a terrible waste of chest paint.
The name cornerback – It makes some sense, but it sounds too much like “quarterback” and I am often confused about what the announcer is saying. Also, if you have a linebacker and a cornerback on defense, why isn’t the cornerback named the cornerbacker? And why isn’t the safety named the backback?
Tailgating – I like tailgate food, but not enough to want to get to a game five hours early, bring a grill in my vehicle, sit in a parking lot for several hours and then pack it all up again before I go into the game. I have tailgated for football games, NASCAR races and even a U.S. soccer game and enjoyed each time, but I never want to organize a tailgate or be the one responsible for doing all of that work. I would rather just eat at home, or maybe bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Teams rarely going for it on fourth down – C’mon, show some guts. Quit being so conservative. You can make three yards! Quit punting all of the time, especially if you are the Cleveland Browns. What have you got to lose?
This idea that Tim Tebow was not good – He wasn’t great, but at least he was exciting and he won a lot of games. He won a playoff game, but people downplay that as if it is no big deal. The Lions have only won one playoff game in 60 years!
Not running the hook and ladder enough – My friend Tom Riggs points out that the hook and ladder nearly always works, but you rarely see teams run the play. The play involves throwing the ball to a wide receiver who catches it and then immediately pitches the ball to a near receiver who is running behind him. Along the same lines, what about the play where the players pitch the ball several times at the end of the game. Why not try it in the first half sometime! It would be exciting and might work because the other team would not expect it.
Grumpy fans like me complaining too much about stupid things – I don’t understand it either, but it’s a great tradition. I’ll never understand that blimp, though. How do they tailgate? And, hey, wait a minute. I just realized that the blimp is shaped like a hot dog!