This Sunday I did the unthinkable. An act I find so horrifying that I couldn’t fathom a situation where I would, or even could, follow through on my intentions.
I turned off an NFL game to watch something other than an NFL game.
With a few smashes of our giant remote’s buttons, my moral fiber and equilibrium were experiencing some technical difficulties.
Before this weekend, I didn’t know whether channels not named CBS, FOX and NBC even bothered making the effort to broadcast between 1 – 11 p.m. on Sunday.
Throughout the years, I’ve been able to navigate around family gatherings, homework and anything else that would prevent me from giving less than 100 percent of my concentration to the first slate of games.
If you wanted to watch anything else, you better find another TV or prepare to pry the remote from my cold, dead hands.
The only way I was turning off the Saints-Falcons game on FOX was if the Patriots-Colts were playing on CBS.
That was true until the NFL forced me to view the train wreck that was the Browns-Seahawks.
Although the game would later go down as one of the top-10 worst moments of my life, I approached it with my usual vigor.
At first I critically watched each play, making sure to take mental notes of players and situations.
Colt McCoy has a tendency to overthrow his targets. Is it his small stature for a quarterback, him overcompensating for a below-average arm or the fact that he just straight up sucks?
I wasn’t sure yet; I hadn’t watched enough.
As the punts soon outnumbered the completions, I noticed my interest waning. I was paying more attention to my laptop than I was to my TV.
But after halftime, my faith was renewed in the low-scoring game.
Even though the most exciting play of the first 30 minutes was a blocked field goal, I figured it could only get better. I mean, football is football no matter how you slice it.
What I generously attributed to defensive aptitude was clearly now offensive ineptitude. Each 2-yard run sandwiched by a couple of incompletions left my head hurting so badly that I thought it might’ve been hit by one of McCoy’s missed throws.
With two minutes left in the third quarter, the scored tied and the clock approaching 3:45 p.m., I started losing the ability to find joy in the world. Colors lost their brilliance, music lost its beauty and love no longer existed.
As the fourth quarter neared its halfway point, I reached my breaking point. I started losing the will to live. Sharp objects and nooses started looking like reasonable alternatives.
That’s when I did it. I couldn’t watch one more incompletion. I begged my roommate to turn the channel, a request he gladly undertook and before I knew it I was watching something other than the NFL at 4 p.m. for the first time in my life.
As it turns out, the game ended like it should’ve – with an astounding display of mediocrity – an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
So in honor of the game, this column gets the ending it deserves. An unspectacular one.