Slices of Life: Who are you rooting for?

Jill Pertler

I didn’t pay much attention to football for much of my life. But then I gave birth to three sons who adore the sport. I watched them all play while they were growing up, and now I watch with them in front of the flat screen on Sundays (and Mondays and Thursdays – September through the second Sunday in February – but who’s counting?)

As far as teams go, I have my two favorites. One I grew up with. One I grew into.

When one of my teams is playing, I enjoy tuning in, but only sometimes with complete attention.

I may be 25 percent the first half, 50 percent the second half up until the two-minute warning, and then 110 percent after that.

I had high hopes for both of my teams this year. They were leaders in their divisions or conferences, or whatever the terminology is in football. Suffice it to say they weren’t even wild cards. They made it to the playoffs for real.

And then, in the first week of playoffs, they lost.

My hopes for a Super Bowl champion crumbled for another year.

My resolve to be a Super Bowl fan did not.

I checked out the other teams left in line for Super Bowl LVII and picked my favorite.

They lost the next week.

Not to be thwarted, I picked again. I’m happy to announce my newest favorite team is headed to the Super Bowl. Who says I can’t back a winner?

I don’t think I’m alone in this fair-weather fannishness. Next year I’ll return to my two favorite teams, but in the playoffs, we all want to cheer for a winner. When our winner becomes a loser, we pick another hopeful – even if it is based on something as random as uniform colors (I’m partial to turquoise and neon green, but neither of those teams made it this year.)

Most of us are rooting for one of the two remaining teams by Super Bowl Sunday. It’s how we roll.

Well, it’s how I roll. My sons aren’t rolling. (Unless you count their eyes.) They do not agree with the concept of rolling. You could go so far as to say they are anti-roll. Because (they say) rolling isn’t being true to the sport – not to mention your team. They refuse to switch teams because they are true fans who are true to the sport. Purists, if you will.

Bah and humbug to that.

When I watch a game, I want to cheer for a preferred outcome. If I don’t care who wins, I don’t care about the game, which is boring.

If you don’t have a dog (or, in this case, quarterback) in the game, why watch the game in the first place? Commercials, yes, I know, but that’s beside the point.

I’ll be tuning in on Super Bowl Sunday for more than just the commercials. I’ll be rooting for my (newest) team. I hope you do the same, And whether you pick the red team or the green one, I hope you end up on the winning side. And I hope you have fun. Mostly have fun.

After all, big games like the Super Bowl only come around once a year. Might as well treat it like a holiday.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.