How Becoming a Parent Has Changed My Feelings Towards the NFL

As very few of you might know, this weekend marks the 52nd Superbowl for the NFL. And, as this will be the first time that I’ll be watching it as a dad, I thought I’d do a quick post about how my relationship with the NFL has changed since Isabelle was born.

A few years ago I was verging on being addicted to the NFL. Sunday nights from 6pm meant Redzone (their service for skipping between all the games going on) until well gone midnight and that was it. No excuses. Whatever Rachel wanted to do on Sundays it had to be done early so we could be home in time to watch it. Then there was the late game on Sunday, which I would often watch on Monday after work, the Monday night game which would then be watched on Tuesday, and of course, Thursday Night Football, which, as you might be able to guess, was watched on Friday. I even dragged Rachel all the way to Wembley, on numerous occasions, to watch a game, but she didn’t actually mind doing that:

Watching the NFL at Wembley Stadium

Before I carry on, I will say that I didn’t always watch these other games, I only would if I hadn’t seen the score or if they were games that I was actually interested in seeing. Although in fairness, I did often want to watch them. Not only was it that, but of course you have NFL Fantasy, which is their equivalent to the Dream Team that people play in the UK for the Premiership. So I was pretty deep into that. Then when the NFL wasn’t on, I’d often play Madden, which is the video game version of the sport. Something that I spent a staggering amount of time playing.

Even as I’m writing all of this now I’m starting to notice how time consuming the NFL was to me. I’m racking my brain as to how Rachel put up with it. I know I often managed to do a lot of this when she wasn’t even there, but looking back, it must have been insanely annoying having so much time dedicated to a sport she only had a vague I’m-only-watching-it-because-you-are kind of interest in. A little bit like me with Eastenders. Can I tell you what’s happening in that show? Most likely. Would I watch it if it wasn’t for Rachel? Not a chance in hell.

So What’s Changed?

Since having Isabelle, my relationship with the NFL has changed. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of the 20 Sunday’s that it’s been on, I’ve watched it. But am I happy for Rachel to put something else on and I’ll catch up with it later? Sure. Will I go to bed to spend time with her and Isabelle as opposed to staying up late and watching it? Absolutely. And will I skip all the other days that it’s on and do something else instead? You guessed it, of course I will.

I guess I’ve just hit a stage in my life where I just don’t care about it that much any more. Maybe I’ve just realised that there are more important things to do than dedicate 6 hours of a Sunday to watching some sport. Why do that when I can book a Monday off and we can go away for the latter part of the weekend and spend time together somewhere new as a family.

Of course, as Isabelle gets older, my views on the NFL may change. I will happily want to involve her in sport as she gets older and taking her out to throw a ball around is certainly something I would love to do. But at this stage, there’s very little in terms of sport you can do with a 9 month old. We can wrestle, but that’s about it.

The Superbowl

Despite the fact I’ve not followed this season as much as I have in the past, I’m still excited to watch the Superbowl. But it’s different. I don’t have that ‘I’m not missing this for anything’ mentality when it comes to it. If Isabelle was ill, or she wouldn’t sleep and Rachel wanted me to come up and get her to sing her to sleep and it was the middle of the 4th quarter, would I really care that I was going to miss some? No, not really. I understand that my role in life is now much bigger. I guess there are just more important things in life than sport.

I know Bill Shankly once said the following, even if it was about football:

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that”

But to me, and I know he may not have actually been serious when he said that, he couldn’t have been more wrong.

Actually About the NFL

For those who are interested, and since this is a UK parenting blog I dare say my demographic doesn’t consist of many NFL supporters, I hope the Patriots win. I love seeing greatness and what Tom Brady has done over the course of his career is up there as one of the greatest careers of any athlete to ever compete in any sport. A Superbowl is a hard thing to get to, and the fact that this is his 8th is phenomenal. That’s half of his career as a starter he’s got to the Superbowl. It’s crazy and it blows my mind. So no, I don’t want the Eagles to win. A prediction, I hear no one ask. My guess is 24-17 to the Patriots. But there’s a very strong chance that I will be wrong. And if I am, well, I can edit these posts you know.

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Ross

I’m a 26 year old married father of one. I started blogging after suffering postnatal depression when Isabelle was born. These days I talk about much more than just that.

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8 Comments

  1. 5th February 2018 / 2:35 pm

    My US family are as sorry about the result as you are. They wanted the Patriots to win as well. 🙁

    • Ross Hunt
      Author
      6th February 2018 / 6:51 am

      Yeah I’m gutted 😩 but there’s not much I can do about it

  2. mackenzieglanville
    6th February 2018 / 10:11 pm

    Being in Australia it is all AFL here, quick history lesson for you, the AFL was originally VFL, it began in the state of Victoria, I am a Victorian. It has now gone National, so I gre up with VFL and later AFL. I used to go to ever game, even to training. I was an AFL member which is hard to get these days unless people die pretty much. So I understand the obsession very well. I would go with my older brother and his mates which included one other girl, it was a blast, not just because of the game, but the fun we had to. My now husband is from Queensland so for him it is all about NRL National Rugby League so I guess one we married and had Aspen football (as we call it in Australia) became less important. Sure we hope our teams win, but I never go to games anymore. My son who is eight is more into Cricket and basketball so his dad takes him to that. Sorry for rambling on, but yeah I see where you are coming from, thanks for linking up #mg

  3. 7th February 2018 / 10:32 am

    Great post, seeing your views change with your role in life being a dad. Isabelle will be very grateful, as I am sure your wife is too. Now, I am from Philly. Yup, Philadelphia. And, while not a football fan at all, in fact I feel the game should be abandoned for the dangers it allows for, WHAT A GAME! Yes, we watched, and we roared. And we are readying for a scary amount of people to land on the steps of the Art Museum at tomorrows parade! No hard feelings! 🙂
    #mg xoxo

    • Ross Hunt
      Author
      7th February 2018 / 11:34 am

      Oh I don’t mind the Patriots losing, they’ve won enough. And I can imagine it will will be chaos for a parade! 😂

  4. 7th February 2018 / 3:38 pm

    I live in Patriots country and I was voting for the Eagles and am really glad they won. I’m not a Tom Brady fan. Can’t help it. I just don’t like him and I think that the patriots, even though they are the best team in the NFL and deservedly so, they need to lose every now and then. Why? Because throughout history in every avenue, if a team or a country gets too big for their britches, they get cocky and become way too ego-driven and that affects everyone around them. So yeah, I’m glad they lost. It’s a nice little humility check for them. Not just that though, I am a sucker for the underdog. I am ALWAYS on their side lol. #anythinggoes

    • Ross Hunt
      Author
      7th February 2018 / 3:58 pm

      I always prefer the favourite, just because I think there’s always more pressure on them. And I wish they’d won, just because I like great players and athletes to do great things. But I was cool with an Eagles win too lol

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