I love football*. I loved playing football. I was stocky, but I was quick. I wasn’t the best. I wasn’t the biggest. In fact, while playing for my freshman football team in high school there was only one kid shorter than I at the time. I carry my love for the game to pro-football. I love the NFL season. My two favorite teams if you haven’t guessed are the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys.
I grew up in southeastern Idaho. My friends liked the Cowboys. So I liked the Cowboys. We were farmers. We were like 6 yrs old and we all wanted to be cowboys. ‘Nuff said.
In ’89 my family ended up in Indiana. The last of many, many moves as a family**, but definitely not the last for myself or my sisters. My parents still live there. Although I only lived there for four years, I finished up High School and attended one year at Indiana State University (ISU), which was jokingly known as ‘I Screwed Up’***. But my life in Indiana brought me to like the Colts. And I’m probably a bigger fan of the Colts than the Cowboys.
Could I have ended up in a more inconvenient place to live? Let me explain.
I live in Virginia, but still in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. A good majority of the people living here are understandably Redskin fans. The Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys have had a famous rivalry for years. Most of it is in fun and fans of both teams poke fun at each other. So as a Cowboy fan I’m in the minority here.
There are also Baltimore Ravens fans in the area, although not as many as in Maryland and the closer you get to Baltimore the more fans you find. I actually lived about 10 minutes from M&T Bank Stadium a couple of years ago. Looking back, having an Indianpolis Colts license plate holder on my car wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had because once long ago Baltimore was home to the Baltimore Colts…
Although there’s always two sides to every story, the bottom line is Baltimore Colts fans are still extremely upset to this day with the way the Colts left them. Robert Irsay took the Colts from Baltimore in the middle of the night, leaving an empty shell of a gigantic legacy behind, and took the team to Indianapolis. I mean this team had Johnny Unitas arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time!!! There was no warning and the fans to this day still feel betrayed. I have friends that were young kids and remember the shock they felt when told their team had left. Most of them have let it go because they were so young, but their older siblings and parents haven’t. To them it was more than just a game. To them they lost a part of their identity.
It’s All Situational
To the rest of us, we might respond “It’s just a game, get over it!” In the big scheme of things it doesn’t really matter does it? Perhaps not if your “big scheme of things” is God, family, country, work, and friends. So it’s really the situation that dictates when it’s more than “just a game”.
For example, pre-season football is a funny thing. In reality, it’s supposed to be a time for the coaches and owners to evaluate new strategies, plays, and players. You can do things in a pre-season game that you can’t do in a regular season game. Regular season games count towards getting you into the playoffs. If you lose too many of those, you don’t make it. If you lose a pre-season game, it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t count. But to whom?
To the players, coaches, owners, and everyone else relying on football for a living it is definitely more than a game. And it’s definitely important to the guys trying not to get cut before the regular season. To all of these guys it’s their livelihood at stake. It’s the way they put food on the table. For the fans, it’s for fun, a diversion, a way to escape or enhance other aspects of their lives.
So while those directly involved will tell you that pre-season matters, the fans are a little more fickle. Fans will trash talk each others teams and talk about who is good and who isn’t. The basic stuff you expect from football fans. Then if they win a game, it’s all about what a great team they have. If they lose, it’s pre-season and ‘just a game’.
It’s Just A Game…
It’s the situation that determines how we attempt to nullify disappointment by saying ‘It’s just a game’. And wouldn’t you know it? We do this in Warcraft too.
Games are designed to be entertaining. It’s why we play them. It’s why we play WoW. Do any of you actually play WoW in an attempt to not be entertained? Of course not! Unfortunately games have a way of creating winners and losers and our society has instilled in us that losing is not fun. And even WoW has it’s fair share of losing.
I’m not even talking about PvP here. Sure I’m guilty of being annoyed by PvP. I’m on a PvP server. I feel no need to prove myself by killing lowbies, but apparently some do. For them it’s fun. It’s how they “win”. I “lose” and it isn’t fun for me. PvP is fairly cut and dry.
Although not as apparent PvE has it’s winners and losers too. One might be inclined to think that 25 people on a raid that kill bosses means everyone wins. They only lose if they can’t down bosses. But if that’s the case how does loot drama occur?
…So Treat It Like One
Just remember if you’re going to use the excuse “It’s just a game”, then that very same excuse applies to EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of said game!!! You don’t get to pick and choose!
You didn’t get loot? Fine, it’s just a game. You didn’t get invited to raid? Fine, it’s just a game. It’s a wipe night? Fine, it’s just a game. You got ganked for the 57th time in Stranglethorn Vale? Fine, it’s just a game. You got stuck with the same idiots in this BG as you did in the last 10? Fine, it’s just a game. You shared a lot of helpful auction house information with a competitor and it cut into your profits****? FINE, IT’S JUST A F***ING GAME!!!
But before you use that phrase, remember one thing. One aspect of it might be “just a game” to you, but to someone else it might be something a little more serious. It doesn’t make them noobs. It doesn’t make them elitists. It’s just an aspect of the game they find enjoyable and remember if it’s “just a game”, then it’s for that enjoyment.
So if you’ve been harboring a negative attitude about certain aspects of the game, certain people and their abilities, and overall what anyone might consider an elitist attitude, and then things don’t go your way and in your indignation you proceed to remind everyone ”it’s just a game”, all I have to say to you is…
F*** YOU, IT’S JUST A GAME!!!
*American football. I like soccer as well, but it just isn’t as big here in the States as it was in Germany. Man I still remember the streets in Dortmund in ’96 when they won!
**By this point I had now lived in 6 states and 3 countries, although I couldn’t remember 2 of the states or Germany where I had been born. I’ve now lived in 9 states and 3 countries of which only 2 states I can’t remember having returned to Germany later on.
***Indiana has a lot of well-known, respected colleges like Ball State, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Indiana University to name a few. With so many fantastic colleges, ISU seemed like a copout and it’s in the same city as my High School so it got more than it’s fair share of crap from the local students. It is a decent school though.
****And apparently has left the server as he’s no longer on my friend’s list. And no I don’t think he got deleted as he wasn’t a level 1 toon.
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