The Breakfast Club basket case had it right.
Allison: It's kind of a double-edged sword isn't it?
Claire: A what?
Allison: Well, if you say you haven't, you're a prude. If you say you have you're a slut. It's a trap. You want to but you can't, and when you do you wish you didn't, right?
She wasn’t talking about preseason football, of course–the subject at hand was the as-yet undetermined intactness of Claire’s virginity–but she could have been.
Still walking a little funny after their date with those big meanies from Carolina last Saturday, the Redskins play the Jacksonville Jaguars tonight in their final preseason game.
That’s the good news. A least they have a chance to do something about it. They get to strap on body armor, whip themselves into a (relative preseason) frenzy and run full blast into people wearing different colors ... without getting arrested.
As fans we’re not so lucky. We have to decide if we're supposed to care.
I mean, it’s preseason. No matter what happened in the last game, no matter how many starters play, or for how long, or how good or bad they look, or what the final score is ... the fact of the matter is our favorite football team is going to run through the smoke and fireworks onto the FedExField grass tonight and line up against guys wearing different colors. And someone’s going to keep score. And then we're going to spend the next week talking about it.
Which leaves us having to decide, 1) if we care, and, 2) if we do, whether or not we’re willing to admit it.
If we say we don’t, that’s fine. There’s a certain cool detachment we can claim that looks good to others doing the same. But (for all but a few of us totally dead inside), we'll also have to hope that someone in our lives who actually knows us doesn’t wander by, just as we’re telling everyone who will listen how blase we are, and chime in about the lucky Fun Bunch boxers we're wearing, and how, if they time it right, they can probably catch us performing our solemn pre-kickoff ritual Samuel Adams toast (“XVII! XXII! XXVI! Hut!”) in the dark part of the hallway between the fridge and family room.
And if we say we actually do care, well, then we must be a slut. Seriously–how can you be so damn easy? Preseason doesn’t matter.
So you kind of want to care, but when you do (like say after 47-3) and find yourself clenching your fist and growling “That's what I'm talking about!" late tonight when Kareem Moore flattens some unsuspecting Jaguar 3rd-stringer late in the game ... you end up wishing you hadn’t. Particularly if someone sees you.
It ain’t easy being a fan.
Dear Football Gods,
We accept the fact we were kinda bummed about getting our asses kicked Saturday–in a friggin’ preseason game. But we think you're crazy to put yet another of these damn things on TV five days later, just so you can see what kind of fans we are. You see us as you want to see us ... in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a detached analyst ... a basket case ... an armchair general ... a potential criminal (if we ever have to play five of these damn things again) ... and a Redskins fan.
Does that answer your question?