John Mayer, one of my favorite musicians of all time, was on a talk show about a year or so ago and said that he really wasn’t all that into sports.
I was like, “Really? How can John Mayer not like sports?" Then, I realized he’s an international music star who likes to “hang out” with one supermodel just to make the rest jealous.
If you’re living that kind of life, you’re probably not losing much sleep over draft value or your fantasy football team.
But what about the rest of us? Sports is everything to everyone else, right? That especially has to be the case when it comes to the National Football League, our great American pastime for the past fifty years or so. After all, 100 million people tune in to see the Super Bowl each and every February.
That’s a lot of people watching one thing... and then you realize that the population in the United States is roughly 332 million.
In other words, over two-thirds of the country does not bother to tune in to see the biggest game of our most popular sport.
If that doesn’t give you the proper perspective, perhaps the Tennessee Titans’ 2023 schedule release video will.
Like most teams, the Titans went out of their way to make the otherwise mundane act of revealing their schedule much more entertaining by taking to the streets of Nashville and asking people to help them do it. They showed random folks on Broadway Street the logos of every team Tennessee would play in 2023 and asked them to identify them.
Hilarity ensued, as one woman thought the Bengals were the Boston Bobcats, while some dude was convinced the Browns helmet was simply a generic football logo.
As for the Colts? They were the Cowboys... twice.
According to a group of young girls, your Steelers were the 49ers 69ers Stars.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons were the Red Stallions; if you’re unfamiliar with a red stallion, it’s a type of horse that has claws and roars like a tiger.
I can’t stop watching this video, and I think the reason why—other than it being absolutely hilarious—is it helps to remind me that sports are not life or death.
While Steelers fans get banned on Twitter every single day because of their hatred for Mike Tomlin, there may be millions of people who see his picture and go, “Isn’t that the actor who replaced Wesley Snipes in Major League II?
A local Steelers fan famously had a heart attack during Jerome Bettis’s fumble near the end of the divisional-round playoff game against the Colts following the 2005 season. Yet, there were likely many more people who glanced at the TV that day and thought the Stars were playing the Cowboys.
I remember how psychotic I was on the night of the 2008 AFC title game between the Steelers and Ravens in January of 2009. “I will lose my mind and be depressed for years if the Ravens leave Pittsburgh as the AFC champions,” I said to myself while pacing back and forth in my empty apartment.
The Ravens were the Steelers' biggest rivals. I mean, how embarrassing would that have been? Yet, there is a woman out there who thinks the Ravens are the Orioles.
My favorite sports moment of all time occurred on the night of February 5, 2006, when the Steelers defeated the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. I had waited so long to see Pittsburgh finally win “One for the Thumb.” I hopped in my uncle’s arms and we hugged it out. I picked up my little cousins and paraded around the house, screaming and hollering. I partied all night, got drunk, fell asleep, and didn’t wake up until the next morning. I felt euphoric for weeks. I still think about the magical end to that 2005 season. I’m getting chills right now as I relive those days in my mind.
Meanwhile, there’s someone walking the streets of Nashville who saw the Seahawks emblem and thought they were the Pittsburgh Eagles.
The NFL is the hottest property in television. While our entertainment pie has been sliced down into the tiniest of slivers thanks to our varied options, the NFL is still the one entity that attracts the most eyeballs at once.
NBC’s Sunday Night Football, regularly the most-watched network program on any given week during the regular season, has a pre-game show titled, “Football Night in America.”
A title like that implies that most Americans gather around their television sets to watch our great pastime each and every Sunday night.
NBC regularly draws 20 million viewers for its SNF package; that’s damn good... until you realize that 312 million people routinely decide to watch and do other things on Sunday nights in the fall and winter.
That’s a shame, too, because Johnny Lawrence and the Chester Cheetos might actually make a name for themselves in 2023 if they can upset the team that used to have the pitcher who was once married to the supermodel.
I’m talking, of course, about the Pirates from the Islands of the Caribbean.