I need two of me

I apologize if the headline of this blog sounds or looks egotistical. It’s not what I mean. Obviously, one of me is as much, or more, than anyone can stand.

What I mean is that I need two of me to watch television. One of me can’t watch enough.

Guys watch lots of football on television. It's part of being a guy. But sometimes I don't want to watch football. Can I still be a guy?

Because ESPN feels it is the duty of every American to watch as much football on television as humanly possible, I attempt to oblige. I watch a fair amount of football. But – and I’m sorry if this offends anyone – football doesn’t consume me. It’s not my be all, end all. It’s a great sport and all of that, but just because the NFL dominates the American sports scene like nothing we have ever seen, do I have to watch every flippin’ game?

The NFL Network is now giving us a Thursday night game. Every Thursday night. The network used to start with its Thursday night schedule on Thanksgiving and go on from there. But because of our insatiable appetite for NFL – replacement officials or not – the NFL Network got wise and recognized that ratings were there to be had.

But I have an issue with watching the NFL on Thursday nights. And that issue is called life.

There are a lot of good television shows. Some of my favorites, in fact. “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” are shows I don’t like to miss. At the urging of some friends and my son, I’m going to start watching “The Big Bang Theory,” recognizing I’m late getting to that party. New shows like “Last Resort” and “Elementary” intrigue me and I think I’m going to watch “Scandal,” on ABC.

That’s a lot of shows, isn’t it? And many of you are probably thinking to yourself: “This guy needs to get a life.”

Well, I think I have one. And it’s not consumed, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, by televised football games. I’ll watch when the game grabs me, but Thursday night’s Cleveland-Baltimore game doesn’t interest me that much. Does that mean I’m going to have my Man Card revoked? I hope not because I thoroughly enjoy being a man.

And I suspect that I watch close to as much football as most people. But there comes a time for me – perhaps because what I do for a living involves going to many games – that they all start to look the same for me. Also, it’s difficult for me to have a game on television without giving it my full, undivided attention. That’s how I watch games when I write about them, surprising as that might seem to those of you who regularly read my columns.

So, I am announcing here that I have no plans to watch the Baltimore-Cleveland game Thursday night. My fellow men will chastise me for making such an admission. Watching football in the eyes of many males is a strong indication of their machismo. But if I’m that lone duck guy who chooses to be with Rainn Wilson and Amy Poehler on Thursday nights, so be it.

Plus, it’s still baseball season. And I’m more Baseball Guy than Football Guy.

For men, these are not easy admissions to make. Guys love football, even if they really don’t. It’s part of being a guy in American society.

Well, I love football, too, but on my schedule. Just because a game is on TV doesn’t mean I’m going to watch it. And if that makes me less of a man – gosh, I hope it doesn’t make me less of a man. Does it?