I think I'm getting soft.
I spent some time watching the Packers play the Cowboys today, in the fond hopes that it might jar me out of my writer's block for the course I'm supposed to be developing. There is only so long one can stare at a blank screen or a blank page without going insane and questioning how the State of Hawaii issues its birth certificates, so I figured an afternoon of watching large men fight over a small ball might be therapeutic.
Now, I like the Packers. They're a small-market team with public ownership, and in an era of megalomaniacal zillionaires threatening to move teams to faraway cities unless taxpayers donate millions to build them a new stadium (with ice sculptures!), it's nice to see them do well. Plus, I live in Wisconsin and not liking the Packers would be tantamount to getting on my Chewbacca costume and going for a long walk in the woods during deer hunting season. So, Packers it is. As long as they're not playing the Eagles, I'll cheer for them.
Another nice thing about cheering for the Packers is that they have congruent enemies with the Eagles. I don't especially care about the Vikings or the Bears one way or the other, and I don't imagine Packer fans really concern themselves with the Redskins or the Giants, but we can all agree on one thing: Dallas needs to lose. All the time. Not once in a while. All. The. Time.
I grew up with the Eagles at a time when it would often take them three or four years to win a total of ten games, but the years they beat Dallas all was forgiven. The Cowboys were the Empire of Evil, the malignant stain on the x-ray of American professional sports, and it was yet another sign of the basic unfairness of the universe that they were always talented, entertaining and successful when the Eagles could generally be counted on to have at least one starting player with his helmet on sideways. When I found out that most Packer fans felt the same way about the Cowboys, I figured I had found my second sports home.
But you know, I am finding it hard to maintain that intensity anymore.
Dallas got absolutely jobbed by a bad call late in the game today - a clear, no doubt about it, what-were-the-refs-smoking error on the part of the officiating crew that essentially gave the game to the Packers.
In the past, I would have found this extremely satisfying - a karmic payback for everything they had ever done to my team. Today? I sort of felt bad for them.
There is a fine line between maturity and apathy, and I'm not sure which side of it I am on anymore.