Why I Refuse to Watch NFL Football in a Public Place
Notice to the world: Do not, I repeat DO NOT, ask me to watch NFL football in a public place.
I have no interest in making small talk when my mortgage payment might be at stake. And since another losing wager probably means the humiliation of taking out a cash advance on my last credit card, I’m not really interested in hearing your personal problems.
Have a nice day and leave me the fuck alone!
But some people can’t resist what’s a natural temptation. Because my company is cherished by so many, I receive far more invitations to football watching parties that I can possibly accept. Sort of like being George Clooney. Inevitably, those who invite me end up disappointed and emotionally crushed. Sorry, but football watching isn’t mindless entertainment. It’s more like a financial lobotomy (especially true, if you’ve been following my plays).
However, over the last 11 years I’ve made one notable exception. I join some of my (few remaining) friends at Monday Night Football viewing gatherings here in Las Vegas.
First, a little background. I refuse to exit the house on any Sunday during football season. It better not catch on fire, because I’m not leaving. Moreover, I won’t answer the phone while there’s an important game on TV (with betting action) and if I do so, it’s to scream at the person on the other end who’s probably trying to sell me something I don’t need. Anyone who really knows me understands that calling while NFL Sunday is in action better have one hell of a hot tip or else be locked up in the county jail making his one phone-a-friend. And posting your bail will have to wait until after game time.
On Sundays, there is religion in my home and the holy spirit is football. Televisions are configured and laptops are fired up. The day starts early and ends late, just like the sabbath. No one and no thing is permitted to disturb me unless it’s to bring me food or liquor. And then, just leave it right over there on the table. I’ll get to it during a commercial break.
Since most Sunday’s have at least a dozen NFL games going on, that’s more quarters, halves, games, totals, and second halves that I can possibly follow. On top of that, there’s in-game betting now, too. So, you will excuse me for skipping your meaningless little party where the hottest topic of discussion is what toppings to order on the pizza. Fuck that. I’ve got more important things swimming around in my head — like if the Colts make this first down.
But the real reason I refuse to watch the NFL is public isn’t selfish at all. Rather, it’s entirely self-less. These games take a psychological toll, which means there’s always the threat of an emotional meltdown. Marieta sometimes leaves the house. Family pets hide under the bed. Not that I blame them. I wouldn’t want to hear such vile language either. On top of that, there’s the very real possibility of breaking something if my team fails to cover the point spread. I’ve broken furniture before. Some dishes and glasses don’t survive the mid-season, which isn’t my fault. Hey — blame Matt Ryan, or the New York Giants offensive line, or the Philadelphia Eagles defense, or whoever else torched my money. And so given all these multiple flash points, I’d prefer not to expose myself in public.
And yet Monday Night Football is the exception and because it’s just one game. I can handle making a few bets in advance and then driving to a casino or bar to watch the outcome with my friends. I can even be a joy to be around, provided my bets are winning. However, even this has recently become problematic.
Our group is having serious difficulty agreeing upon where to watch the game. We’ve tried several places over the years. Due mostly to its central location, we settled on the Gold Coast, which bills itself as a locals’ casino. They open up the main ballroom with multiple television screens and draw perhaps a few hundred people every Monday night. Trouble is — I can’t stand the place.
That’s because the Gold Coast is a fuckhouse. It’s unbearable. For one thing the staff all wear football jerseys and referee shirts. Who do they think they’re fooling? But what really frosts my ass is the barrage of ceaseless house announcements interrupting the telecast every five goddamn minutes with some meaningless giveaway. Stuff the free key chain up your ass, and let me concentrate on my action and talk to my friends. They’re eager to hear what I have to say.
Even worse, we have to sit in banquet chairs. I demand comfortable seating. Then, the screens are blurry. I want clear high-def viewing, not some projection TV that was installed when the Rams were sill playing in Los Angeles. The Gold Coast is pretty much the home of $20 bettors and chalk players. Not for people like me. And frankly, I don’t like being seen in that company. You think Alan Boston would sit there ad watch a ballgame in a place like that?
This impasse leaves us with no where to go. Like a lost tribe wandering the desert.
So, I’d like to hear some decent alternatives. If you have any ideas as to where a group of 6 to 12 people can watch Monday Night Football each week, post your thoughts. However, let me stipulate I have a few advance requirements:
(1) Multiple high-definition televisions
(2) Audio cranked up at the proper decibel (not music)
(3) No annoying promotions, announcements, or giveaways
(4) Comfortable chairs
(5) Not too crowded
(6) Decent liquor and beer selection at affordable prices (forget The Strip)
(7) Friendly service but also willing to stay out of our conversation. If you really had any handicapping ability, you wouldn’t be fucking waiting tables
(8) Minimal casual football fan boys, mindless chatter, pom-pom wavers, and football phonies hogging the premium seats and space where real gamblers should be sitting
(9) No tits and ass. I’m there to watch football, not get aroused
(10) A betting window within walking distance so I can bet the halftime and lose even more money
So, have any suggestions? If so, please post them in the COMMENTS section. Next week, I’ll announce the winner. Or maybe that really means, the loser.