The realization that something is missing in your life is both relieving and profound. A chance to try and find that piece that makes you complete, an opportunity to turn it all around. I sat here on a Sunday morning feeling lost, and then I realized: I miss early morning trash-ass London football.
Football isn’t like other sports that operate linearly from bad game to good, it works on a bell curve. Truly terrible football is as entertaining as amazing games, and London proved to us in 2017 that it was the unchallenged ruler of bad football. It was reliable, it was there for us — like a warm hug, except the hug was from a soiled mattress in a Denny’s parking lot.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
First we had the Jaguars demolishing the Ravens. God, it was beautiful. I have no vested interest in either team, but any game where Blake Bortles throws four touchdowns and Joe Flacco struggles to throw for 30 yards is Keats-esque romantic poetry. TV coverage juxtaposed photos of regal, perfect ravens guarding London Tower with these trash American Ravens stinking up Wembley and it was perfect.
That and I know 90 percent of the crowd in attendance called Jacksonville “the Jag-you-ars.” That tickles me to no end.
Then in Week 4 we watched the Dolphins get shut out in a game where Jay Cutler cared so little about the proceedings that he didn’t move a muscle on a wildcat play.
Cutler really selling his role in the Wildcat at the bottom of the screen pic.twitter.com/WgHxXvxlHL— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) October 1, 2017
THIS is what bad football is all about. I’ll take a 20-0 game where Jay Cutler doesn’t move over some 9-6 defensive battle where both teams are leaning on field goals. There were so many Dolphins jerseys in the stands and I had to wonder how many of these people were purely fans because of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective and I’d wager at least a hundred fans were Dolphins fans for that reason.
London also gives us the fun sub-game of “how many different jerseys do you see in the stands?” Tom Brady jerseys, Aaron Rodgers jerseys — it doesn’t matter than the NFL’s brightest stars aren’t there, you’ll wear that Brady jersey while watching Cutler throw into double coverage, and you’ll like it.
I know most football fans hate London NFL games, and I get why. Nobody wants to see their favorite team lose home games to another country, or deal with the early starts — but getting to watch football at 9:30 a.m. is magical, especially really bad football. It’s fun in the same way early morning cartoons were when you’re a kid. Grab yourself some cereal, kick back and watch some grown men fumble balls off each others butts and knees.
Learn to embrace London football. Let is wash over you. Enjoy how dumb it is that the NFL keeps forcing this to happen. Accept that you’re watching jet-lagged athletes struggle to play in an unfamiliar place. This is the true beauty of 9:30 a.m. London football and I didn’t know how much I missed it until now.
I can’t wait for Week 7 when it returns.