My kids and I mostly had fun with those insults—although we were taken aback by a few misogynistic, homophobic comments, like the question above. But now even the president is taking me on. Not me, personally, of course, but in The New Yorker last week he said that the long-term risks of serious brain injury taken by NFL players—the reason for my boycott—haven’t affected his interest in the game. “[T]here’s a little bit of caveat emptor,” he argued. “These guys, they know what they’re doing. They know what they’re buying into. It is no longer a secret.”
Though many folks are expressing serious concern about football’s impact on the brain, opting out of the country’s largest fan base isn’t easy. For me, who watched up to six hours—a week of pro football in years past, it was like quitting an addiction. You find yourself having relapses, hanging out with other addicts who are still using, making all kinds of rules to excuse a few hits.
So how did it go? In a sign of how badly I did, I’ll use the trusty Monday morning sports columnist scorecard: