Ugh. That time of year again.
Not that I'm "too good for sports talk"—you'll note that I do enjoy discussing plenty of sports on this very blog—but I just happen to have no interest whatsoever in the NFL.
"Sorry, Henry," a friend once offered, apparently perceiving my lack of interest in the topic at hand. "Is our football talk leaving you out?"
"No, it's all good," I assured. "I just won't have much to add, other than Marion Butts jokes, and I'm going to run out of those pretty quick. In fact, that was my only one."
And I held for applause that never came.
"Did you say 'marrying butts'?"
They didn't know who Marion Butts was. They, the self-described fans of football, had never heard of one of the great San Diego Chargers to have played in our lifetime. It was down to me, the guy who misidentified Drew Brees as Peyton Manning in the recent Pepsi commercial, to educate them.
"He was a Charger," I explained. "Early 90s."
"Oh, I was just a kid then."
So was I. It seemed odd to me that a person's enthusiasm for football (or sports in general, for that matter), should actually intensify as they matured further into adulthood, because, in my case, boyhood was the only time in my life when I had even the remotest interest in the NFL, probably owing in large part to the objective excellence of Tecmo Super Bowl for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The conversation resumed without my participation. Nobody else seemed to care about Marion Butts. Well, at least I came away with potentially one more joke to work with. "Marrying butts"—somehow I was going to figure out a way to make that work.