Sorry, Chicago

Something something the agony of da feet.

As a young child, when it came to football, I rooted for my father’s hometown Buffalo Bills. The “no-huddle” offense run by head coach Marv Levy and quarterback Jim Kelly1 led the team to an astonishing four consecutive Super Bowls, where they won exactly zero championships. My dad and I even attended Super Bowl 28, the last in the team’s impressive string, in person. In Atlanta, I had my heart broken by a football team for the last time. After that, I drifted away from the game for many years.

Years later, when I came to Boston for college, the New England Patriots got very, very good. While my interest in football never returned to its previous levels, I watched as the Patriots made it to eight Super Bowls in the 21st century, winning five championships along the way. It’s nice when your local team does well, and it’s also nice to not particularly care if they don’t. I was strictly a fair-weather fan, and I was never a loud one.

By last year, however, I really couldn’t stand football at all any more. The NFL’s impressively awful handling of the national anthem protests was perhaps the final straw, but for some time I’d been disturbed by the violence of the game. Nearly every play seemed to feature some sort of injury, and it had become clear that playing football did lasting damage to both the bodies and the minds of its players. As the 2018-2019 season began, I bowed out of the dumb fantasy football league some college friends and I had enjoyed for a few years.2 I have tuned in to no football games whatsoever this season.

Still, it’s impossible to escape the NFL entirely in modern America, and for all its awfulness, it’s also a good source of absurdity. So it is that I know that the Cleveland Browns scored free beer for their fans by finally winning a game, for the first time in 635 days. I’ve noted just how epically bad Nathan Peterman was as quarterback for the aforementioned Bills as well.

And whether through osmosis or the ether, I also know that Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parker has had quite an eventful season. Back in November, he managed to hit the goal posts on four separate missed field goal attempts, all in one game. That’s equal parts amazing and terrible.

The Bears managed to win that regular season contest against the even more hapless Detroit Lions. Yesterday, however, they were not so lucky. Improbably, as the clock ticked down and he attempted a game-winning 43 yard field goal, Parker managed to hit both the upright and the crossbar. The ball fell no good and just like that, with a *bwoing* and a *booong*, the 2019 championship hopes of Chicago evaporated. I know how you feel, Chicago fans. I’m also able to tell you that you can get out of this thing. There’s a huge world out there to enjoy, free from the agonies of kicker-induced defeats.

This doesn’t have to matter.


  1. Featuring, off the top of my head, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, James Lofton, Don Beebe, and more. It’s useful and good that my brain has decided to hold on to those names. ↩︎

  2. I went out on top, having won the league the year before. Worth noting, we paid $0 to participate in our pathetic little league, and most people paid little to no attention to anything beyond mockery of others. We don’t need football for that. ↩︎