MARINE: NFL brings out worst in students

Corey Marine

Everyone has done it. You have done it. I have done it. Sometimes, people do it together. At some point, every college student who is a fan of professional football has squandered an entire, potentially productive Sunday watching NFL games on television.

It always starts one of two ways. The first is you wake up from an exhausting Saturday night. You are feeling hungry. You go grab breakfast. Then, you go back to your room and turn the television on. It is very likely that ESPN is your default channel, and before the picture shows, you can hear Chris Berman calling someone an over-the-top nickname or yelling, “WHOOP!” Then the rest of ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” cast is on your screen, and you don’t move a muscle until one o’clock, just in time to see bowling take over the network. You think to yourself, “No offense to bowlers, but how does bowling get a spot on ESPN?” Then, you finally flip over to CBS or Fox, depending on who has the early game.

The second scenario plays out differently. You wake up with the intention of doing work because you either have a major assignment due Monday morning or you need to get ahead now when you actually have the time to do it. You clear your desk, put your books down in front of you, and with a press of a button, the television is on. The last part is the worst decision imaginable because, right off the bat, you cannot concentrate.

The television suddenly reads mute in one of the corners, and you say to yourself, “Time to do some work.” You finally get around to the simple act of opening the books that have just been sitting there and settle down to get some work done. After 20 minutes or so, you feel like you have put in hours of work (although it has not even been half of an hour) and think you have done enough to earn yourself a short football break. A half hour flies by, and you have to force yourself to hit the books again. However, the television does not go on mute this time around, and a commentator gets excited over a great Larry Fitzgerald catch or an Adrian Peterson run. Your eyes dart toward the television in time to see the replay, but they never seem to wander back to your books. Watching out of the corner of your eye turns into a head turn. A head turn turns into a “chair turn.” The chair turn transforms into a, “I’ll do it later.”

Both scenarios end the same way. Nothing gets done all day. Come dinner, food is brought back to the television screen to be enjoyed without missing anything major during the course of the game, which will be broadcast multiple times on different sports shows and networks. The difference is that the person in the latter sequence of events feels bad about it, and the lack of productivity nags his or her mind for the rest of the day.

What makes all of this funny is the fact that, more often than not, the teams being watched have nothing to do with your favorite team. For example, a New York Jets fan will still watch a game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks from beginning to end. Why? Because the media calls it a pivotal NFC West matchup. What implications does this game have on the Jets playoff chances? None. The two teams are in another conference and in a division across the country. They are not even on the Jets’ schedule.

There are two simple reasons students lose their Sundays (and all sense of productivity) to football. First, college students have an innate ability that is hard to find anywhere else. Whether it be checking Facebook for notifications knowing there will not be any because there were not any five seconds ago, tending to a farm on Farmville, watching the same episodes of “The OC” for the 20th time or reading the writing scribbled onto desks at the library, college students are professional procrastinators. Second, football fans love football. There is a saying that goes, “Baseball is America’s pastime, but football is America’s passion.” Combine passion with a lack of desire to do homework, and you will have catastrophic results. Good thing Sunday is only once a week. But there is still Monday night…

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Corey Marine is a senior communication major from New York, N.Y. He can be reached at corey.marine[email protected]