James Jones: Cutting back on football is enjoyable

Published 10:27 am Monday, June 3, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Guess you can say I’m no longer a football junkie.

Over the last several months, several football-related events have slipped past my radar. No way this happened 15 years ago. I was one of those folks who ate, drank, and slept football 24-7.

The United Football League, a spring professional football league, would have easily grabbed my attention. Nothing like spring football to keep me in sync outside of the Crimson Tide’s A-day game.

Email newsletter signup

With a franchise nearby in Birmingham, you would have probably caught me attending a Stallions game on the weekends. Not even the opportunity to see actor-wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in person was not enough.

Even the NFL Draft couldn’t keep my interest, and I blame ESPN for a lot of that. The all-sports network overhyped the draft and criticized teams for not drafting players their analysts drooled over. 

Once Alabama and Auburn players were picked, I tuned out. I always ignore who my favorite NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers, picks. The 49ers usually draft well, they just can’t coach in the Super Bowl.

Another thing I ignore is the annual tradition after Memorial Day: the release of preseason college and NFL magazines.  

Athlon’s, Lindy’s and Street & Smith always published their magazines at the end of May.  Alabama and Auburn were on the cover of Alabama magazines. The Atlanta Falcons dominated the NFL magazine in Alabama and Georgia. 

As a teenager, I loved it. At my first newspaper job, one of my earlier assignments was to write what the writers thought of our teams. Over time, I began to hate that annual assignment. Nobody can project if players can stay healthy. Once the team fell short of expectations, I used to get phone calls from readers saying what a terrible writer I was. 

Football is enjoyable to me for half the year, not the entire 12 months.

James Jones is the managing editor of The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at james.jones@selmatimesjournal.com.