You’re Bored Because You Don’t Care

SUPER BOWL LIII

Yesterday the New England Patriots won Super Bowl LIII. The score? 13-3. Throughout the game, complaints of boredom rang throughout the USA. With only one beloved touchdown scored, New England fans only got a single chance to really cheer in a raucous manner and taunt those who were rooting for the Rams. Or, more likely, simply rooting against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots.

But was the game truly boring? For most at their Super Bowl parties, yes it was boring. There are 32 NFL Teams. So for the fans of those 30 teams NOT playing in the Super Bowl, this was merely an opportunity to watch any other football game. Okay, maybe the Saints fans wanted L.A. to lose, but supposedly they were all boycotting the game and weren’t watching anyway.

What about the football fans though? Recently, I was texting with a family member about the parity of the NFL. It’s what they want. Of course, teams that dominate will always have their draw, but for the overall business of the NFL, putting the teams on equal footing has proven to be a successful strategy. Every fan wants their team to have a chance. Just a chance. What this means is that when we get down to the last two teams of the season, they’re really not much different than many of the other teams, especially the teams who make the playoffs. At postgame interviews, head coaches constantly make remarks like, “It came down to one extra play, and they made it, so we lost.” In recent years, many fans have watched their teams go into overtime because at the end of regulation, the score was even. Fans are getting used to seeing teams on equal footing and often know that any win is uncertain.

Okay, so let me get to the point here. I want to challenge that this game was deemed “boring” because so many viewers just didn’t care. Tom Brady and Co. have played in 9 Super Bowls and have won 6 of them. It’s old hat to many NFL fans. They want to see THEIR team make it to the Super Bowl. Despite the controversy that has surrounded the Patriots, it’s becoming harder and harder for fans to dismiss the coaching of Bill Belichick and the talent of the entire Patriots organization. These fans have been watching their teams lose to New England throughout the regular season and the playoffs. They’ve accepted it. And they just don’t care anymore.

SOME NOT BORED WITH SUPER BOWL LIII

Let me tell you who didn’t think this game was boring at all. The entire New England Patriots and L.A. Rams organizations. Los Angeles had not conceded defeat at any point after earning their ticket to the Super Bowl (yeah yeah… or being given their ticket by refs in the Saints game). The Rams were confident they could come off with a win. And with a score of 13-3, it was definitely possible at many points throughout the game.

Between the teams, there was only one play that started off in the red zone. This is NOT boring to an NFL defense. The offenses weren’t just choosing not to make plays or score touchdowns. Even though neither offenses were on fire, the defenses still had to do their jobs. This resulted in a lot of hard work. Even though that work didn’t result in scoring, it was out there on the field.

Hekker kicked a 65-yard punt, the longest in Super Bowl history. I’m sure he was thrilled to hear about the record he had set and I bet at least a fellow punters throughout the league called to congratulate him when they heard the news. Well, maybe not yet they may be letting the sting of losing the game wear off first.

I’ll tell you who else wasn’t bored with Super Bowl LIII. Vegas. The projections everyone had studied most were out the window by the end of the first quarter.

Of course New England fans are happy to see another win for their team. As a New England fan myself, I watched every down. Because I cared about the outcome. I cared about seeing the players perform well. Many other New England fans won’t admit it, but it’s unlikely New England will continue this successful run much longer. Tom Brady will retire soon and so will Bill Belichick. The chances that they will be replaced with others who can do what they’ve done as very small. This could be, and likely is, nearing the end of an era. As a fan, I care how it plays out. So the game wasn’t “boring” to me. I could have enjoyed some more excitement, but I was immersed throughout the 60 minutes of play.

And the closer you get to both organizations involved, the closer you get to the men on the field, the less “boring” Super Bowl LIII proved to be. For many of the players, it was their first Super Bowl. For many, it will be their last. Some spent their whole lives living and breathing football, all the while dreaming of one day playing in the NFL and winning the championship.

LESSONS ABOUT BOREDOM AND CARING

Reflecting on this made me think about our own relationships with boredom. Sometimes we feel bored with many things, ranging all the way from what we’re doing in a moment to specific aspects of life. There are days that many would say they have spent bored. Maybe even a week or two. But that’s not life’s fault. That’s not this world or the experiences’ fault. It’s our own fault. Life is not boring. Experiences are not boring. It’s our own fault because we just don’t care.

This applies to so many areas of life. Often some say they’re bored with their career. It’s not the career that’s boring. It’s that you just don’t care about it anymore. So change it up. Maybe your job is taking you nowhere and you’re fed up with your team. You have choices. You can fix your relationship with your team. You can cultivate those partnerships again. You can get closer to your team so that you value them more. You can stop seeing only the negative qualities and appreciate the talents. You can apply for transfers and promotions to seek out change. You can leave your current job and find a new one. You can quit your whole industry and start in a whole new field. But you’ll have to care to make those things happen.

This applies in personal relationships too. Maybe you feel like that spark with your spouse has faded. This relationship is boring. But is it because you don’t spend enough time together? Is it because your children have you exhausted and you don’t take time to recharge with your husband or wife? Do you just feel like your emotional energy has run dry? Well, start caring again. Schedule a date night. Have deep, meaningful conversations will your spouse. Start talking about your hopes and dreams again. Saying your spouse or the relationship is boring is a weak excuse. You just don’t care.

A lot of people who were sitting on their couches snacking on nachos and chicken wings yesterday said that Super Bowl LIII was boring. But that’s because they didn’t care. So much about that game was not boring and that’s why it was played. That’s why it was broadcast throughout the world. That’s why advertisers spent millions of dollars on the ads.

What have you considered “boring” lately? How can you fight boredom with caring?

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