It’s not my fault that I’ve never really cared about football, I swear. Chalk it up to the fact that Nurture kicked Nature’s tukkus on this one — even through my father was supposedly one of the crazies who sat through the Snow Plow game of 1982 and has long reveled in the whole football thing, I never saw why football was a big deal.

At all. Even just a little bit.

I was perfectly fine going through life — high school, college, post-collegiate — without a football team. If I could do it, why couldn’t everyone else? We were the real badasses — we played EUROPEAN football and could probably run little soccer circles around dudes in helmets looking for someone else to hit.

But something happened late this football season, my friends: I actually became caught up a bit in the Patriots madness. And I felt a bit sadder, a little crushed, when the Pats lost to Indy.

I know it would be easy for me to jump onto the New England football bandwagon. They win a lot of games, have an (incredibly, sensationally, drool-worthy) hot quarterback, are known for burning into the postseason, if not coming out on top altogether.

Tried and true fans (I mean you, everyone who liked the team back in the days of the old logo, old players and old stadium), fear not: I still own no Pats merchandise. I’m not vying for your tickets and I’m not going to pretend that I know what indescribable nuance makes one player better than another. That’s all reserved for the Red Sox.

(Ha, another reason why you might just hate my guts.)

But I do respect your team and I do feel your pain today. As my anti-football roommates guided me through the list of DVR-recorded programs last night, I kept asking to check in on the score of the game. I called my dad to complain or celebrate, depending on the particular point in the game at which I’d called.

And I just may have hooted when I checked on Boston.com to see if the Pats did in fact have the lead late in the fourth quarter.

I have to wonder, however, if I shouldn’t care about this team, if I should let them keep doing their things and winning their rings. It’s fun to dabble in football fandom. I daresay that I will want to think about keeping it up when next season comes along.

But when I started to care, the Pats lost. I can’t help but wonder if it’s coincidence or jinx.

I have the off-season to ponder it.

And I have three and a half weeks until pitchers and catchers report!

Whoops. Sorry.

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