David Pressgrove: Conquering the 'so what' syndrome


I suffer from if-it's-not-my-team-I-can't-watch-it-for-very-long-on-TV syndrome.

I'm probably not the first one to have this problem, but I may be the first to admit it publicly.

My fellow sufferers, if you're like me, you're ashamed to call yourself sports fans. No matter how hard you try, you can't watch a game from beginning to end.

I'm here to help.

First we have to properly name our disorder.

The acronym I.I.N.M.T.I.C.W.I.F.V.L.O.T.V. is a bit long, so I'll narrow it down to a few of the letters. Let's go with T.I.C.T.V. or TICTV (pronounced Tick Tee Vee).

Here are some symptoms of TICTV:

n The remote control is never too far away. Even it's a national championship game that is tied and close to the end, the channel still might be changed.

n Your friends are convinced that you have a maximum attention span of 10 minutes. They may even accuse you of having Attention Deficit Disorder.

n The only way you can sit through a game is if it includes a team that you consider one of your own. You know it's your team when you refer to it by "we" as if you are actually on the payroll.

Personally, I think my itchy channel changing finger is directly related to the fact that I've grown up during the age of SportsCenter. Who needs to watch a full game when we can see the highlights in 20 seconds?

I was so uninterested in the NFL season after my team started out poorly, I had co-workers deciding the Pigskin Picks for me the past couple of weeks.

But I'm here to announce that last weekend I climbed and conquered the first step to recovery from TICTV. Yep, I defied all my critics, and to my remote's relief, I sat on the couch and watched three of the four NFL playoff games.

You know what I found?

I found that watching a game without a vested interest can be relaxing.

On Sunday, I watched with the indifference of a Buckingham Palace guard as Peyton Manning diced up the Denver secondary like a deli meat slicer. After a Manning pass was caught, I neither threw my shoe at the television nor jumped up and cut my hands on the ceiling (both of which I've done while watching my team as "we" blew a game (shoe throwing) and won a game in the final seconds (bloody knuckles).

Sure I wish that my team had made the playoffs, but it's better for my health that we didn't.

Unfortunately, my basketball team, the Kansas Jayhawks, is undefeated at the moment, and ESPN loves to cover their games.

Wait a minute, I just said that it was unfortunate that my team was doing well. What am I thinking?

This weekend I'll have to re-establish my road to TICTV recovery by watching more NFL. I'll offset it by watching the Kansas-CU basketball game.

Go Jayhawks! Go eight NFL teams I don't care about!

It's all part of the therapy. TICTV is hard to kick, but with patience, perseverance and Pittsburg playing the Jets -- neither of which I care anything about -- I can do it.

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