Am I Cheating On My Team? Why Watching the Jets Is Ok

Don ZakCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2008

There comes a time true NFL fans dread once a season. 

It's not elimination from the playoffs or losing to your most hated rival, but rather that blank week of emotion when your team has a bye week. While many fans can re-explore relationships with our families or clean out the garage when the Green Bay Packers take the week off, I can take solace in watching the New York Jets' game.

Am I a cheat? Does my wandering eye and remote control equate into a love loss between myself and the Packers? Does TiVo-ing the game just to hear Brett say "Green 19, Green 19, Hut!" mean my relationship with Green Bay is ending? Frustrated with what I see on Sundays by the Green and Gold, I secretly wish I was watching the Jets.

The Jets have become my second-favorite team almost overnight. They play all out football, making adolescent mistakes along the way, but playing entertaining football.  When they are down, I watch in relaxed, stress free comfort to see how Brett Favre may or may not pull off some feat of epic proportions. Win or lose, I can enjoy the game and our time together. 

It's quite a contrast to the environment of a Green Bay Packers game, to the stress and pressure I impose upon myself before each and every (even the Lions) game. My anxiety begins on Monday and culminates on Sunday, leaving me drained.

Football relationships can be difficult. But was I violating the rules of NFL fan loyality with this behavior?

Dr. Phil states that watching another team, if it erodes the existing relationship, is in fact cheating. "Consider how it makes your partner feel," he pleads. "If it makes your partner feel ugly, hurt, deceived, lied to, or inadequate, then it needs to stop."  I quickly raced to Oprah’s site for advice, and took the “Am I Cheating?” quiz on her website.

Do I feel emotionally connected to the Team? - Check

Do I lose my temper too much and be described as moody? - Check

Do I feel unappreciated by the Team? - Check

Have I been avoiding contact with the Team for the past season (or longer), including online locker-room interviews and postgame press conferences, due to no obvious reason? - Check

Clearly, Oprah was on to something important here. My viewing habits and wearing my NY Jets No. 4 road jersey all day on Sunday were affecting my relationship with the Packers.

What could I do to resolve this problem? Dan Savage states that the team isn't the problem. Some deep, emotional scarring occurred which is the cause of the deceptions and wanting to be with another team. Could it be that simple?

Is the pain from My Break Up With Brett, caused by the manner in which Packers GM Ted Thompson cast our future HOF QB to the scrap heap of history, the source of the problem?

Dr. Phil concludes that in order to mend a relationship as dynamic as this one, one must, "Be honest with yourself and your team. You'll never get past this until you start being drop-dead honest." 

Accept responsibility when, "You're the one who ran this relationship off in the ditch." And finally, "Assess your commitment level in order to do the work necessary to repair the relationship." 

I will forever love my team and Brett. I also know, thanks to Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Dan, that however long it takes to get this relationship back on the road, is however long I need to work at it.