NFL Fan: Needful Things


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  1. #1

    NFL Fan: Needful Things

    I've been fascinated by NFL fanfare in America ever since I was a young boy and wanted to generate a fanfare-consciousness short-story inspired by the film Heaven Can Wait​!



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    Stan was a typical NFL (American professional football) fan. Every Sunday during the NFL season, Stan sat down on his couch in front of his Panasonic TV and enjoyed the nationally televised games. Stan had multiple favorite teams he'd follow, including the New England Patriots, the LA Rams, and the NY Jets. Stan ordered a Bears fan-jersey on NFLgear.com, since he'd been living in the Chicago area (with his wife and two kids and dog) for five years. This upcoming NFL Sunday, Stan was prepped and psyched to watch the highly-anticipated game between the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles, since it was a 'wild-card' playoff game that would determine who'd advance in the playoffs towards the ultimate game --- the Super Bowl!

    Stan was wearing his Bears fan-jersey and cooked up some homemade chicken-wings and purchased some Corona beer for the Bears-Eagles game. His son Ethan was going to watch the big game with him! Even though Ethan was only 16 years-old, Stan promised his son he'd allow him to sip/drink one call cup of beer from his Corona 6-pack. The stage was set for a terrific father-son bonding experience, and Stan's wife Shelbye was excited Ethan's dad was enjoying the nationally televised game with his son.

    Stan was enjoying the game with Ethan as the Bears pulled out to a hot 2nd quarter 10-6 lead. Eagles QB Nick Foles was struggling, while the Bears defense and offense was keeping the game well-controlled. Ethan sipped the beer from the small cup his dad gave him and told his dad they should've bet some sure money on the Bears to advance in the playoffs. However, Stan explained, "Sports-gambling is a dangerous and addictive activity, son; let's just follow our teams on TV and watch as 'casual/spiritual' fans!" Ethan wondered if his dad held some special spiritual worry towards gambling but continued enjoying/watching the NFL game with his 'sports-fanatic dad.

    Stan and Ethan watched as the Bears pulled off a tight and exciting 24-16 wild-card playoff game victory over the ambitious and gritty Philadelphia Eagles! Stan took his son out for some celebration pizza after the game, and the two chatted about the quality/values associated with sports-fanfare in America. This would be a poignant discussion that Ethan would never forget, since it illuminated something interesting about fanfare-consciousness --- obsession.


    STAN: That was a classic NFL game, son...
    ETHAN: I'm psyched the Bears won, dad!
    STAN: The Bears controlled the game-pace well, Ethan.
    ETHAN: I predict the Bears will reach the Super Bowl!
    STAN: They'll have to deal with Brady's Patriots if they do...
    ETHAN: Brady is the ultimate Super Bowl QB.
    STAN: Isnt the NFL like an arcade?
    ETHAN: Yeah; that's why Fantasy-Football has become iconic.
    STAN: Americans revel in participant activities and fanfare!
    ETHAN: If the Bears win the Super Bowl, lets go to Disneyland.
    STAN: That's a super idea, son; we'll do it!
    ETHAN: I'll tell my friends the Bears are sending us to Disneyland.
    STAN: Be careful not to put too much wind in your sails, Ethan...
    ETHAN: Why?
    STAN: When your favorite team loses, people notice your grief.
    ETHAN: Is that fragile karma or something, dad?
    STAN: So you know what karma means, eh?
    ETHAN: Sure; we're reading the Hindu Mahabharata in school.
    STAN: Take note of what your teacher mentions about fate/destiny!
    ETHAN: I wonder if we'd have this deep chat if the Bears lost!
    STAN: Thats the danger or sports-wagers --- fragile consciousnesses.
    ETHAN: If the Bears don't win the Super Bowl, we'll get simple pizza.
    STAN: You're becoming mature/objective about 'balanced fanfare.'
    ETHAN: Yeah I don't want to become a gambling fanatic, do I?
    STAN: Nobody's above the problem of competitive obsession.
    ETHAN: Sports trophies are certainly 'needful things.'
    STAN: We avoid hellfire by taking heed of temptations!
    ETHAN: I wonder if Bears fans are especially spiritually cautious.
    STAN: For every competition-laurel, there're 'divinity-angels.'
    ETHAN: I've been daydreaming about becoming an NFL journalist!
    STAN: God watches over our 'needful joys,' doesn't he, son?
    ETHAN: I believe all Bears fans...just know it.

    ====



  2. #2
    Incidentally, the fun font changes are simply visual aids to imply this story could possibly be a children's picture book and does not imply a shift in tone/setting!

  3. #3
    Hi, I am from England and completely unfamiliar with NFL, so your piece was not going to grab me, but it took me a sentence or two to find out and a couple of points stood out.

    Stan was a typical NFL (American professional football) fan. Every Sunday during the NFL season, Stan sat down on his couch in front of his Panasonic TV and enjoyed the nationally televised games. Stan had multiple favorite teams he'd follow, including the New England Patriots, the LA Rams, and the NY Jets. Stan ordered a Bears fan-jersey on NFLgear.com, since he'd been living in the Chicago area (with his wife and two kids and dog) for five years.
    Notice how many times you say 'Stan', not all the sentences start with it , but enough do to be noticeable.

    In most writing people place emphasis on the first sentences, it is the first thing read and first impressions count. This sort of meanders on about how much of a fan Stan is, it is not concise and informative and does nothing to pose a question and lead you on into the piece.

    "Stan was a NFL fan. Every Sunday Stan sat in front of his TV and enjoyed the games."

    I did not add anything to that, it is as you wrote it but with a bunch of stuff taken away. If you think about it you really do not need stuff like 'On the couch' because most people would assume that anyway, and those who sit in a special TV chair may well be alienated by the idea. Let the reader make up his own mind about the detail, it will be more real for him, you have told him he is sitting and ythe games are on TV, no need to tell him the channel and TV make, less is more.

    The thing I did worry about taking out was the explanation of what NFL is, then I realised that if I, an elderly Englishman who had never watched a game, understood it you probably don't need to explain it.

    I feel this is probably all for the best of motives, a bit like the whole piece, but I am sure it could work better. My approach would be to try and make more of a story of it, maybe bring Shelby out more, she can't bond over games with him, but she can set up the father son thing.

    Try reading the piece aloud, record it and play it back if you can, it is short enough, you will hear all the places you hesitate and you will get a different view, it helps get a grip on the piece overall as well as noticing details.

    Good luck, Keep writing.
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