Watching the Super Bowl and Sports While Pursing Financial Independence

I was recently listening to the podcast ChooseFI, I suggest you give it a listen if you have not already, co-hosted by Brad from Richmond Savers and one of the “Too Cool Ten” on my Twitter following.  A conversation began to form around sports,  Brad mentioned he used to be a big baseball fan, the NY Mets I believe, as he is originally from New York.  He then went on to say that he stopped watching and caring about sports, that it took up too much time for something that really had no impact on his life(paraphrasing).  He went on to say that his life has evolved and watching, talking, or paying attention to sports are not as important as his family, DIY, board games, his health, getting outside, etc.

The statement itself has merit, especially on a personal level for Brad.  It would be pretty hard to argue sports should have more room in his life than his family for example.  It’s also interesting to see that the statement came as Brad was on his journey through Financial Independence (FI) and became especially apparent has he reached FI.

The important piece I took from all of this was to ask the questions how are watching the Superbowl and sports affecting my life and my pursuit of FI?  Are sports actually important to me?  Am I placing a too large of a value on something that costs me time, money, and my mental capacity?

Background

Growing up, like many young kids I played sports.  In high school I played everything from football, basketball, baseball, to track and field.  All were played on some sort of competitive level, for example I played tennis now and again at the nearby park, but did not by any means play competitively in a league or receive a varsity letter.

In college I tried out for the basketball team, only to be the last guy cut (I just kept showing up, other guys stopped).  I was also asked by one of the football coaches to join the team as well during my freshman year, that would have been interesting and looking back I probably should have gave it a run, but basketball was the only thing on my mind.

Sports were always in my life growing up, when I was not playing them I was also watching them.  I loved watching NBA basketball back in the days of Bird, Magic, and Jordan (I actually met and worked MJ).  Watching the Green Bay Packers with Reggie White chasing around Barry Sanders was fun to watch and of course emulate later on.

After I stopped playing sports competitively I was still involved in coaching on and off in college and then early in my career.  I almost made basketball coaching my career, turning down a paid graduate assistant in New Mexico that would have led me down the path of a full time career in coaching, crazy the twists and turns life can give you if you choose a different path.

Even after I stopped playing I was watching AAU, high school, and college basketball on a pretty regular basis.  It actually took a while to watch the game as a “fan”, I would often watch the game on replay and rewind to break down a play, not exactly cheering for the ball to go in the hoop.

Today

Chicago NFL Draft and my Philadelphia Eagles

I have not coached in almost 8 years, I am back to being a full-time fan.  I still enjoy the games, the loyalty of having an NFL team (Eagles and Packers), watching the Cubs win the World Series, or watching the epic comeback made by the Syracuse Orangemen to go to the Final Four.  I dig watching football on Sundays, I love heading down to Wrigleyville to watch the Cubs, I look forward to coming home on a Tuesday to watch a college basketball game on TV, and I like to spend time watching sports both on TV and live and in person.

I think over time the number of games I watch has gone down, it’s only natural as you decide what’s important to you.  I remember during my time in South Florida I made the decision to give up watching college football, taking back my Saturdays.  For me it didn’t make sense to give up going to the park to play volleyball and BBQ to stay inside and watch college football on a beautiful day.  I gave up college football because I found spending time with my wife and her family were more important to me.  We all evolve and realize that certain things are more important to us than a specific sports game or anything in life for that matter.

Another avenue people also choose instead make the sport part of the family activity.  I for example do my best to include my wife when watching a football game, making fun snacks together, and even wearing a jersey.  I can sit in front of the TV just fine by myself and watch the Eagles play the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but it makes a difference when your wife makes snacks and puts a green pepper “E” in your cheesy chicken dip!

Financial Independence

I am pursing financial independence and along with that there is a sense in the community that everything should be a DIY project and spent outside in nature.  I occasionally like a DIY project and I certainly love getting outside, but as crazy as this sounds people do enjoy other things besides the FI Community consensus.

This is where I declare my stance as a Financial Unicorn again.

Financial Independence Unicorn

One of my FI dream goals is to own college basketball season tickets and all of the freedom FI offers to attend a game on a any day of the week with my wife.  Not having to worry about the cost of season tickets, rushing out of work to get to a game on time, and being involved in an entire season watching the team develop from day 1 to the NCAA tournament is an FI dream in the making.

A live sports event is great, but if I am hundred or even thousands of miles away, I want to come home and watch my team on TV.  The game does not have to be live for me to enjoy sports, replay even work for basketball.  Being a sports fan in the Financial Independence community is an anomaly, but that’s the point of all of this is to live YOUR life be different than the group.  I would argue that pursuing Financial Independence is an anomaly in itself and what FI is built on.  The good kind of the FI community we save tons of money, live on less than we make, listen and read blogs and podcasts taking the best principles and applying them to our lives, we are Money Nerds !!!!!(that’s my friend Whitney’s podcast, smart and a great person)

I get that sports take up time and live sports take up money, but that’s what I enjoy.  Super Bowl Sunday I will be watching my Philadelphia Eagles battle the New England Patriots, I’ll most likely be sitting in front of my TV with food that we made from home right in our kitchen.  I’ll be with my wife and my dog(she gravitates towards food) wearing an Eagles jersey and cheering along every minute.  It’s moments like these in the pursuit of Financial Independence where you can choose what activity you enjoy that makes the journey all the better.

Thanks for reading this week and Fly Eagles Fly!!!

 

 

2 Responses to “Watching the Super Bowl and Sports While Pursing Financial Independence

  • Congrats on the Eagles Super Bowl win. As a die-hard Vikings fan I am peeved by us losing….again. But I think your wanting to have season tickets to basketball is perfectly fine (hell you might even go back to school and be a GA and a coach….who knows). And this post made me think of something. Like you I love sports, particularly college sports (hockey and football). I have always wanted to teach at a university that had a big-time sports program and become one of those fans. One of my goals of reaching FI is to be able to take a teaching position really anywhere (hopefully at a major school) and become one of those fans.
    Jason recently posted…I Made $100 From My Blog and It Only Took 42 MonthsMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      1 week ago

      The game was so much fun to watch! The outcome probably helped the situation as well. I have a family member who is into the coaching business and I like to tell him he can hire me as a consultant and I’ll hang around the team, give him the brutal honest answers nobody wants to tell him.

      That’s a really good WHY. Any opportunities close to where you are now to be able to keep your current living situation and move on to another university?

      Congrats on the first $100….what are you going to do with all that money!?

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