Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Open Letter

Dear Replacement Refs,

It’s not you, it’s us.

…Okay, that’s a lie. It’s definitely you. But it’s not your fault. From the start, you’ve been a rebound. A fling. A cheap substitute for what we used to have. You were never truly prepared for the baggage and pressure that a relationship with us would bring. But, to your credit, you stepped in enthusiastically, ready to give your all. We admire that about you, we do. We certainly can’t imagine being put in that position ourselves—one of near-certain failure—and walking forward with our heads held high. That resolve, that pluck…it’s one of the reasons we felt so comfortable with you in the beginning.

But now things have gone as far as they were ever really destined to go. This relationship, this rebound, could only last but so long. Our Ex was always expected to be back in the picture, sooner or later. We knew it. You knew it. Our Ex knew it. We couldn’t stay mad at each other forever. We’re soulmates, our Ex and us; we know each other’s quirks, flaws, and strengths better than we know our own. We’ve built something strong over the last few decades—much too strong for any trivial fight over money matters to ever erase. We belong together; we just needed some time apart to remind us of that.

And you selflessly helped us with that in-between time. You bridged the gap for us, with no designs on your own lasting happiness. Sure, deep in the back of your mind, you sheltered hope that you could overcome the PowerBall-sized odds, and that this affair would blossom into a long-term relationship. The odds were slim, but what a dream to behold: That you could replace our Ex forever, and find yourself enjoying the good life you had watched from afar for so long.

But the time has come to say goodbye. We now understand what we were meant to learn from this whole episode: That you aren’t the solution. You can’t be, no matter how much you or we want you to be. We need our Ex back. It’s what’s best for everyone.

We just hope you can bear to face us from now on.

Love always,
NFL Fans

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