Stubble: Tell me about your football sabbatical.
Don: So I’m taking the year off from the NFL and college football. Mostly it’s because I have some more important things to do, and I tend to take it a little too seriously – I get a little too wrapped up, especially with my Vikings. My college team is Alabama, and of course it hurts when they get all the way but can’t pull it out.
Stubble: What about taking it too seriously? Was there a moment after a Vikings loss where, in the depth of sadness, you realized you’d gone too far?
Don: I’m perpetually like that. The Vikings have been a disappointment for all of my life, as you know pretty well. Jake’s brother Cody says “I’m going to have the Vikings be pallbearers at my funeral so that way they can let me down one last time.”
Stubble: So what do you do on Sundays this year, if not watch football?
Don: Partly because we have some more little projects going on, but I just try to read a lot more. I’ve got things to learn, I’ve got things to do, and I’ve got time that I need to spend learning some of my craft a little better and that’s what I’m investing in.
Stubble: Have you had any pushback when you tell people about your football break?
Don: Not from my immediate family, no.
Stubble: So maybe it’s eerily easy to do?
Don: Yeah, I’d say “eerily easy” is a good way to say it. I check the standings every now and again to see how the Vikings are doing but that’s really the extent of it. I don’t watch any clips. After the Green Bay game I checked to see who won, but that’s it.
Stubble: Are there any rules you follow, like “I can check standings, but I can’t watch highlights”?
Don: There are no rules. I just have better things to do. I can if I want do, but I haven’t and Tina would probably tease me if I did.
Stubble: How long are you going to keep the sabbatical up? Would you recommend it to other people?
Don: Right now it’s just one year, take it one year at a time. I have no idea what next year holds. I have no input on what other people do. It’s been good for me and I’ve used my time wisely.
Stubble: Do you have anything else to add?
Don: Yeah, just that it has nothing to do with the kneeling protests. It’s non-violent, non-destructive, it’s emotional and a perfect way to protest.
Don Lipps is a web developer and dad in Mankato, MN