Are you ready for some football? We’re hearing big cheers from one Chick — and maybe a few jeers and unprintables from the “cheep” seats. But whether you’re a fan or foe of pigskin games, ’tis the sporting season — so read on and take it away, C-H-I-C-K-S!!!!
When I was really little, my sister dated a guy who played for the Giants. They held part of their training camp in my town each summer and I was absolutely terrified of them, because in their helmets and pads I thought they really were giants. But eventually, thanks to my dad, I became a rabid fan. We had bets going on each game and I always chose the teams with the coolest mascot (Dolphins!) or the grumpiest-looking coach (Tom Landry) . And I was thrilled to pull out my first football card–the kind that changed back and forth when you tilted it – from the Kellogg’s box. After a lot of pestering, I finally got to go to my first official game. It was so loud I heard most of it through a transistor radio, but I do remember the score: Jets 63, Eagles 3. Now I live in New England, so NO dumping on Tom Terrific/Touchdown Tommy/Gisele’s husband, please!
The only football game I watch all year is the Super Bowl. OK, so I don’t actually watch the game. But my husband and I do go to an annual Super Bowl party. I watch the half-time show and commercials, view replays when everybody seems excited, and otherwise chat and drink and snack. I’m from Memphis, and Memphis is a basketball town. Yay, Grizz! Go Tigers! I remember hubs and I went to a casino in Tunica, Mississippi (short drive from Memphis) one year when the University of Memphis Tigers were in the NCAA Final Four. All the overhead TVs in the hotel/casino lobby were tuned to the tournament. In the final moments of the semi-final, it was nearly silent as hundreds of people stared up at the screens. When the Tigers won, everyone cheered, strangers hugged. You can keep your gridiron. For me, it’s hoops all the way!
For most of my life, I’ve considered football a big old testosterone fest and would rather curl up with a good book than watch the big game. But for one year, I pretended to be a football fan. Not even a year; just a season. When I was a freshman at the football-obsessed University of Texas, you could opt in for season tickets when you enrolled, so I was like, “Um, sure, okay.” I just assumed attending all home games was essential to my education. I went to all the games with my friends who had also been duped into buying tickets. We wore orange and white. We sang the fight song — loudly, poorly. At some point, I realized that I actually didn’t care at all who won. So when it came time to renew my football package, I declined to click the box on my enrollment form. Boy, were the dormitories empty on game day! The perfect time to catch up on my reading.
My wonderful dad was a high school coach, so when fall arrived, it was football 24/7 around our house. When we weren’t attending actual games, there were always games playing on television. The sounds of football games (crowds, whistles, announcers, etc.), therefore, carry a sort of nostalgic weight as the background track of my childhood.
Yet while I’ve been to many games–high school, college, and professional too–I can’t say I truly have watched any of them (even when I was a cheerleader, oops). My body was present, but I was mostly daydreaming or people-watching.
These days, I do cheer on the hometown team with my husband and sons. (Though I’m still probably mostly daydreaming or people-watching…shhh.) Go Broncos!
I am not ready for some football. In fact, the only game I might watch is the Superbowl and even that depends on the halftime performer. Part of the reason is because I’m a tad bit salty. You see I’m a Jersey girl. You probably think that means I don’t like football because Jersey doesn’t have any football teams. But you’re wrong. We actually have two. Both the Giants and the Jets have played in New Jersey since Giants Stadium was built in a place called East Rutherford in 1976. When it came time to build a new stadium in 2010 they chose to put it right next door. The Jets even built a state of the art practice facility about five minutes from where I grew up. You’d think in all that time they might consider changing their name. Nope. If anything, the Giants doubled down by replacing their old logo that said Giants with one that simply read NY, which might as well stand for Now You Tripping as far as this proud Jersey girl is concerned.
I am SO not a sports person. If I had a dollar for every time someone tried to explain how you make a down to me, I’d be a trillionaire. But I do have a story that illustrates exactly how clueless I am. When I was junior at Tulane, I got asked on a date to one of the team’s football games, which were held back then in the Superdome. The game began and some football-y thing happened on the field. Suddenly, our team ran off the field and a second Tulane team replaced them. “Do we have two teams playing today?” I asked my date. There was a pause and then he said, “No. That’s offense and defense.”
He never asked me out again. Go figure.
Readers, how are YOU kicking off the football season–or are you taking a pass until the Puppy Bowl? Let us know in the comments!
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