Let me state for the record that I have tried, oh have I tried, to understand football.
If football passion is contagious, I should have contracted a rabid case long ago. My father, husband and son live and breathe it. For as long as I can remember, weekends during football season have revolved around our teams’ schedule. And today, Super Sunday? My husband calls it “the holiest day of the year.”
Despite having an avid interest in most spectator sports, I just don’t get football.
There are things I like about football culture. I like crisp fall Saturdays dappled with sunshine and football games. I enjoy the marching band, the cheers and the go team go. I like … halftime.
The men in my family have been patient with me. How many times have they repeated the ABCs of football at a level that qualifies as Football for Dummies? And each time, their hopeless student failed miserably. Football terminology was as elusive as Mandarin Chinese. (Secondary? Hail Mary? Split End?) After a few minutes my eyes would glaze over and my brain would demur. Uh uh, said my brain, we no get it.
In my dogged pursuit to enjoy this silly game, I force myself to watch, pretending to be interested and trying hard to disguise my cluelessness. It usually goes like this. Until Something Big happens I can stare at the screen and simultaneously plan my weekly grocery list. No one is the wiser. All of a sudden there is excitement. Something BIG has happened. The crowd goes wild and there’s a whoop from my husband. “All rightttt!” he claps loudly. Duncan cocks an eye and wags his tail. “What happened?” I ask tentatively. His eyes are glued on the set. “Um, what happened?” I repeat. His smile fades. He sighs with thinly veiled exasperation and starts to explain, his eyes not leaving the screen. His voice trails off, and I let it go. it doesn’t matter. Whatever he tells me, I won’t understand, anyway.
So tonight I will sit through this snooze fest whose only redeeming quality is the punctuation of amusing commercials. And I’ll get to work on my grocery list.