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’ schedules. And today, Super Sunday? My husband calls it “the holiest day of the year.”
I just don’t get it.
Now, football culture, that I like. Crisp fall Saturdays dappled with sunshine, the marching band, the cheers and the aroma of hot dogs, and thermoses of hot chocolate. I’m down with that.
But the men in my family long ago lost patience with my inability to understand the game. How many times have they repeated the ABCs of football at the most basic level? And each time, their hopeless student failed miserably. Football terminology is as elusive as Mandarin Chinese to me. (Secondary? Hail Mary? Split End?) After a few minutes my eyes glaze over and my brain says no way, Jose.
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 wags his tail in canine appreciation. “What happened?” I ask my husband 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.