For a little while, I dated a man with season tickets to a local college football team's games. I hadn't been to a football game since high school, and I must admit that the pageantry was enthralling. Here was a whole stadium full of very well educated folks (they played against some amazing schools) acting like flipping loonies! Everyone wore blue and gold, whipped around banners and flags, screamed and yelled, did the wave, clapped, and ate really bad food all for the cause.
But the next thing that I knew, I was cheering along with them. There I was at the tailgate parties, wearing a cap. Really! A cap. I made sure to read the sports page in order to see what was up next, who the competition was, who was injured. Even after the man and I broke up, I paid attention, following some of the players as they moved onto the major leagues.
So yesterday, for some strange reason, my current boyfriend (who does no sports viewing at all) and I decided to watch the superbowl. I hadn't watched one for a couple of years, and I don't know the mythology about the teams except for some slight trivia I gleaned from People Magazine (oh, those quarterbacks and their Victoria Secret models--oh, those men who leave their pregnant girlfriends, famous movie star girlfriends). There was the touching older brother who had already won a superbowl ring story, which was actually pretty interesting.
But as for the teams, the rest of the players, I was clueless.
Can I ask this, though: Did calling out the plays suddenly change? What's all this pointing? This habit of standing back nonchalantly, calling out some stuff, pointing a few times, and making a come hither motion (Tom Brady), and then the snap. Eli Manning looked like he wasn't sure what would happen, as if the huddle and then line were a surprise meeting at night. Back in my day, it was focused yells and then pow, the ball.
Early on, I decided to be for New England. My boyfriend took New York. We ate a bowl of popcorn. We watched the commercials. (The Panda one was amazingly poorly conceived and full of stereotypes). We drank red wine. I managed to work in a few irritating emails and he called his mother.
But then in the last two minutes--wow, football as metaphor for everything. The final push, the fight back, the surprise win. The redemption, the victory. The wave. The yells! The flags. Whoo-hoo.
So now I'm set for a good year or more. I don't think I will have to watch football again until another game crosses my path. I'm not sure what it says about me, America, people in general that we watch these games. That it is bodily chess, orchestrated by coaches, carried out by young people who will suffer the slings and arrows of arthritis and bone spurs for the rest of their days. Who will have to have knee and hip replacements, who will spend all this money too soon, too fast, and end up selling cars in Bakersfield.
But for now, wow. Go Giants!
Causes Jessica Inclan Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org