I know considering my less than enthusiastic support of Kentucky basketball, this next confession is not going to come as a huge surprise to y’all but…
I don’t really like football.
I went to the occasional high school football game to flirt with boys and stare jealously at the homecoming queen. I went to the occasional intramural football game to flirt with boys and stare jealously at other sorority girls. I went for the boys is what I’m trying to say.
The running and falling down and running and falling down and running and falling down. Not interested. I just didn’t get it and didn’t really care to.
Until, one of those boys I was always flirting with flirted back. We fell in love and I discovered that this boy LOVED – no LURRRRRRRVVVVEEDDD – him some football. He enjoyed all sports and watched ESPN obsessively but football was his passion. Eventually, I decided that despite this very obvious character flaw this boy had plenty of other endearing characteristics and that I would make this boy my husband.
In an effort to show said boy how much I loved him and how committed I was to him, I decided I would learn to love football and the first step seemed to be to figure out what the hell was going on. I couldn’t ask the boy because this tremendous gift of my time and energy was going to be a surprise Christmas present. So, I bought a copy of Football for Dummies and dug in.
I read the entire thing (I swear!) and began to determine that all that running and falling down had a purpose. I started to see the choreography and expertise in the plays and even learned when to cheer and why. However, the book emphasized that even if you didn’t become an expert, if you could learn some of the lingo the rest would come eventually. In particular, the authors beat into me “the frozen tundra of Lambeau field.” Remember this phrase they promised and you could survive any football conversation you found yourself in.
Christmas came and I wrapped up the book proudly and presented it to the boy. He was touched and so excited to finally have a girlfriend who wouldn’t bitch and moan through every game and whine when did SHE get to watch ER!?!
Only one thing…
My lessons didn’t quite take. I have now been married to said boy for nine years and I still don’t give a rip about football. I retained a tiny amount of the technical information from Football for Dummies. I can identify the quarterback. I still can fake cheer in all the right spots. However, at the end of the day, I still find the game LONG and more than a little boring.
Of course, if I NEED to I can still talk a good game…especially the frozen tundra of Lambeau field.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland