Friday, September 12, 2008


Is it the helmets with their gaudy logos and ugly masks? Is it the big white numbers piling upon each other with much gnashing of teeth and limb? Perhaps it is the way those skin tight spandex pants hug the pads (and bums) trying to protect said limbs?

Each year with the yellowing of the leaves, the air fills with a new "vibe." I can feel it. I get excited and began planning my Saturdays for the next few months. I toss carbs to the side and pile up on tortilla chips...made from corn (gasp!) and I settle in for some serious team spirit. I have a special pair of pants that I don each Saturday. I put off baby sitting and outings with friends. I will refuse to answer the phone, leaving hubby desperately trying to explain to my grandmother that I am not screaming in pain but in pure raptured bliss. It is football time!

For many kids, baseball was the glue that bound them to their fathers. While Dad and I did get very involved in my local softball league and found many wonderful father daughter moments there, it will never compare to the time my dad and I reverantly walked hand in hand, jaws dropped through the concrete entrance of my first ever in person football game. It was as if my dad had introduced me to a set of earthly pearly gates! We saw many games over the years and each one was as special as the rest. There was even one game, just Dad and me, sitting in puddles, draped in camo rain ponchos cheering with the other die hard fans. I will never forget it.

This feeling wraps tight around me as football begins each season. Many think I'm crazy. I'm a girl. I'm not supposed to be that enthralled with a pile of sweaty grass stained boys on a field. At first, Dot and Dan were a bit offended that I would send my hubby out to have fun with them, opting to stay home with my foam finger and a bag of oreos. They just can't understand! As a kid, I cheered when my dad cheered. I would ask him questions and he would just nod or grunt, caught up in the thrill of the play or the passionate disapproval of a bad call. Eventually, I caught on. I can't tell you every single position and its responsibilities but I know when it is good and when it is bad. I no longer wait to hear the roar of the crowd to respond appropriately. Instead, I am often seen jumping off the edge of the couch in disbelief that number 47 had the audacity to move before the clock started! I am a visual learner and therefore the details matter not. I know football just as well as some of the most die hard men in the country!

Most often, Sundays find me hoarse and saddened that the weeks festivities are over. I go through a period of melancholy as the season draws to an end. To be honest, I have a growing dread in the pit of my stomach as each week passes. If you have been visiting for very long you know that winter is a horrific and terrifying time for me. I fight desperately to make it through till March. I think football is a way for me to inch my way slowly into the shorter days. After the season, there are holidays to get me through till January. I usually crochet my way into February, coasting on the excitement that I have enjoyed for the past couple of months. By February I am clawing at the edge of the cliff and count days praying for March to rush on in.

This year is no different. Our friends are now well aware of my bizarre obsession with college football. They love to jostle hubby a bit about how backwards our relationship seems. My mother has already delivered a cautionary "Don't get too loud, you know your neighbor dates a cop and loves to call him to your house for even the slightest sqeak of a mouse! Remember that you will get a migraine if you get too carried away! Don't ruin your dinner with oreos and chips! Any by all means remember to turn off the crock pot!" I have already done my usual schedule mapping to make sure nothing gets in the way of my games. I have my alarm set for tomorrow's game and I am a bundle of excitement making sleep a difficult thing tonight.

The excitement is deceiving. You would think I had my bags and coolers packed ready for a long trip to the stadium itself when infact I am going to turn on whatever means by which I can sit at home and soak in the crowd and the game. I dream at least half a dozen times each season of that moment when you walk through the cave like doors, soda in one hand, foam finger in the other, and feel the world drop away as you enter the stadium for a real game. Hubby and I have made plans for next season already. I'm not sure if I could manage to contain myself if we actually got to see a real game. I pray if we do he can find the soul gripping passion my dad gave to me.

It's football time ladies and gentleman! Bring on the pigskin!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I too love this time of year. I am a huge college football fan and I too remember watching the games with my dad. That was the one thing he did right, teach me about football and mold me into a fan. My husband and I now spend this time together not thinking about babies or tests but just cheering and being happy (hopefully, if my team does well). You put it into words beautifully.