Tuesday, January 15, 2013

#Football Fan Fail#

Football is weird.  Baseball is not. Baseball is hot dogs and peanuts and popcorn and America. Football is beer. And Cheetos.  Big deal. Baseball makes sense.  You get three chances to hit the ball and if you mess up, you go to the end of the line and wait for another turn. That’s a life lesson right there. In football, if you’re anywhere near the ball, you get mauled by a gang of millionaires in tights. Who want to kill you. Or maim you. And score points for doing it. That should earn them life without parole.
Baseball is logical. A pitcher is called a pitcher because he pitches the ball to a batter whose job is to hit the ball with a bat.  See?  Logical.  Football makes so little sense, when the game crossed the Pond to England, even the Queen couldn’t figure it out.  She thought it was another name for soccer.

My husband enjoys all kinds of sports, but he loves football, where the goal is to make it to a big game in January and then go to Disneyland. I’ve sat on the couch beside him and tried to take football lessons so maybe we could both enjoy this love of tackling and sacking and neck breaking. I heard husbands like their wives to share their interests. It’s going pretty slow.

So far I’ve figured out that when there’s two minutes left in a quarter, it’ll be another twenty minutes before those two minutes are up. I know a touchdown scores six points and a field goal scores three and you need time-outs to stop the clock, and if the other team used all theirs up and your team has control of the ball at the end of the fourth quarter, all your guys can just stand around talking while the two minutes left on the clock actually runs out in two minutes and the coach takes a shower in Gatorade.
My husband knows a lot about football teams. But the team he loves with all his heart is a college team that doesn’t even get to go to the Super Bowl. Ever. He is a University of Florida Gators fan.  I don’t know why. He didn’t go to college there. He’s from Florida where there’s another big university with a team called the Seminoles, but he despises them. I think it’s because he likes alligators. If the Seminoles had chosen a gator as their mascot, I think he’d be a Seminoles fan.
A few years ago, our son moved away from home to go to school in Kentucky where people have blue blood. That doesn’t mean they’re socialites or rich, unless they live in Lexington on a horse farm. It means it’s a state law that you have to like love the University of Kentucky Wildcats and dress in blue.  But our son was born in Florida and is a fan of his father, so he holds UK fans in low regard and supports the orange and blue of the Florida Gators.

This has made him one or two friends. But they’re loyal friends and those are the best kind.
One year we thought it would be funny to send our son an alligator head—the kind they sell legally in tourist shops along Florida interstates - I thought I should explain that clearly. We covered it in bubble wrap and mailed it to him for a joke. But he thought it was cool and put it on the television as a decoration. Boys do things like that. Suddenly we began to notice that the Florida Gators were winning a lot more games. And our son noticed that every time he put the gator head on the TV during a game, whether he watched it or not, the Gators won. When he forgot to put it up there, they lost.
Now I think our son and his magical gator head should be recognized by the Gators' coach as a state hero, even if he does reside in the state of Kentucky. That makes him, like, an undercover agent and a superhero.  Unfortunately, the Gators had a losing streak a couple of years in a row and we found out that the whole thing started when our son’s dog got hold of the gator head and ate it for breakfast. If he’d just told us sooner, the Gators might have at least gotten an honorable mention at the Super Bowl.
Eventually, we took care of the problem. It’s mighty hard to buy a gator head out here in Arizona, so the Florida Gators just had to tough it out for a while until we took a driving trip down South. But the first time we stopped for gas in north Florida and saw gator heads for sale on the counter next to the moon pies and license plates, we bought two of them—one for our son and one for my husband.
Now the Gators are in recovery mode. It’s taken two gator heads on two televisions to help get them back on their feet again but we’re committed to the effort.  I still think baseball makes more sense than football and I’ll always jump at the chance to go see our Arizona team play in person.  But I know I’ll never be the kind of genuine fan my husband and son are.  You can’t really blame me, though.
I refuse to put a diamondback rattler on my television set so the Yankees can learn a lesson in humility.

That’s just stupid.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Janice! My husband puts up with a lot from me, as you can see.

  2. You should be able to buy rattles somewhere. Maybe that would work?

    1. I'm such a terrible fan, Liz. Can anything help the poor Diamondbacks?

  3. 'Noles V Gators... And our families are still friends! Miracles do happen!

    1. It's a friendly rivalry, right? Rob read this story last night and told me I should be shot - I had to edit it because I put down the wrong colors for the Gators. Sheesh. Guess I'm second in line behind that gator head. ;)