Monday, December 29, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I am a football fan. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy watching any and every game my family lets me turn on! And, this is my favorite football time of the year. It is almost January, time for bowl games and playoffs! Hooray! The only drawbacks are that I am the only serious fan in my family (my husband will rarely even watch a whole quarter with me), and we do not have cable. Therefore, I am limited to what the national networks show.

Those of you who know me well are not surprised by this admission, but to those who may be a bit dumbfounded at why I would spend my time watching such a man's sport, let me explain. Football is men being men; it is that simple. Baseball, basketball, or golf cannot compare to the hard-hitting strategic machismo that is demonstrated on a football field. Hockey has it, but it can be a bit too violent for me. Our culture has largely lost an understanding of what it means to be masculine and feminine. I admire the sport for its masculinity.

Now, let me clarify a few things. I am not a football fan in the sense that a man would be. I do not memorize stats or formations or obsess over particular teams or players. I will watch almost any team, and I understand just enough about the rules to follow the game. This can be funny when my husband brags to his friends that I am the football fan in the family, because they automatically assume I know as much about the game as they do and want to swap predictions and stats. I just enjoy watching.

In defense of the game, I do not believe all football players are intellectually challenged. This is one reason I particularly enjoy watching several talented quarterbacks; they are smart leaders. Admittedly, some players just grunt and tackle, but some of those are really good at taking another man down! In my playbook, that is entertainment.

I also believe, forgive me guys, that many players are amazingly graceful. If you have ever watched a QB scramble to throw a long pass to the corner of the end zone and a wide receiver leap into the air to catch the ball on his fingertips and land with both feet in the end zone, dragging those toes and maintaining control of the wobbly ball, while being thrown to the ground by 200 pounds of brute strength, you know what I mean.

I do not cheer for any particular team. There are some teams I like more than others, but I generally decide who I want to win when a game starts. Sometimes, I will even waffle and wait until the second half to decide who deserves the victory. I like college ball and professional. College ball is pure and exciting. NFL players are impressive and awe-inspiring. With both, you never know what to expect. It is almost like a good mystery novel...okay, maybe that is too much of a stretch for most of you.

There it is. You know my secret. And, beginning on Wednesday, I have the opportunity to watch at least one football game every day for 9 straight days! After that, you can be sure I will try to watch every NFL playoff game and will put the kids to bed early on Superbowl Sunday, so I can open a six-pack and bag of chips and watch a bunch of guys hitting each other hard. Oh, and the commercials are usually entertaining, too!

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