Monday, September 25, 2006
First and Goal
The problem is, I'm dreaming about it.

'Tis the season of pigskin. And though my husband has never played the sport in any capacity larger than a pick-up game against winded sweaty uncles or friends, it is his favorite time of the year. Between college and professional games football steamrolls through our living room each weekend. It's background noise. It's my husbands lullaby, and I've become used to the ritual of wandering out to the living room to find his rumpled body passed out in our recliner, shirt sprinkled with Cheezit-bits, skin glowing blue-green beneath the blanket of the TV's light.

I don't begrudge him this enjoyment. He's not a beer-helmeted, face-painted, tailgating type fan, he' s genuinely interested in the intricacies of the game - the play calling, the defensive strategies, etc. And I, despite growing up far far away from the world of football (my father watches the Superbowl, sometimes. If the Patriots are in it. And even then, most of the enjoyment for him is in the commercials, I suspect) have become a bit of a football fan myself since dating and marrying into my husband's family of pigskin-mania.

We started with baby steps - getting me to sit through a game, then moving on to the larger picture, naming teams and players, understanding divisions, and onward to more complicated things, like being able to guess the ruling on the field before the ref makes the call (and being upset about it 50% of the time if New England is playing.)

The New England bias is mine, and it's the only contribution I've made to my husbands football fixation. He loves the sport for the sport itself. Before we started dating, football was about watching a battle and not caring who won, only that it was well fought. Through years of my persuasion, he's finally aligned himself with our New England teams, though cautiously. Like he's afraid of being stamped a "New England Fan" which certainly doesn't have the same elite feel as being a connoisseur of all things football.

My other bias is that I, aside from rare cases when I'm trapped at my inlaws with nothing else to do, refuse to watch college football. It's just too much. Isn't my commitment to the NFL enough? Aren't my two fantasy football teams enough? Or the fact that I can spew random facts about the Immaculate Reception or the Hail Mary?

Regardless, my husband still holds out for me to embrace is love of collegiate sports.

But I just can't. There isn't enough room in my head for anymore football. I've dreamt about it repeatedly since kickoff earlier this month. Big, hulks of men growling beneath their helmets at me. Disappointing me with poor defense. Crooked ref's pocketing games for profit. None of it real, and yet I wake up stressed and disappointed, as though I've just watched a bad game (much like I did last night.) It's too much and it's completely unproductive for me, creativity wise.

I used to dream vividly of far more interesting things than touchdowns and first and goals.

And on that note, I'm off to see just how badly my poor fantasy teams fared after the first BYE week. (And then, maybe I'll get some writing done. Yes. Maybe.)


Blogger david C said...

I unintentionally converted Jennifer to hockey. It was not my intention, especially since she did point out early in our relationship that she did not watch english football even though her whole family were rabid fans. (Jennifer is british...) I did not realise it till this past winter when we were at our local pub having a bite. "that was not offside" she said to the TV over the bar.
Of course it is a two way street. I now watch home decoration & sales shows.

Blogger Mella said...

Wait, you're right! It is a two-way street. My husband now watches (some) Food Network programming with me - none of the cooking shows of course, but some of the competitions or the occasional episode of Good Eats.

Blogger LJ said...

I envy your ability to adapt and learn. Football, to me, looks like a gang of large, bulky guys huddling together and then running a few feet and falling into a big heap. Then doing it again.
Once or twice, I have actually noticed someone do an amazing long run with the ball, dodging said large bulky guys bearing down like tanks and I come close to thinking I could actually like the game if I understood it.
ON the other hand, do I want to have your current problem? No. It's why I don't have television. I start thinking it's real.
But it was fun to read about!

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