My husband is an avid football fan, and in an effort to spend more couch time with him, I’m trying to get a handle on the sport.
Last Monday, for example, I struggled to remember (rather than ask Tom for the eight-hundredth time) whether that night’s game was pro or college ball. (I recently learned that there is an order to this, rules as to who plays when.)
I’m developing a system for keeping it straight. If the teams are called the Packers, the Saints or the Steelers, I’m golden: I know it’s pro. If they are things like Badgers or Ducks or other varmints, I smell college. But I was thrown recently when I learned of school teams called the Tide and the Trojans. Maybe there are so many damn college tams they ran out of appropriate animals. Nobody wants to be called the Sloths or the Titmice, so they eschewed the whole critter thing and opted for macho names invoking the ocean’s motion and condoms.
Another of my football appreciation exercises is an attempt to remember which city each team is from. The other night, for example, the Saints were playing on their home turf. Certain that I knew where that team hailed from, I thought I’d show off for Tom. Noting the sweat dripping from the Saints’ locks, I casually said, “Wow, looks like it’s unseasonably warm in St. Louis.”
“Atta baby, move the chains!” Tom yelled, too engrossed to notice my display of expertise. “Look at that! It’s a thing of beauty!” he said, scarfing down a fistful of popcorn. “It’s poetry in motion!”
While I have used the latter phrase in reference to, say, the Alvin Ailey dancers or Ryan Gosling, I have never used it to describe football. But when they did a slo-mo replay of some barge-size annihilator whacking the quarterback, sending him into a mid-air flip from which he recovered landing gracefully on his feet with the ball still in his hands, I was willing to admit that qualified as poetic. (Maybe more Hallmark than Yeats.)
Next thing I’ll be working on is that thing that happens about twenty minutes into a game, when the TV becomes, to me, like a lava lamp. I stare at it, but my mind is pretty much 100% elsewhere.
Meanwhile, I’m prepping for the next game. I heard the Bears are playing, and by the weekend I swear I will know if they are pro or college (the forest animal name suggests college but I will Google), what city they are from, and if I have the energy I might even find out who the quarterback is.
THE BEARS! DA BEARS…… start to come back?
The Chicago Bears. That’s the only team name I know.
But I still can’t figure out what they’re doing when they run full speed into each other, and I’ll probably never learn.
Great minds think alike – check out my most recent blog post, http://wendymcphee.blogspot.com/. The Trojans – very funny!
DOG FIGHTING IN THE GATOR BOWL
Many years ago ( in the early 1950s) a couple of pro football teams had a pre-season game at the old Gator Bowl stadium in Jacksonville, and naturally, a bunch of us boys went to see it. This was long before Jacksonville had an NFL team of its own ( named after a cat). One team may have been “da Bears” wit hoom Rick Casares of then – recent Florida Gators football fame was playing. Well, during the half time break a local model airplane club put on a dog fighting exhibition with their control line model airplanes.
This was just before the days of the radio controlled models. Their homemade airplanes were powered by tiny two-cycle gas engines. The pilot would stand in the center of a forty- foot diameter flight path circle and with a handle he could control the up and down movements by pulling on two long, thin wires which passed through a wing and which then articulated (not matriculated) back to the vertical stabilizer in the tail. After several revolutions you could get quite dizzy and stagger around all over the place if you were not accustomed to it. ( I tried it once.) The dog fighting came about when two experienced pilots stood in the middle of the same circle and tried to cut a paper streamer from off of the tail of his opponents plane. There were three or four dog fighting circles that night on the empty playing field. During this exhibition two model planes ran together and debris went sailing everywhere.
Then when the two football teams came back out onto the sidelines for the second half, the flying club could not get the rest of their model planes back down until they ran out of gas. So all the pro football players got to enjoy watching them too. However, I expect the coaches were not too happy with it especially after their spirited, well -rehersed halftime motivational exhortations – – “OK, you sorry &$*##(@*&#, let’s go out there and really kick the *&#^Y^W5$ their rotten ##*& >*%$# # #&K all over the +$ ($I*#&7^# this half – Hup, Hup Hup Hup GO, GO GO !!” – – and then have to stand around and cool – it for a while.