Thursday, September 21, 2006

Are You Ready for Some Football? Apparently, No.

My dad imparted me with some valuable life skills over the years. He taught me how to change a flat tire so I never have to pull that "Woe is me, someone heeeeelp me" thing on the side of the road, where you place a limp wrist on your forehead, slump against the hood of your car, and wait for you knight in shining Camaro to show up. He taught me how to make mashed potatoes. He even took violin lessons with me early on. We learned "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," as a very out-of-tune team, much to the confusion of any mating cats nearby.

Then there were the things my dad knew how to do that he didn't teach me. He never taught me how to put up drywall or do electrical wiring. He never taught me how to ice fish. He never managed to beat organic chemistry into my brain. And, I'll be damned if he taught me about football.

Every year about this time, I rue my lack of knowledge about football. All my male friends are going on about their fantasy teams. As fall starts to chill the air, I long for those days of collegiate camraderie, sitting around drinking beer and watching football, but knowing zero about the sport that inspires that togetherness leaves me wanting. Where's my part in this revelry? I feel as though I'm missing out on some national, and very American, phenomenon.

How is it that I know nothing of football? One of my friends is the web's most celebrated sports blogger. My father is probably the biggest fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers you'd ever meet -- he dedicated an entire FLOOR of his house (to his credit, the basement) to memorabilia. I attended Nebraska during THREE championship seasons, and even went to games. (See? I made an effort!) My ex-boyfriend had season tickets to the Jets, and I'd faithfully attend. I WAS A FOOTBALL CHEERLEADER. If only you could see the pictures -- big hair, short skirt, toothy grin, the works. The problem was I could barely figure out when it was appropriate to say, "First and ten, do it again, go, fight, win!"

After 30 odd years on this earth, is it too late to catch up? Is there a reason to? Would football somehow capture my imagination if I had greater knowledge of the game?

I was talking to an acquaintance about this a few weeks ago. He's very intellectual, and very much not an athlete. He assured me that football is utterly fascinating and the more you learn about it, the more intriguing it becomes.

If he's right, how does one even learn about football, besides playing it? Do I need to sit down with someone and have them explain every play? Wouldn't unraveling football for a foxy redhead make you Feel Like a Man? Someone help me out here!


Anonymous Savannah Gal said...

Some stadiums (and other venues) offer women-specific courses to teach the basics about the game. A few even use the field as a classroom. Take a look online. Good luck!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I 'get' football, but I'll be damned if I give a shit about it.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous BklynJace said...

Jeez, woman, post the damn cheerleader pic.

5:11 PM  

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