Thursday, August 11, 2005

First and ten

The Patriots’ pre-season starts tomorrow night and, as I suspected, the way to Lunchboy's heart lies not through his zipper or his stomach but through his TiVo.

Do I care about football? Historically, no. But the beginning of football season matters because, for the first time in my life, I’m dating a football fan.

Part of being a good girlfriend or boyfriend is learning to like (or at least appreciate) the things that your significant other finds interesting. Sometimes this process is easier than others. Over the years, I’ve dated a Pink Floyd-loving music major, an acapella singer with a running fetish, a photographer obsessed with cycling, and a manic Red Sox fan. Not all of my exes’ interests grabbed me--I never thought The Wall was a seminal work of cinematography—but the point was that being open to their interests broadened my horizons and hopefully it went both ways. Football, however, might be a different story.

Now, let it be known that I’m a good Boston native—I love me some home team action. Loyalty to the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins and the Patriots runs in my blood. I've watched the past few Super Bowls to see our boys kick some butt.

Part of it is that football games take FOREVER to be played. Lots of really big men in tight pants crowd onto the field and throw the ball. They stop every two minutes to reconsider their strategy. Then they play for another 30 seconds and then they stop again. Every so often there’s some excitement when someone scores a touchdown or runs the whole length of the field.

Maybe my trepidation stems from the fact that I just don’t understand the finer points of the game. Will I learn them? Yes. Will I like it? I’ll certainly give it my best. After all, Lunchboy does yoga and runs stairs with me. He's into Entourage and, if I asked him to, he'd TiVo Anne of Green Gables for me while keeping the snarky comments to a minimum.

Not only do pro football games go on for hours, they are on TV ALL THE TIME--Sunday afternoons, Monday nights, and the occasional Thursday evening. Pre-season is Friday night lights, baby. If you're a fan, it's a given that you sew your ass into the couch at game time, but if it's a beautiful day outside I have a hard time stomaching the idea of watching TV rather than going for a hike or something.

OK, maybe I’m being a girl about this.

But give me a break. If you’re not a team sports kind of person, games like football are an acquired taste, sort of like learning to enjoy strong cheeses, hot yoga or graphic novels. Or the color orange. Growing up, I was athletic but always into sports that had a more independent edge—gymnastics, diving, running, crew, yoga. Soccer and softball and field hockey, which were the sports of choice in my happy little suburb, were just not my thing.

Some people have really strong feelings about fantasy football. I just think it’s sort of amusing. What I really hate is the trend toward pink sports paraphernalia. Because women can only get into sports if the hats and T-shirts are pink, right? *retch* You’ll catch me wearing a pink Patriots hat when my body is cold and dead. Then again, football is played during the winter, so I might be both anyway.


Ashtanga Renate said...

LOL at The Wall...I was forced to watch that, and I am a vaginormous Pink Floyd fan. It was probably all of those times I snuck down into the basement to hang out with my Dad while he smoked bones with his friends in the late 70s.

I think once the finer points of football are understood, it is the most complex game, strategically. At least, thats what my brothers tell me. That being said, it has the potential to be more fun to watch/discuss than baseball. So I hear. You can do it!

Baseball paraphenalia is much cuter though...

Megan said...

I loathed football until enough fell into place in my head that I could watch a game with some understanding. Once it became clear that it wasn't just huge men crashing into each other like rutting deer, (though that certainly is a yucky part of it), it was watchable.

Plus, Tom Brady is hot. ;)

Carmen said...

I love my pink Red Sox hat! It matches my eyes.