Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I’d hate to be that guy who hikes the ball

I am a citizen of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

It is my responsibility to be a football fan.

I am married to a former University of Michigan Wolverine Offensive-Tackle

It is my responsibility to ruin football for my husband

I don’t do it on purpose. I try to keep up with the teams and the plays. I make football food and mark all the Wolverine and Packer games on the calendar. But I’m a girl, and a former charm-school graduate (no snarky comments, please), and Miss Manners never touched on the subject of football and the dos and don’ts of viewing it with men.

While watching the Green Bay Packer’s game last night amid the talk of Brett Favre (BF) and how the city is mourning the loss of him to the NY Jets, I expressed my feelings to Fred on our new quarterback, Aaron Rogers. “I feel sorry for him. If he does well, they’re going to say it was due to BF’s good mentoring. If he sucks, they’ll say the Packers never should have let BF go. Why don’t they give the poor guy a chance?”

Fred was distracted by my question and put off. I’m guessing from his reaction that football players don’t like to be pitied.

*****

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their legendary dark grey football pants that show sweat, so I pointed that out to Fred one season. “Why don’t they pick another color? How would you like to be falling all over sweat stains like that?”


Fred gave me a “just don’t talk to me” look and said nothing.

*****

Recently, we visited Fred’s hometown and had occasion to attend his former high school’s football season opener. The team needed support; a team that meant a lot to Fred. Looking down at the home-team players, I did not see my husband’s number, 75.

“Did they retire your number?” I asked, honestly, innocently. Fred was quite a star. Fred growled at me and did not answer. Krista repeated the question, louder:

“Dad! Did they RETIRE YOUR NUMBER?”

I got the definite impression my question embarrassed Fred.

As we stood up to watch the season’s first kick-off, I took a tube of Carmex out of my purse and I must have put the cap on with a little still on the tip, because when I squeezed it, nothing happened, and when I squeezed harder, the Carmex exploded like a rocket into my face.

”Do I have Carmex on my face anywhere?” I anxiously asked Fred, trying to smear it off where I felt it hit.

As Fred turned to me, irritated, to examine my face, he missed the kick-off, which was returned for the first touch-down. Doh!

*****

Fred took Krista and I to “Family Fun Night” at the Packers’ Lambeau Field this August. It is an event where they allow common-man the privilege of sitting in the stadium to watch the Packers scrimmage (hear: practice).

On the night of the big event, skies were black and stormy, so common-man was not allowed in the seats until the lightening flashes had dissipated. 50 thousand damp fans, sat, leaned and squatted in vestibules, hallways, and on ramps, waiting for the all-clear sign. It looked like a refugee area.

“Fred. I’d like to leave. I’m wet and uncomfortable.” Krista was bored and I was, well….me.

“Why?” he asked, eyes large and clear like little brown shoe-buttons, “Why would you want to leave? The players will be coming out soon.”

As we left, the ticket-takers said, “You can’t go back in, you know.”


”We know.” Fred said, defeated.

The confused, baffled guards actually had to clear a pathway for us to leave, because we were the ONLY fans to leave the stadium before the scrimmage (hear: practice) actually started.

By the way, why doesn’t Tampa Bay pick a different color for their pants?

1 comment:

bspicknall said...

You are making a great case for why people have more than one television set.

As for those games where you are in person, I think your distraction strategy is brilliant. You won't be asked to many more games!

:)