...I don't think I'll ever be ready for some football
Am I ready for some football?
No. I am not.
I know it's as American as apple pie to love the sport, but I have never been able to fully grasp the concept.
I remember when I was a kid, I would go to football games and I thought I was cool because I knew what a first down was.
So, please, throughout this column, excuse my complete ignorance and inaccuracies regarding the sport.
It's not that I have anything against football. I mean, guys in just plain spandex are usually not my cup of tea (unless it's the 80s and they are in a hair band), but guys in spandex with all that equipment on being all rough and rugged just does something for a gal. They seem really manly and tough and I like that. You would think that would be enough to hold my attention, but, no. I just can't get into football no matter what.
And believe me, I tried.
My whole family watches football and many a beau in my past has tried to teach me how the game works. It just won't sink in. I'd have a better chance at learning quantum physics.
I've tried though. I've tried for the sake of boyfriends to bond and get onboard with it so we could at least converse over what is going on when I had been forced to watch games. I tried to play along, but it just never took.
It was kind of a rite of passage, as a teen, to attend football games in high school. Did I have a clue what was going on? Not even close. I just knew, when people I knew would cheer, it was time for me to cheer. I totally faked it the whole time just like I did with the boyfriends of my past - I'm talking about watching football, of course. Get your mind out of the gutter.
But there has to be something awesome about it. When these games are going on, my Facebook feed is literally saturated with football talk. All of a sudden, people stop crying about every little thing wrong with their lives and they are in this football mode and, for me, it's like watching a foreign film with no subtitles. Everyone's talking smack about this team and that team and then there is that graphic of that little kid who is constantly peeing on some team's jersey. It's like this club I'm not invited to because I don't understand it.
Here is what I know, and what I, on a very minimal level, comprehend.
There are two teams. One is typically on offense and the other on defense. I don't have a clue why they line up the way they do before they start running, but they are running the ball 100 yards or so to an end zone, but they only get like four (I'm not even sure that's right) tries to get there. That earns them 6 points, I believe, then they get a chance to kick the ball through those goal posts and get an extra one.
But then, sometimes they can kick a field goal. That, to me is like, man, we are never making it into that end zone, so let's just launch the ball into the air and pray it makes it. I have no idea how many points that earns a team. I'm going to guess three, but I bet I am way off. Then there is something called a 2-point conversion which may as well be some kind of elaborate trigonometric equation.
Here's where they lose me. completely.
Those yellow flags. I know someone is breaking some kind of rule, but I have no idea why. It's like I just start understanding what in the world is going on, and then all of a sudden, there's this flag and then the referee does some kind of air-traffic-control-like moves and speaks at a volume I thought was required to be a ref (It's a microphone. Jenna, seriously, get it together. You were in the enrichment program, for Pete's sake.)
And don't get me started on the clock. It's like, oh, great, there are four minutes left, this game is almost over. Forty-five minutes later, the game is still going on. But then, at times, everyone is just standing around and doing nothing and the clock is still ticking. How does that even make any kind of sense?
Where I'm seated in the newsroom puts me right beside the television as well as the sports department, so, I'm constantly bombarded with images of football and football talk.
Sunday night while the guys were watching the game, they were discussing plays and what-not and they honestly could have been speaking Swahili. The only thing I understood througout my in-and-out participation of watching the game is that some guy really hurt his knee and another guy scared a female reporter because he was kind of overly enthusiastic during his post-game interview.
I do understand other sports, though. I played basketball when I was younger and cheered for basketball when I was even younger yet. A smart and sassy gal pal of mine, who actually gave me the idea for this column, coached cheerleading and said she always taught the girls the ins and outs of the game so they knew what they were cheering for. She has faith she would be able to educate me on the subject as well, but, although I'm confident in her abilities, I'm not so confident in mine.
But Super Bowl sunday is coming up and I feel a sense of relief because that means no more football talk and I'm guessing everyone will move on to baseball, which is something I get. My pap was the biggest Phillies fan in the whole world and win or lose, he always stuck by his team. Harry Kalas's voice in the background on his little AM radio is something that makes me feel all kinds of nostalgic.
Nevertheless, on Feb. 2, when you all are watching the big game, I'll be in Elmira, N.Y., in a hockey rink. Do I like hockey? Sure, those guys beat the crap out of eachother on ice skates. But, it's not for a hockey game, I'll be attending and event called "Wine on Ice" with some lovely ladies, which sounds like a perfect opportunity to break a limb, but I believe they cover the floor. If not, I could be out for the season
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)