For the past 30 years I faked football.
You see, I married into a family that enjoys sports. Correction: they do not enjoy sports, they obsess over sports. In all those years, I can't recall more than a handful of conversations that didn't revolve around football, softball, baseball, basketball or someotherkindofball. And those conversations that were about other topics quickly turned into a sports analogy followed by "did you see that game...?"
And we're back to sports.
So I learned to fake it.
When my 9 year old son played football it was relatively easy to fake it. There are very specific rules that Moms of football players must follow.
- Once he has the uniform on absolutely no touching. Don't fix his hair, don't tuck his jersey in and under no circumstances do you tie his shoelaces.
- Absolutely no public displays of affection.
- Refrain from vaulting over the other spectators to jack up the kid who tackled your baby.
At this stage, you don't need to know the rules of the game, you only need to learn the Mom dance:
- Keep your eyes on your own kid at all times
- When he falls down - you stand up.
- When he gets up - you sit down.
And that's all you need to know to be a successful football Mom.
Luckily for me, when he hit high school, Son O'Mine's focus turned to Art School and I no longer had to do the Mom dance every Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately, his father did not lose interest. Coaching became his obsession. And I do mean obsession. All football, all day, all week, all year round. And the Coach's wife isn't just watching one kid - no, she's expected to remember every kid, his number, what position he plays, his life history, his shoe size and what he had for breakfast. Sweet Mother of God, now I had to actually pay attention to the game. And as soon as the game was over, he would recap every friggin' minute of the game in excruciating detail. In our home, there was no such thing as football season. As soon as the last game was over, he would be working 24/7 planning plays and recruiting players for the next year.
I think it's some bizarre genetic brain mutation - This man could recall with perfect clarity, every play of every game he'd ever seen or played in the past 50 years, yet he could never remember where the hell he left his glasses. Go figure.
This year, I did not watch one football game all year. Not from the bleachers or the couch, live or televised. Not interested, don't care. Really, Really don't care.
But tomorrow, I will be watching a bowl game - The Puppy Bowl. Penguin cheerleaders, puppy tailgaters, kitty half-time. It doesn't get any better than that.