Friday, September 3, 2010

I Wish I Could Play Football

Insight 2009 - we won!
Understand me, I am pleased as pleased can be to be a woman. I've never had a moment's envy for men in their manliness. But I just love the idea of pouncing on someone as hard as I can and savagely dragging them to the ground. Where, in a woman's life, does she find such an outlet?

We weren't really into sports growing up. My dad was a gymnast and my mom was in the marching band. Most bandies I know are die-hard football fanatics that know every chant and song; my mom was not that kind of bandie. I could bet she hasn't been to a live football game since 8th grade. I lettered in swimming, just for fun, and took a whole season on the JV Tennis team to figure out how to serve into the box. Watching ice skating and gymnastics, while very enjoyable, hardly awakened my competitive drive.

My husband, however, changed everything. Before I could name more than three NFL teams, his family had me picking winners each week in the family league. Bewildered by the flurry of energy around me during games, I listened to his patient explanations about 3rd downs, pass interference, sacks, and late hits, and found myself slowly getting sucked into the complex strategy of this brutal game. The next thing I knew, we were buying season tickets to cheer on the Iowa State Cyclones, I was nursing my first baby under a Cardinal & Gold blanket during half time, and we were planning our holidays around kick off in Shreveport, Houston, or Phoenix.

Our First Bowl Game: Independence Bowl 2001
The NFL can be fun, but it's really college ball that won me over. The electricity, the way the fans get into the game, those guys down there who are still playing for their team and their love of game, not giant paychecks. So sometimes I can get a little carried away. Sometimes I yell louder than the other fans around me and it embarrasses my family. Sometimes I keep my brother on the phone an extra 20 minutes savoring the strategic brilliance of a 4th and 1 call. I should probably cool it a little, but, hey, I think it's a blast and it's the closest I can get to what I really want. Someday, somehow, someone's going to have a spare set of football pads around the house and I'm going to get my chance to put them on and take someone down. No broken bones, no blood; all perfectly safe. I'll most likely be humbled by a dirt meal, but I will finally know what it's like to feel the crashing impact of all-out human passion.

The man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That's why your name will be Israel." Genesis 32:28

1 comment:

  1. Thought this would be the first post without a Bible reference. Good job! Football is my favorite game, but I didn't have opportunities to attend. I went to homecoming games -- mine and your dad's.