I’ve long been amused by the way seemingly hard-headed men seem to go slightly crazy when it comes to football. We have a friend who’s an internationally-known lawyer who has begged Whitley not to watch NFL games when his favorite team is playing because "they always lose when you do."
His son, in turn, begs HIM not to watch when HIS OWN favorite team is playing.
I recently saw a cartoon where the main character decided to watch a game where a team he didn’t like, but which was competing with a team he DID like, was playing so that he could work some "reverse karma" on it.
I saw a movie recently where one of the characters was released from a mental hospital in time to be a "good luck charm" for his father, who was an Eagles fan.
Strangely enough, I’ve never noticed this in any other sport–only football.
I’m a big NFL fan myself (although I don’t understand all the lingo–what is "off sides," anyway?) I understand more than some males do however: I’ll never forget sitting in a small room off the dining room, watching a football game with a group of Whitley’s male cousins after Thanksgiving dinner at his aunt and uncle’s house, and hearing one of them say, "Why do they keep running off the field?"
I was amazed to hear myself say, "It’s the 2-minute warning, that’s an automatic time out."
I also once carefully explained what a "down" is to a group of well-dressed ladies at a Texas reading club. Dressed in suits and pearls, they listened eagerly, trying to figure it all out.
The only thing I can compare this to was the time I attended a Mystery Writers of America conference where the speaker was an expert on poisons. He looked appalled when well-manicured,, bejeweled hands shot up from the audience, as one writer of "cozies" after another asked intricate questions about how long it took a specific poison to work, what the symptoms were, and how long it would take to kill someone.
I remember sitting in the stands at a Yankees game once and hearing an incredibly naïve you girl ask questions of her date like, "Are the bases always in the same place? Do they always run in the same direction?"
I was thankful not be as clueless as all that.
Meanwhile, the more I learn about concussions, the more trouble I’m having watching one of my favorite sports. Whitley teases me and says it’s the tight pants that attract me, but there’s just nothing like an incredible NFL catch or run down the field.
I sometimes wonder if football’s days are numbered, or if they could substitute some elaborate kind of "touch" football for the current tackling.
Would the voodoo still work if they did?