Joanne Palmer: Football, I’m just not into you
Sorry, Broncos, but I don't care about your season
October 14, 2009
“Football begins in the fall, when everything is dying.”
– George Carlin
“I do not like football, which I think of as a game in which two tractors approach each other from opposite directions and collide. Besides, I have contempt for a game in which players have to wear so much equipment. Men play basketball in their underwear, which seems just right to me.”
-Anna Quindlen, “Living Out Loud”
The Denver Broncos are undefeated! Last week, they trounced the Patriots in overtime, 20-17. Go Broncos!
Ho-hum. Yawn. Snooze.
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Lock me up. Throw away the key. Revoke my Colorado driver’s license. I don’t like football. I don’t watch football. I am not a Broncos fan.
Please don’t hate me.
Despite the fact that I’m not a fan, I do know a couple of important things about the game. Here is a quick overview, a snapshot, a soupcon of what I know:
The guy at the bottom of the pile o’ players usually has the ball. When the announcer says there are 10 seconds left in the game, don’t believe him. It means nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. The game could easily drag on another two hours.
Oh, here is the most important thing I know, so please, pay attention. If, in a work situation, you are ever asked to “quarterback a project,” that means you are in charge of it. If you want to sound jock-y and smart, you can reply, “No problem. I’ll take the ball and run with it.”
As of this writing, the garage at my house has been converted into a man cave for the sole purpose of watching football, which, by the way, is not just limited to Sundays. There is this thing called Monday Night Football, too. In the space where I used to park are a couch, a flat-screen TV, a beanbag chair, a red armchair and a couple of card tables. The card table that tilts is supported by my son’s sneaker. Once the game begins, my precious parking space fills up with testosterone, frozen pizza, buffalo wings, beer and pretzels. The sound of the TV is frequently interrupted by war whoops and scary shouts of:
GET. RID. OF. IT.
There may be a few other non-football people like me, but I think they are afraid to come forward for fear that their American citizenship will be revoked. So I am alone. An outcast. A pariah.
Because everyone except me is watching football, there is no one to call, no one to hang out with and, worst of all, no scurrilous gossip to exchange. Left to my own devices, here are the 10 things I typically do during game time:
1. Push back my cuticles.
2. Check dryer vent for lint.
3. Massage cream into my scaly skin around my elbows.
4. Sort silverware.
5. Annoy the dog by checking her ears for waxy buildup and pulling crusty “sleep” from her eyes.
6. Try to improve my Scrabble score by memorizing high-scoring words such as “quizzically” (43 points), “liquidize” (28 points) and “unvindicate” (28 points).
7. Dig through recycling containers for recipes I dog-eared in magazines.
8. Check for gray hairs. Pluck or pull out. Vigorously.
9. Download forms to create My Last Will and Testament. Get depressed. Turn over couch cushions to search for loose change so I have something to bequeath. Get more depressed.
10. Rethink my position on football. Maybe it isn’t so bad. Maybe it’s time to buy “Football for Dummies.” I may be able to get through a chapter or two before Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010.
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