Fans, felons and profanities? Must be football season
A woman approached me at City Market the other day and asked if I was going to do another football column like last year, which was sort of weird considering I didn’t do a football column last year. But I didn’t say anything to her because I’m polite. Plus she was holding a zucchini. Experience has taught me to never argue with a woman holding a member of the squash family, especially if she’s drunk and angry.
But that’s a story for another day. Right now, let’s talk about football because it’s important, especially to guys like me who reside in estrogen-rich environs. I have a child who is female. My wife also happens to be female. I’m pretty sure all our dust bunnies are female. There is nothing in my house to indicate a male presence whatsoever. Unfortunately, this includes the times when I’m standing in the living room. Even the stray cat hanging around our back yard is female. And although I’m not a cat guy, I think it’s OK that my wife keeps feeding her. She’ll hiss at you and scratch you a lot, but sometimes she’ll let you pet her. (The cat, I mean.)
The point is that I have to have my once-weekly testosterone shot of football. I’m not a big hunter and I don’t know how to fix cars. Football is the only thing in my life that makes me feel like a man. That, and my weekly pedicure.
Football gives men like me the chance to scream, high-five complete strangers, and violate most norms of decent society. Women have tamed man’s natural inner beast, and football helps us unleash it. Because of these politically correct times, a referee blowing a holding call late in the fourth quarter now provides the only socially acceptable excuse for a guy to scream profanities while wishing for another human being’s imminent death.
In essence, the game allows us to reconnect with our manhood. Plus it allows us to use the phrase “reconnect with our manhood” without sounding dirty.
There are varieties of games to enjoy, starting with high school football, which is great to watch, but only if you are actually in high school. The only other people who watch this are players’ parents, and older guys who were really good at football back in high school. For the people whose high school experience was their crowning achievement in life, Friday night gives them a taste of past glory.
Most of the rest of us spend our lives desperately trying to forget about high school, sometimes by going to therapy. Sometimes by sniffing industrial solvents.
But never mind amateur sports, let’s move on to the serious football, where the players are paid huge sums of money to play. And here I’m talking about college football.
College football was created over a hundred years ago by a man who needed a way to get out of raking leaves on Saturday. The great thing about college football is that it provides proud alums from around the country a chance to brag about their alma matter. Unless you’re like me and are a CU alum, in which case the only thing about your team you can brag about is that the number of felony arrests is down 14 percent from last year.
The granddaddy of all sports is of course NFL football. Appealing to a wide section of fans crossing all racial, social and class lines, pro football is a game loved by every man and woman in the United States — the only exception being my wife.
Which is why this year I’m finally going to confront my wife, put my foot down, and insist upon watching all the football I want. I think this plan will work, too.
Right up to the time she brandishes a zucchini.