Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Bowled Over

It is college football bowl time. This means football is on at our house all the freaking time. I can either choose to participate, or spend a month not having a conversation with my husband. I am trying to participate, but it has been challenging.

First, I don't get the whole bowl idea. I don't know why they call it a bowl (my husband suggests that it's because the stadiums are shaped like bowls, but since he is prone to giving me nonsense answers to shut me up, I'm not sure I believe him). And I'm not sure why they have so many: orange, rose, fiesta, sun, peach, tidy.... it is all a tad bit confusing. Especially considering that they really don't mean anything. Unlike professional football, where teams are ranked by winning and losing and then have playoffs and then a Superbowl (again with the bowl), apparently college rankings are determined by a roomful of aging jocks, and then teams are tossed into various bowls based on their record, and, seemingly, what the old jocks had for breakfast that morning. At least that's what I could surmise.

So last night, my husband watched one of the bowls. I think it was orange. It was definitely sponsored by FedEx. That one. Penn State and Florida State played. My husband was already in a good mood, because both of his colleges, Alabama and Virginia Tech, won the whatever-bowls they played in. So now he's just in it for kicks. I decided to sit with him for a bit and watch the game.

When I ask real questions about football during a football game, my husband gets antsy. He does not want to teach football to me. I tell him that if I ever have an affair with Joe Gibbs, that will be why. For some reason, however, he delights in answering stupid football questions. And I must admit: it's the stupid questions I'm really interested in, anyway. Who cares what constitutes a field goal? What I really want to know is stuff like why they call these things bowls.

I also wanted to know why Florida State was stealing the tomahawk chop from the Atlanta Braves, and what the hell a Nittany Lion was. I asked these questions and learned something new about my dearest.

My husband is a man who cannot remember names. Before every single party we attend, he asks me, outside the party door usually, what everyone's names inside will be. I have to go down a list: We're going to see Sally and Joe, Michelle and Tom, Susan and Steve. Etc. So imagine my surprise that when I ask a college football question, he is spouting names all over the place.

Why is Florida doing a tomahawk chop? Ask Dan. He went to Florida.
What is a Nittany Lion? Ask John. He went to Penn State.

Apparently, he can remember anyone with a football reference. From now on, I'm going to introduce people to him in relation to their football association. "This is Mary. She went to Notre Dame. And this is Tina. She's from Oakland. Where the Raiders play."

Last night's game went into triple overtime. We went to bed but put the television on. I was very impressed that my husband was paying big attention to me: stroking my hair, kissing my face, whispering sweet nothings to me, all while football was playing ten feet away. I told him it was nice of him to be so attentive while they were kicking field goals. "Oh," he replied. "They already kicked. They're playing a commercial."

Nice.

In the end, we both ended up asleep and missing who won. On the phone from work my husband informed me that Penn State won. I asked how many more bowl games there were.

"Just one, tonight. The Rose Bowl."

"Good. No more college football."

"That's right. Now we have NFL playoffs!"

Sigh. If you need me, I'll be at the therapist.

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