BY DIANA J NOBLE
I am an ignorant, inexperienced, unschooled football rookie. That’s an embarrassing moniker, given I live in blue-and-green, fan-obsessed, Seahawks-land.
But, heavens, am I trying to get spooled up on this hard-hitting, brain-jangling, bone-breaking, complicated, thrilling game.
Growing up, my life was consumed by gymnastics, so I missed out on team sports, both playing and watching. Never understood soccer, fleetingly watched basketball, got bored with slow-moving baseball and totally avoided football.
Football looked too complicated. Too many big, sweaty guys on the field beating their chests, spiking the ball, bashing into each other. Half the time I lost track of the ball.
“Hey! Where did the ball go? How did that guy wind up with it?”
That was decades ago.
So when the Seahawks started winning BIG last year, suddenly I became interested. Fair-weather fan? Yup, that’s me. Hate me if you must, but I’m just too busy working and raising a family to pay attention to teams that lose.
Trouble was, I still didn’t understand the game. The chest-beating, ball-spiking, helmet-bashing parts of the game remained unchanged from 30 years ago when my parents used to root for the Dallas Cowboys. (I originally hail from down south and a long-line of Texas Longhorn and Dallas Cowboys fans, and there’s nothing I can do about that, so don’t let it chap your hide.)
So here I am for a second year watching every single Seahawks game on TV and asking my husband and sons questions like, “Why does the guy sometimes catch the ball and drop to one knee and other times run with it?”
And …”What is a special-teams player?”
And … “What do they mean by nickel package? ”
And …”Doesn’t it hurt when they do that?”
I still don’t understand the names of all the positions yet and what the distinctions are between them. Heck, it was only five years ago I realized the guys who played offense were DIFFERENT than the guys who played defense.
Silly, I know.
So, I am one of those new “female fans” who never paid attention before – even scoffed at the game.
But I wear my brand new, lime green, ridiculously expensive, Seahawks sweatshirt to work, and on game days I prepare an awesome meal of chicken chili with tomatillos and cornbread muffins for the big game. I’m even listening to sports-talk radio.
I know I’ll toss and turn the night before the Super Bowl thinking: Will Russell Wilson cry again? Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch again? Will Tom Brady try to sneak in some under-inflated balls?
I even applauded when my husband took down our usual knick knacks from the fireplace mantle and replaced them with The Seattle Times’ cutouts of Russell Wilson, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas surrounded by a string of teeny tiny lights, then hung a Times’ lucky lantern banner proudly overhead.
Diana J Noble works in human resources at Boeing. When she’s not working or spending time in Edmonds with her family, she’s laboring over her first novel.
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