When it comes to football, however, I am completely clueless. I've somehow managed to reach middle age without having the slightest idea what is going on. The announcers just confuse the hell out of me. I flipped on the game tonight for a few seconds to see if I could catch some of the half-time show, but I guess I was too early or too late because it wasn't on. I stared at the screen for a while to see if I could figure out which one it was -- early or late -- but after about 30 seconds, I gave up. The announcer said something about New England having the most sacks. I'm not completely sure what he meant by that, but I think it has something to with how many times the quarterback had been hit in the crotch so far. Let me give you an example of the depth of my football knowledge. Here is what I know: In football, unlike baseball, there is usually a set amount of time for each game. I only know this from waiting for pre-empted programs to come on after the game is over. I don't have to wait as long as I sometimes do for baseball, which can apparently go on forever in total disregard for any and all previously scheduled programming. I also know that there are two teams in each football game. I also know that the teams are usually different colors. That's it. So assume for a moment that I am sitting at home on a sunday, and I turn on the television. For some strange reason, as I'm flipping channels, I actually notice that there is a football game on. I watch the screen carefully. After a few minutes, I am able to discern that Team 1 consists of red guys, and Team 2 consists of blue guys. I watch the television for a few minutes more. I see some guy in a striped shirt blow a whistle, and the red and blue guys stop trying to kill each other for a second, and line up facing each other. Then one guy screams some stuff, someone tries to throw a ball, and they attack each other again. Strategically speaking, I can make more sense out of the battle scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies than I can about what is going on in a football game.
The worst thing about this is that I fall flat on my face in casual sports conversations. I started out attempting to learn just enough about any big game to be able to fake it for a few minutes, but that was too painful, so now I just admit my weakness. If someone says "Who do you like in the big game? The fortysixers or the bluewings?" I usually say, "Um, that's [football/baseball/basketball/curling], right?" Followed by a weak laugh. I've stopped getting invited to superbowl sunday and world series parties. I don't have any idea why people go mad in march, or exactly what it is they are mad for. I still get the occasional pity invite from my friend Troy, but he doesn't really understand the depth of my aversion. Put it this way -- I actually hate the sound of sports announcers and crowds coming out of a TV. Any TV. It is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. When my personal television is the one in question, it's almost as if it's been defiled. After my Dad leaves my house on Thanksgiving, I feel compelled to get the Lysol out and scrub the sports residue off the screen. On the other hand, I have much more free time than the average joe. I have time to read novels, make furniture, workout, go backpacking and screw around with things like these here blogs. Anyway, whoever you rooted for, I hope you made big money on it, because that is the only reason I could think of to even care who wins. Thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure my sports hormone deficiency is the major reason my wife married me. I'll have to bring that up someday when I'm bored out of my skull in JC Penny's. I'll let you know how it goes.