I really did want to go to a professional football game before I turned 30, but then I looked up how much tickets to those things cost, had a heart attack, and decided that learning about football in a sports bar in Las Vegas with my best friend Ashley sounded fine by me. More money for beer!
And we watched college football instead of professional football because it was Saturday and also because it was some big important game called the SEC or something. Hey, I said I learned about football, not about the divisions and structure and whatnot.
We were at the bar with a pitcher, and there were TVs all over the place with all sorts of football stuff going on. At this point, I knew there was something called a down, and it might be ten yards long. Seriously people, I was a football dunce.
Ash was an awesome teacher. We got a take-out box and turned it upside down to make our ‘field.’ Then we couldn’t find a pen, so we used lipstick to diagram. We are very resourceful girls, after all. She explained to me about the four chances to move the ball ten yards closer to your goal, and I asked why the quarterback didn’t just throw the ball down the field, then thanks to our lipstick players on our take-out field, I answered my own question — because then the other team would catch it and gain possession. Ok, that makes sense.
Whenever there was a big play in the game, Ash would (very patiently — I love you Ashley!!) take the time to explain what just happened. We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of strong offense or strong defense. I remembered Leif telling me one time that there’s a version of football where the same players play both offense and defense for their team. I asked her about that and she said, “Rugby. That’s called rugby.” (Later Leif told us it’s called ironman … I think that’s right.)
At one point they moved the sticks, and I was understanding what was going on, and asked what else there was to know about how to play the game. Ash told me that I got it. I mean, of course there are tons of plays, nuances of players on the field, coaching styles, etc., but as far as the how-to-play-the-game-of-football part of it was concerned, I got it.
“Are you telling me that this entire game consists of guys in tight pants chasing a ball up and down the field in 10 yard increments?” I asked incredulously. How come no one had ever told me that before?
“Yup. God bless America.” Bless it indeed.
“How come no one ever explained it to me rationally like that?”
“Because you’ve probably been taught by men, and they always make things more complicated than they are.”
That’s a fact.
And now I might even watch the Superbowl for more than the commercials.
P.S. I’m sure all eight boys that read my blog are wanting to explain to me right now that it’s much more complicated. Chillax, guys. I watched football and I didn’t hate it. Be proud of me.