Tensions mount as game day approaches. You can see it in the Contrarian’s fidgeting, in his long stares into space, in extra time needed to meditate on strategy. Or at least so he tells me. In any event, work must be postponed, since serious thinking is required.
Usually, Sunday mornings are a joy for me. I awaken thinking of spending the morning in church, learning and worshiping, and with all else that entails. But not when it is also “game day.”
No, I awaken, with a certain suspicious wariness. One can never be too sure that the Contrarian doesn’t have some new “plan” that will enhance the teams chances. Perhaps he has chosen to paint a green/yellow logo on my cheek while I slept. One needs to check to be sure.
I know, what I am in for. I tiptoe around, hoping to avoid it, but sure as it snows in January, he scurries out from the computer and announces:
BIG GAME! BIG GAME TODAY!
Yes, and this refrain will become increasingly strident as the season goes badly. The game will inevitably get even bigger. More important, statistically speaking. If a loss occurs, we reconfigure how many are less and determine the likelihood that going 14-2 then 13-3 and so on, will result in winning the division. That is the first step of course. If the division is lost, then wild card machinations result, and often that means “someone else is in control of the one’s fate.” That is not a good thing.
I scurry off to church, only to arrive back some hours later to a house in full bore set up for “THE GAME.” It is popcorn day, so there is the added burden of “set up,” something accomplished by 11 am. I can cook around the popcorn pans and dishes and so forth. The microwave already contains the butter and is set for high–the only speed a man understands.
All the live-long day, I am reminded that it is coming soon. “In four hours and thirty-three minutes, the game will start,” I’m advised. Am I ready? Oh Lord, yes I am, but not for what you think.
As it begins, the Contrarian sits all wiggly. He moves his shoulders, urging the team forward. He jumps up and does dances and power arm movements, copying the victory prances of the players on every play or when they think they have made an especially good poopie.
“LOOKIE, LOOKIE, LOOKIE!” he exclaims. And he means it. He very much liked that particular play. A short pass, a few yards. It indicates that good things are in store.
As is usual, penalties are met with a division. Ours are “mistakes,” theirs are evidence of cheating. “CHEATERS, CHEATERS, CHEATERS!” he charges. This is only a few octaves short of that pitch that makes you wince in pain.
Now I can appreciate the game all right. I like Donald Driver on offense and Al Harris on defense. I love Al’s braids. I appreciate their mastery of the game. Okay, I like how their butts look in those tight pants.
As I’m smiling at this thought, I am blown out of my seat by a string of expletives that would not make a sailor blush because no sailor could say that many before the ship went down. All because some error has occurred. Oh, but if the opponent should miss a pass, there is a high pitched cackle of HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If a drive that looked surely to produce points, fails, it is met with, “YES, YES, THERE IS A FOOTBALL GOD.”
As time begins to run down, I hear the usual, “THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF TIME.” This can be said with any time on the clock longer than 30 seconds. Packers are miracle workers in case you were unaware.
Minding my own business, I jump again, as he booms, “HEY LOVIE, DO YOU COACH CHEATING?”
I raise the specter of the turncoat, Bret Favre. I admit the Contrarian is no respecter of people. Once gone, Bret was no longer in his mind. He bears the man no ill will, yet he says, “I don’t know how he can put on that uniform without puking in his mouth.” This in reference to Favre’s signing with the arch enemy, the Vikings.
As the game nears its end with the Packer position still precarious, he uses his fall back excuse.
“YOU KNOW ME, WHEN ITS OVER, IT’S OVER, I DON’T MOAN ABOUT IT.” This as we are heading off to bed with about five minutes left to play.
The miracle of course does happen this time. The new QB, finally connects on a pass and the Packers finally go ahead. Another interception by Harris seals the deal with less than a minute.
“WHEW, GLAD THAT’S DONE. I KNEW THEY WOULD WIN, BUT IT’S GOOD TO GET IT IN THE RECORD BOOKS.”
“BABE, REALLY, I HAVE LOOKED AT THE SCHEDULE, AND I CAN’T SEE THAT ANYONE CAN BEAT THEM.”
I’m off to sleep, knowing that in a week, I have to go through all this again. It’s going to be a long season. Pray for me.
HA! Tell the Dude he can add tabasco on the popcorn…. but only for NFC games. For AFC games you can add a little parmesan after the butter. There IS an order to this stuff! Sent you a link to a photo that combines two of your favorite subjects…. religion and football. 😉
I’m afraid you will have to cut&paste.
wheee, works for me!
Randal Graves said:
Must be nice to root for a team that doesn’t suck. 😉
Anthony Kalnoky said:
Believers are rewarded with an occasional win to savor. Believing in the Team is what counts.
We near DC know: the Redskins last few years, ditto the Nationals.