I have a football that rides around in my trunk, you know, in case any impromptu games break out while I’m on the road. It was my favorite christmas gift last year. I didn’t ask for it, but my mom knew I’d enjoy having it.
A few months ago when my boyfriend was still just a friend from work we were riding together to another friend’s going away party. I mentioned something about the football and basketballs (yes, plural) I keep in the trunk. I don’t remember his immediate response. I can’t say he was particularly impressed or anything, I just know the fact came in handy later.
This is where I thank my mom for giving me a football for Christmas because my first date with Russ… or not date, but first time hanging out alone was on a local high school football field throwing that ball back and forth.
That may be the biggest football moment in my life, passing a football with the first man I’ve ever loved.
To be honest football, outside of the realm of that Saturday afternoon, means next to nothing to me. I mean, my whole life I’ve gotten into arguments over why basketball is better. I do remember one year my brothers each got NFL jerseys for Christmas. It was sometime before the Panthers existed. Scott received a Redskins jersey and to his credit, is still a fan. Stephen sported Emmitt Smith’s number 22 Cowboys jersey until he grew out of it, or became old enough to realize he didn’t actually like sports… whichever came first.
I never had a football jersey. I never cared.
Sure, I go to Clemson games every fall. You would too if you loved brownies, beer, and tiny bread wrapped hot dogs as much as I do… plus my family has tickets. Occasionally I’ll cheer for the Panthers, but only because I’m a total sucker for nearly anything with the word Carolina in it (not gamecocks). Seriously, I once bought a 12 pack of Pepsi (which I really don’t even drink) just because it said “Born in the Carolinas” on the sides of the cans.
—Hello marketing teams, I am your dream customer—
I might even occasionally watch a NFL game on a Sunday afternoon… if there’s nothing else on television. All of these things can be deceiving. To the untrained eye I actually almost seem like a football fan, but the truth is I really don’t care.
Russ cares. Russ is a die hard Patriots fan. Yeah, Patriots. The team that has one redeeming quality and it’s buried somewhere between Tom Brady’s glistening eyes and chiseled cheekbones.
Okay, I admit that’s not a fair assessment, but growing up in the Carolinas you pretty much know one kind of Patriots fan: people with no connection to New England who just picked a team that was good. I hate that, so I hate the Patriots… or, I hated the Patriots until I realized there are actually people from New England with a right to love their hometown team. I’m talking about people who remember them before they were great. People who have the New England accents. People who appreciate Tom Brady for more than his beautiful face.
So I guess I’ll pay more attention this year. I’ve committed to be somewhat involved in a fantasy football team because it’ll “make you feel more invested”. I don’t know anything about it, so if you have suggestions, I’ll take them. For now I’m going to do a whole lot of research, and try to keep my Aaron Hernandez jokes to a minimum.
It’s the least I can do, really… since Russ spent most of the Spring and Summer pretending to care about whatever was happening with the NBA.