“Kill that green guy!”

“Oops! Sorry, God. I meant, stop that green guy.”

How low has this former non-fan fallen?

In our academically-inclined family, it was unseemly to bellow like a bloody banshee at a sporting event. Come to think about it; we did not watch or attend sporting events. Our Saturdays revolved around chores, homework, and our father blasting the Texaco Metropolitan Opera Hour on the radio.

The man worked 16 hours a day, preparing lectures, writing articles and books on philosophy, and teaching at the University. But on Saturday, his routine relaxed somewhat.

He worked in his home office until noon. Then he stopped to eat lunch. For him, his meals were a necessity and almost a sacred ritual. They were offerings to the lord of the manor. But he ate so fast that his poor, neglected taste buds barely registered the amazing meals his wife prepared.

Even his post-lunch Saturday afternoon schedule was sacrosanct, as well. Father retired to his bedroom. Tuned in the Texaco Metropolitan Opera of the Week and took a nap. How he managed to sleep through the far too loud music and singing is a puzzle to this day.

However, his eldest daughter recalls a time she tiptoed into his bedroom and turned the volume down so all our ears would stop bleeding. All the while, she was terrified he would awaken and rival Zeus with his wrath. But, he slept on.

This writer does recall attending a few football games while she attended Villanova University. She and a friend, whose father was caretaker of the Edgar Allen Poe house in Philadelphia, attended the 1962 Liberty Bowl between the Villanova Wildcats and the Oregon State Beavers. The Poe House adventure is a tale for another time.

Perhaps it was the 25-degree temperature or the ingrained proper manners, but she did not yell in support of the team. She merely clapped her frozen hands together and grinned at her friend.

All her disinterest and inattention to sports ended when she married Hubby. His twin sister, his father, and brother, along with a terrific brother-in-law, were avid football fans. Part of the Thanksgiving ritual at his parents’ house always included watching college football. Back then,  wherever Hubby went, his wife was at his side. Consequently, she joined the football watchers and learned a little about the game.

As a result, the plethora of college football bowl games found a place in their lives. Sometimes, they sat in front of the television watching the games and shelling pecans. Then there was that unforgettable New Year’s Day when many of his family members joined us to watch football. Hubby set up four televisions sets in the family room so they would not miss any of the overlapping games.

Our daughter, an Aggie graduate, loves watching sports as well. Often, Hubby and daughter watched games together, arguing about plays made and officials’ rulings. Unlike her mother, she is a mighty vocal sports fan. Once, she chided her mother for not showing enthusiasm by joining in the scream fest during games.

As Hubby’s health deteriorated, he began watching sports he had not watched in the past, including international soccer. “Why do you suddenly like soccer,” his wife asked. “Once I understood the rules, it is fun to watch,” he replied.

Understanding the game is why this writer became a hockey and baseball fan. Football can be tedious with timeouts and countless reviews. Hockey is fast. When she realized baseball was like a chess game, it all made sense, except for the camera’s inevitable focus on players scratching their crotches.

Hubby and wife watched many a baseball and college football game together. The only downside was if midway, our team was behind. Hubby threw his hands in the air, declaring, “Well, they lost this one.” To which his wife replied, “Hush. No negativity allowed or you will affect the outcome of the game.”

Recently, this writer attended her college football team’s watch party at a local Irish sports and music bar. Never again. She would rather watch at home, yelling and supporting her team without embarrassing herself.


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