My relationship with football

Lately I’ve been getting my share of guff because people see me as a “bandwagon” fan. As much as I’d like to say that I don’t care what people think, I do find it a bit annoying that people get this “i’m a better fan than you” attitude. Okay fine… you are the superior fan. Good for you but might I add that just because one might be a “latecomer” to support the team doesn’t make them any less of a fan. And yes, I did say latecomer. I didn’t jump on a bandwagon, I merely took my time making my way to giving a shit about football. So there!

When I was a kid my dad watched football. It wasn’t something that was encouraged to be a family thing. There was no snack foods to lure you in or putting on your team gear and getting amped up for the game. It was my dad taking over the living room and occasionally screaming so loudly and violently that the last place I wanted to be was next to him let alone in the room with him. That was what I grew up with as football. Fun, yeah? No.

Fast forward some years… Oh now we’re talkin’! I did enjoy some college football games, however how I really viewed these events were as “bleacher parties”. They were really just an excuse to drink. I had no idea what was going on in front of me. I never knew who had the ball. I’d scream when everyone else screamed and act a fool with the best of them but in all honesty I was there for the booze, my friends and the good times (which could include falling down the bleachers and/or getting thrown up on by others).

Let’s jump ahead a few more years… This is where shit got real and went terribly wrong. I married a Steelers fan. Unless you’ve lived with a Steelers fan then you really do NOT know the depths of the hell that comes with it. I’ve heard that the 49ers, Cowboys and Patriots fans can also be quite painful to be around but I have no firsthand knowledge of such things.

Back tracking just a little bit… Prior to marrying this Steelers fan I had adopted the New Orleans Saints as my team for a couple reasons. No, I didn’t really watch them or follow them with any real interest… I was just an admirer from afar kinda fan. I was from the south and someone very dear to me had passed away who was a huge Saints fan, so I took them on in her honor, not to mention I didn’t know of any other Saints fans so I figured they could not really afford to lose one.

So there I was. A Saints fan with no real knowledge of the game and zero ability to talk shit about football… and married (dun dun dun) to a Steelers fan. I don’t know how to explain the pain of this situation. What I can say is that I quickly learned to NEVER watch football with him because it was mental torture. He had no interest in teaching me about the game but he would scream and carry on about the injustices that were done to the Steelers and he rarely watched a game that they weren’t playing in. He was cocky and condescending, so I just supported my Saints quietly and half assed ’cause I really didn’t care to be like him… The Steelers fan. Who, by the way, is now my ex husband and no, it didn’t end over football… however, his love for the Steelers shoulda been my first red flag. Duly noted.

Now to current day! I’ve been living in the Puget Sound area for about 16 years (11 of them were with the Steelers fan) and have been a quiet supporter of the Saints the entire time. I’ve had nothing against the Seahawks I just didn’t have any interest in them either. ‘Cause you see I just had no interest in football at all…. until that magic moment…..

I started dating a man who is a Seahawks fan. A diehard Seahawks fan at that! He asked me if I’d like to watch a game with him… and I did! And guess what? I didn’t instantly dislike him. I didn’t want to leave. He didn’t yell. He didn’t throw things. He didn’t make me afraid to be there. And when he got excited about the game he wasn’t scary or a dickhead about it. He really ENJOYED the game. I’d never seen such a thing. I was floored… and oddly aroused… and I wanted to know more!! But I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I had (have) little education on the game and how things work. For example, why that yellow flag keeps showing up and why does 45 seconds on the clock take 10 minutes… but dare I ask a question during the game?

After chewing on my lip for a little bit I mustered up some courage and asked something. I don’t remember what it was I asked but it was most likely something dumb, like really dumb, like “who has the ball?” …. and as I waited for the onslaught of insults to start, my heart racing and hands shoved under my ass to keep them from shaking, I was surprised when he replied calmly and without judgment with something equivalent to, “we do.” And this, my friends, started my adventure and growing love of football and the Seahawks.

So am I on a bandwagon? I think no but if it makes you feel better to say I am, then have at it. All I know is that I’ll be over here enjoying the super bowl with my favorite Seahawk fan… The very best Seahawk fan in the world supporting the very best team in the world!!!

GO SEAHAWKS!!! (BTW, I still love you N.O. Saints!)

P.S. I also want to have Marshawn Lynch’s baby. Maybe I’ll talk about that later.