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9.09.2012

NANCY'S FOOTBALL NOTATIONS



I am a girl.  Non-typical I am in girlie stereo types mostly.  Except for probably one area; I don't know football well.  In that one context, and one context only, I am bit of a stereo typical generalization of a woman. 

One of my good friends, Sharon, is a football maniac.  When living across the street from her some years ago, I was privy to her mad love of football, in particular, the Detroit Lions.  Just like one of the boys, she popped a beer and cheered at the TV.  She though not only loved football, but was a 50 year old grown up jock herself having been a great athlete all her life.  Though she is all woman, had birthed four children, was married for 25 plus years, she loved competition of any kind.  That would occasionally include scooter rides down my hilly driveway to see who could coast the farthest.   Now mind you, I could out bike and run Sharon.  She though, could whoop me in just about any other competitive platform short of pie baking.

My husband coached football for 17 years running both the West Michigan Youth Football League and coaching Manistee Catholic High School.  He was later a licensed official in the state of Illinois.  The love of football for him started in the 7th grade, a mere few years ago:)  I watch football with Doug.  In fact, I am the entertainment and spectator chatter that any die-hard football fan loves to have around them while watching a game. 

I want to learn about the downs and penalties, the line-up, to understand the positions and plays.  I do.  Really.  The problem is that I get easily distracted by so many things surrounding the actual game of football that I just can't be quiet.  I am curious.  Always have been.  I want to know stuff, all kinds of stuff even strange football sorts of things.  And, I have things to comment on, funny things, quirky things I see.  I commentate through the entire game, but not many of my observations have to do with the plays or game itself.  I feel it is my duty to point out and/or question some of the quirky things about the game.  In that context it takes the life or death competition down a notch.  It is a game.  A flipping game!

That being said, today while watching the the Lions vs Rams, I noticed a green sticker on one of the player's helmets.  My initial smart-ass am always funny self declared, "What is that sticker on the back of that guy's helmet?  Oh, it's a banana sticker:)"  Now I know it's not a banana sticker, but I explained to Doug how it might possibly be one.  You know horse playing in the locker room, like when we were kids, and somebody slaps a note or sticker on you without you knowing.  Just because they make millions does not mean they aren't still boys in bigger bodies.  He laughed at my theory but corrected it. 

The green sticker on the quarterback of each team is there for the officials to see.  In the NFL only one person on each team can have a headset helmet on the field at any given time.  So, besides watching the intricacies of plays to call, officials have to scan the helmets making sure there is only two green stickers on the field.  I guess code of honor rules in the NFL and no one would ever sneak another headset helmet on the field without a sticker.

 
I commented on the amount of tattoos on players, long hair, a few fat asses that if they lived a life outside of the football field would be deemed a bit overweight.  That kind of weight is handy to tackle and block, but detrimental to find clothes that fit or possibly live a long life.  And, how do you get to be the mascot for say, the Detroit Lions.  I loved his big lion head but on a normal human body.  It was sort of like the man/horse man from the movie, "The Chronicles of Narnia".

The Lions won today.  That I know.  But while watching I got mesmerized by the Rams coach and his grouchy demeanor.  Doug informed me he probably wasn't grouchy, but focused.  "Nope" I said, "that is a grouchy demeanor!"  That made me google his personal life.  I had to know what would create a bit of a owie sort of scowl.  Then I had to comment that he and Doug were exactly the same age.  We had a whole conversation on who looked older.

Officials in the NFL are typically attorneys.  I don't know why that is exactly other than smarts.  More likely though I guess it has something to do with their ability to work another part-time job that appeases their childhood love of the game.  Plus, financially and career-wise they might have the freedom to do so.  Amazingly enough they don't make what you think they do.  On average, for a 4-5 month season, they make $25,000 to upwards of $100,000 if they are tenured.  Though if you figured their pay divided by hours worked, they make good money.  A great second income!

Doug quizzed me after the game to see how much I garnered from my time on the couch with him; who won the game, who Jim Schwartz coached, which team did Sam Bradford play for, why is there a green dot on the quarterback's helmets.....  I asked him if my commentating got on his every last nerve or if he found it entertaining.  I mean really there is a whole other part of football that needs to be noticed, googled, commented on and even ridiculed. 

He wondered if I knew how much time and focus football had taken up in his life before he met me.  That he chooses not to watch sometimes, decides to go for a walk instead with me, lets me blab during the game, is yet another way that love changes us.  I guess that makes me more powerful than football.  That's what I really learned today during the game.

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