Are You Ready For Some Football?

Posted: November 17, 2013 in Family, Health, Humor, Marriage, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you like football? I do. I’m talking about American football, not what we call soccer. I am a sports frrrrrreak! Football is probably my favorite single-sport season, though. I’m not big on high school ball, but I’m wild about Division I and NFL ball. My favorite college team is one of the historically winningest teams in the country. I have multiple NFL favorites. I am one of, probably, very few housewives who watch the NFL Network’s morning show, instead of The View, the Today show, or other girly morning shows. Actually, I flip back and forth between NFL AM and SportsCenter over on ESPN, both so I don’t have to watch commercials, and so I can get the maximum sports input.

Saturdays during football season are the best, because I get to watch my favorite-of-favorites team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. I get a little obsessed, some might call me fanatic. I say “my” team, because that’s the way Nebraskans feel about the Huskers. It isn’t “they” who are playing, it is “we.” With a “we” mentality, you can imagine I might have more than a little emotion invested in the outcome of the game.

I would hate to see video of myself watching the game. I’m a huge fan of defense. You would probably think I resembled a crazed gladiator fan, screaming, “GET HIM! GET HIM!” I love a good sack. Few things in a football game are more satisfying than a good sack for a big loss of yardage. Then, having been granted my violent wish, arms thrusted in the air, I’m screaming once again. “YEAAAAAAAH!”

The offense takes over, and I’m excited for a score, but nervous about whether it will happen. Someone drops the ball, and I’m irate. We recover it, and I’m so relieved, I’m gasping for air. This game is not for the fan with a weak heart. Not the Cornhusker fan with a weak heart, anyway. We fight our way downfield, and manage to score, and my arms are in the air again, I’m high fiving The Mr, and yelling, “WOO! WOO!” I’m also dancing in my seat, so I maintain some semblance of dignity, while The Mr is on his feet, jumping up and down. Good grief, man. Get a grip.

But as the football season rolls on, and my obsession with the game continues into winter, watching game after game, highlights, analysis, sports news, ad infinitum, Mr ReloVertigo at some point begins to feel the burn. Burnout, that is. I ask you, Friendly Reader, what self-respecting man gets tired of football? Just mine, it seems. A couple years ago, during bowl game season, he actually walked up to me and grabbed the remote right out of my hand! He said it was time to watch something else, and he’d had enough of football. Of course, I’m paraphrasing, because this blog is fairly family-friendly, and The Mr’s language was not. After that interaction, I was speechless and my mouth was agape. I couldn’t imagine that could ever happen. In my mind, this tiny little, sad voice said, “Sick? Of…football?” I could almost mentally see sad puppy dog eyes. Unfortunately, football season died abruptly for me that year.

We go to an NFL game tomorrow night, the Chiefs versus the Broncos. It should be a good highlight to this season. Live games, as opposed to televised, are always good. And we have the good fortune to have tickets to a game during fairly warm weather.

I’ll never forget the time we went to one special Nebraska game against Oklahoma, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Those games against the Sooners, back in the days of the now defunct Big 8, were always held at the end of November. For the unfamiliar, late November in Nebraska is usually cold. This particular game was televised, so all of our relatives were watching from the comfort of their couches, in their cozy homes. With wind chill that day, it was -30 F, -34 C. I remember this because afterward, my parents made sure to tell us ABC‘s game announcers had, well, announced it. It was snowing. Our feet were on packed snow, and it seems I recall that our behinds were, too, though I could be wrong about that part. I don’t even remember whether we won the game. Probably, as this was during the 90’s, when Nebraska was winning National Championships.

But I didn’t care. Even with thermal underwear beneath my clothes, a winter coat, and wrapped in a sleeping bag with Mr ReloVertigo, I was freezing. My legs were numb from the knees down, and the skin of my thighs was feeling prickly, like they could be next. I was begging him to leave by the third quarter. He kept reminding me that this game was my brilliant idea. But, I was feeling sick. Weird sick, not freezing sick. I started seeing double. I thought I had a fever. My limbs began twitching. I finally convinced him to leave, but I was afraid to descend the stadium steps. I couldn’t feel my feet, and my hands were iffy. That seeing double thing was coming on and going off. He led me, like a seeing eye dog, through the stadium. We had to walk at least a mile from the stadium to our car.

Back at our hotel, I crawled into bed. Surprised, he asked if I didn’t want to go out for the evening. This was, after all, my birthday weekend. No, I did not. He went out for some ibuprofen for my fever, and that’s when he knew I was really sick. ReloVertigo never turns down a good time out on the town with her brothers. Fast forward to that following Monday, and I was tested at the doctor’s office. After a spinal tap, they found that what I had was encephalitis! Encephalitis caused by the mumps virus. I’d had mumps as a kid, but I’d apparently been exposed again recently, and as a result, got encephalitis. I was very, very sick. I still suffer certain after-effects from that illness. Twenty years later.

So, needless to say, as we go to the game in Kansas City on Sunday night, I will be very happy there will be no snow. I may bring an umbrella. It’s pouring rain right now, and it’s been hailing. That would be a new one.

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