Friday, November 14, 2008

I can't not say it


Yes, despite all appearances, I am a football fan. The progressionw as slow, it started several years ago. Going to sports bars in midtown with Ty to get our fix. We'd sit on barstools in cookie-cutter Irish pubs on Third Ave befriending drunk financial dudes who always assumed I was Ty's girlfriend (probably for the best, much safer that way for my sake.) Ty was always on the endless search for the best and biggest screen to watch the Broncos play. Last season Daniel got in the mix with his Patriots lust but up until this year I never had a team of my own. I was always just a Broncos/Bears fan by proximity (both Chicago and Denver are reasonably near my's not like I am going to root for the Rams or the Chiefs) and the residual enthusiasm of my friends who were such passionate fans of both teams it was hard not to get caught up.

I recall one evening last fall, Ty, Daniel and I went to Daniels favorite haunt in the shadows of Madison Square Garden, Deno's Party House USA. We went there to watch the game, I forget who the Patriots were playing, but it was last season during their glory drive (thankfully defeated by the Giants.) There was a single patron sitting on a duct-taped barstool eyeing the Russian girl behind the bar. Clad in nothing but a black bikini and a belly ring, she was soft and round and young. She couldn't have been over 20 years old. Her eyes lit up when we walked in, thankful to have other customers to distract her attentions from the solo creepo. Daniel and Ty ordered beers while I downed water and bar snacks. Daniel was a regular at the spot due to it's close proximity to the law firm he worked at and told us every time he entered there was a different young girl behind the bar. Theories of human trafficking, mail order Russian brides, prostitution, and a murderous owner entered our minds. Our bartender refilled my water three times even though it was never quite empty just to give herself a reason to stand near our group. Eventually we got so depressed by the vibes we had to leave, despite the bartenders pleas that we stay for at least one more drink.

From there we finished the game at some wretched BBQ joint and then went to Hooters. Okay. This story got way off track. What I am saying is that this season my relationship with football has gotten much more fufilling. I now have a team or two I root for. I even have teams I dislike (such as the Colts, something about Payton Manning drives me nuts.) I painted my fingernails green to root for the Jets. I love Bret Favre's stoic gentlemanly ways. The aging hero, 39 years of age, his joints aching and his body battered still taking the field and driving his team to victory. The southern gentleman, the good guy of football. How could anyone hate him? According to his Jets bio Favre, "Also enjoys hunting, TV nature programs, crossword puzzles, fishing and tending to his home and land on the 460 acres he owns in Hattiesburg, MS."

Okay I'll be the first to admit I don't exactly know what I'm talking about. But I know what I like, and I like rooting for the Jets. I like the energy of the game much more than any other pro-sport. The suspense, the glory, and struggle. It really is captivating when the game is a good one. And last night's game against the Patriots was a good one. The Jets won in overtime. Thank god. I actually felt myself getting emotional when the Patriots tied the game with one second left.

Don't worry, this won't turn into a football blog. And I didn't take pictures because certain things are holy and I don't think there is blogging allowed on gameday.

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