“Not a Football Fan” by Chris Zito

I’ve tried explaining the game of football to my wife. Initially she really made an effort to learn. Now she doesn’t even pretend to care. She’s like a defiant school girl who would rather be in detention than in class.


“I really don’t care why sometimes when they kick it’s 3 points and other times its 1 point.

When we first started dating she took a real interest in baseball, one of my more noticeable obsessions. We spent more than a few Sunday brunches in those early days looking at the Sunday Globe sports section with me answering question after question about the game, the stats, the players. She grew to love the game. She grew to love the Red Sox. The began to hate the Yankees. Naturally, a woman like that, you’ve got to propose.


I helped a woman make the journey from indifference to official “Pink Hat” status.

But we just could never get over the hump when it came to football. Maybe it’s because she loves summer that she loves baseball. It’s less violent. It’s slower. There are so many little stats and details, which is right up her alley. Football seemed scarier. It started in the fall, but the really meaningful games always seemed to be played when it was freezing outside. She did watch with me for a little while, which made me feel the love for sure.


She drew the line at lingerie football. So did I.
With a highlighter in my TV schedule.

What really derailed her was the concept of downs, particularly first down. Somehow she could just never grasp how it could be first down and then first down again. Or second down then first down.
“See, they have four downs to get to the goal line or they have to turn the ball over to the other team,” I’d explain.
“That’s not very many tries and move so far.” She’d say.
“Well, they only need ten yards and then its first down again.”
“What?”


Who’s the quarterback? What’s a wide receiver?
And I don’t know what first down means.”

It’s okay. Kimi doesn’t have to understand everything I like. After all, she’s tried more than once to help me understand why she needs fourteen pairs of  black shoes and I still haven’t the slightest idea.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


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One Response

  1. A couple of years ago, I realized I’d been watching football since high school, and after thirty years, I didn’t get it any better than I did then. So I stopped pretending I cared, even in casual conversation. I’ve done my time.

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