Football, Zebras and 11 Year Olds

I love to watch football.  I can honestly say I like football now a smidge more than I like baseball.  That’s hard for me to write because, while growing up, baseball was more accessible for me and therefore more beloved in my heart.  I couldn’t find $3 outfield seats for the Seahawks.

The older I become, the more I enjoy watching football.  I think the difference now is baseball seems to be on TV every day and lasts a very long time and football is a seemingly brief and shiny bundle of joy.  Baseball is something I love and take for granted.  Baseball is like living next to the Cascades: I see them all the time and they are always present in their magnificence.

It takes a visitor, someone seeing the Cascades for the first time to remind me of their beauty.  I look at them through these new eyes, thinking, ‘yes, they truly are beautiful.’  I view them that way for about a week, until I start taking them for granted again.  ‘Oh, they’ll be there tomorrow, I can enjoy their beauty later.’

Football is quite different.  Football is like summertime in Seattle: you know it’s coming, you can feel it in the air, they both have a preseason where you get a taste of what’s to come and when it arrives in all its glory, you have to grab it with both hands and love it to death because it will be gone, much too quickly, in a flash of clouds and drizzle.

I never realized how important referees were, in any sport, until the last few weeks and especially last Monday night.  I know the replacement refs are doing the best job they can, but sometimes your best isn’t good enough.  Everybody blows calls, we’re all human, but when games end on a blown call, when that’s the only reason a team wins, then something needs to happen.

On the one hand: I’m a Seahawks fan and, truthfully, I’m glad we won, but on the other hand, nobody wants to win in that fashion.  If the tables were turned, I’d be walking around yelling, ‘we were robbed!’ at the top of my lungs, seething and probably drooling a little, my little red rimmed eyes barely contained behind my glasses.  No, no really, I’m taken.

These officiating problems were just what the doctor ordered for the owners, apparently.  Now they realize how important well trained refs are to the game and will pay them what they are asking.  I now have more respect for the refs and the replacements: it’s clearly not an easy job and not everyone can do it properly.

At least for me, the last few football weeks had a couple of remarkable moments.  Was that a woman referee I saw a couple weeks ago?  I saw a picture of a woman, and I read about a woman ref, but since I didn’t see it, I have some doubts.  It would be great, though, to see women more involved in televised sports.  I’m not worried about a woman getting squashed by the big football players, like I heard one commentator mention: we give birth, for Heaven’s sake, we’re tough when we have to be.  And I don’t think a frail, timid woman would choose to be a referee in the NFL.

Another inspirational moment happened with my daughter.  I texted her on Monday night, the night of the Seahawks game, and asked her how and what she was doing.  She texted she was watching the game with her father.  I am so proud; you have no idea.

I texted, Go Seahawks, because I was at a loss for words, pride filling most of the space in my brain.  I imagined that would be the end of our conversation because we both have the attention span of gnats, but I was surprised when she replied, and I quote verbatim, “Hawks better step up offense right now.”  I have never been so proud of my little girly tomboy.

Jessie loves to do, what I consider, girly things: she likes malls, loves to spend money, loves make-up and doing her hair, knows what a mani-pedi is, and loves to hang out with her BFFs.  I sometimes look at her and think, ‘where did she come from?’  That can’t all come from her dad, right?  (If you knew her dad, you’d know how funny that was.)

But when she watches and makes intelligent comments about football (and when I say intelligent I mean a step up from Madden’s ‘you know how the Raiders are going to win?  They need to score some points.’  You don’t say.) I realize she’ll be just fine.  Would she want to be a referee in the NFL?  Probably not, but she’d look fabulous as a zebra.




Filed under Sports

2 responses to “Football, Zebras and 11 Year Olds

  1. Dawn

    You are so funny! I think you’re the next Erma Bombeck or Dave… (brain fart) famed in newspaper and sitcom… Really enjoyed reading your article! Headed for the book now.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’ve always loved Erma and Dave what’s-his-name, so I appreciate the comparison. I hope to one day be able to park in the garage next to the stadium they played in. I can dream.

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