“It’s after Thanksgiving. Now we’re going to see what kind of football team we have. We’re going to see what other good football teams are, and what it takes to be a good football team. It’s not easy this time of year. There’s a lot of guys banged up. Depth for each team now has really become an issue. Mental toughness has really become an issue. The weather’s getting colder. The games are getting bigger. This is really when you find out kind of what the heart of each team is.”—Tom Brady
Though I generally like to keep my blog upbeat, this past weekend at home made me realize something more significant about my newfound appreciation for sports.
"Whether you realize it or not, you’ll always be a NY girl at heart." This simple statement from my mom resonated with me as I boarded the train headed in the opposite direction of my home, my family. It’s not so much that I started to feel any pangs of regret about my move to Boston, but how can a place ever truly become your home when your family isn’t near? Not to sound like the Real Housewives of New Jersey woman ranting about family being “thick as thieves” (still don’t actually know what that means), but crazy lady has a point with her Jersey jibberish, people come and go from your life but family, well…they’re there for better or worse. What Boston means to me has changed dramatically in the 7 months I have lived here and continues to evolve on a daily basis. As I sat there Thanksgiving day, watching football, surrounded by my family, rooting for a team they all hate so much, I felt a distance from them and I can’t say I didn’t have doubts, doubts that stayed with me as I said my goodbyes and will follow me until I feel fully settled. When push comes to shove, I’m lucky; I love Boston, and I have great friends, new and old, to remind me of it everyday. And then I had a thought…one I never would have expected from myself; football is helping me start over. This of course sounds mildly absurd, but the social nature of the game, the allegiance to a team, it’s all helping me meet people, build bonds with Boston, create a new meaning for the city I moved to, and somewhere along the lines is becoming part of a new me that I’m discovering.
One week till a New England/New York throwdown when the Pats play the Jets.
After a 5 hour car ride with minimum conflict (Spencer and I simply acknowledged my Pats over Colts victory with a smirk and understanding that our confrontation should end there, for everyone’s sake), we arrived in Middlebury, VT just in time for the 2nd half of the Patriots/Lions game. 20 guests were gathered for the most delicious day of the year, poised and hungry to attack a massive Thanksgiving meal. The group sat divided between New Englanders and New Yorkers with only 4 real Patriots fans; no one present was actually a Lions fan, obviously, but plenty of the guests were gunning for their win. After explaining my blog, motives for the blog, what has come out of my blog thus far, etc. to the entire family, we got down to the football watching. With every cheer from the Patriots side, as they steadily redeemed themselves (losing to the Lions would have been quite the embarrassment), there was an equally as enthusiastic, but negative jeer from the New Yorker side, well mostly Spencer who was just as hungry for his Thanksgiving meal, as he was hungry to watch the Pats go down in flames. As the game progressed and dinner was served, the TV stayed on and I parked myself in the perfect game-watching seat at the table, signaling to the Pats fans farther down when we had reason to happily indulge in a second helping of stuffing. I inquired with my equally girly girl 8 1/2 year old cousin, adorned in her favorite purple sparkly headband, if she liked watching football. “I don’t like watching football, but I choose the team I like based on their uniforms,” which in her opinion was the Lions (a few weeks ago, I probably would have had the same response). As you must know by now, the Patriots blew the Lions out of the water with a score of 45-24 leaving me the right to throw more mocking smirks Spencer’s way.
After dinner, we did what any all-American family in a hazy ffoma does after eating their weight in turkey and mashed potatoes, we played our own “football game.” Each team had their clear stand-out stars. Though Spencer would like to think this included him (he played on the opposite team from me, of course), the stand-out on his team came in the form of my 5 1/2 year old cousin due to his abilities to run at lightning fast speeds between everyone’s legs. My team’s stand out was definitely my 10 year old cousin; she’s feisty and isn’t afraid to start a fight, especially when the opposing team includes her equally as feisty brother. Has my new-found interest in watching football translated on the field to an unknown skill at playing football you may ask? Nope, definitely not. Once that became blatantly clear, I spent the rest of the game guarding my little cousins and “tackling” them, which really means running after them, picking them up, and then swinging them around because they are just so adorable. I think my team lost…but it doesn’t matter, the Patriots won. I’ll leave the on-field winning to the 6ft 4, 250 lb manly men.
“… who knew the pilgrims liked football so much …”—
I’m headed up to Middlebury, VT for a Turkey day full of deliciousness, football, and family! It is the first time I’m seeing the little bro since I started my exploration into sports…and the Pats beat the Colts. Let’s hope we can survive the 5 hour car ride together! It’s also my first Holiday where I will actively be invested in watching sports with the men of my family. Lot’s of stories to come I’m sure. GO PATS and pumpkin pie! Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
While surfin’ the web I came across what seems to be Nike’s 2012 NFL Jersey redesign (http://bit.ly/9TcFIW). Really Nike? Really? While most of the Jerseys aren’t that bad, the Patriots’ and Bengals’ jerseys stand out as being possibly unintentionally funny; they simply cannot be for realz. The Patriots’ jersey must have been designed by the costume designer for the non-existent Broadway Musical, The New England Patriots: The Musical (I should copyright this and write the screenplay…a la Damn Yankees). The Bengals’ spandex pants are literally fierce considering they are actually tiger print. The Cardinals’ jersey…possibly sponsored by Red Bull? Cause that jersey will give them wings! Also, Let’s just get this out there in the open, because I know it’s on everyone’s mind…the Dolphins’ jersey is the Hawaiian t-shirt of NFL jerseys.
It’s Monday night football. The saving grace of Monday. The reason we don’t hit snooze that 3rd time in the morning. The reason we sit through boring meetings with our heads held high. It’s Monday. Terrible by day, beautiful by night. When the theme music to MNF hits you it’s a moment of transcendence where you think to yourself; I made it. It’s all down hill from here. Monday=bad, Monday night= fun and excitement. It’s primetime baby, everyone goes all out on Monday night. It’s lights, camera, football. The players step up because all eyes are on them. Unscripted, unfettered, inexplicably entertaining. The last game of “this week in football” magic, drama, hopes, dreams, victory, defeat, and raw emotions. Hits so hard you can feel them 2,000 miles away. MNF is how you separate the weekend warrior from the dedicated fan.
V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! Sorry Spencer and the Colts (but not really)! Looks like this round goes to me, thank you very much! I almost had a few heart attacks towards the end as the Colts rallied in the 4th, gaining 14 points, putting them a little too close for my liking to the Patriots’ 31 points; the thought of spending Thanksgiving with my brother pushing a loss in my face was a scary, scary thought (but phew, I have bragging rights!). With Manning vs. Brady, I think it’s clear who performed better (Brady also just tied Favre’s record of winning 25 consecutive home games!). Brady was pretty flawless as where Peyton made a bunch of mistakes including that last intercepted pass costing them a huge comeback and possible win. I actually felt really bad for him in the post-game press conference where he looked like he was going to cry as he confessed he felt sick about it (poor guy, he needed a hug).
Yesterday presented a few “firsts” for me. Besides the fact that it was my first time watching sports with males in this new phase of my life in which I pay attention to sports and moderately understand them (go KES and me for being the only ones to watch non-stop all day!), it was also my first experience with Red Zone. Red Zone was described to me as “football on crack” and they weren’t wrong. It is ADHD TV as it jumps from game to game without warning, which is nice in the sense that you get to see a lot of highlights, but I can’t keep up with it…I’d much rather sit and be invested in one whole game, for sure. I’d be like “wow awesome play!” But then I wouldn’t remember which game I had just seen that play in because we had immediately moved on to another game, Red Zone needs to invest in some adderall.
I have to give a shout out to my Sunday game day hosts (both venues!!), talk about going all out, I had such a fun day. Let’s discuss gender stereotypes for a minute since they are pretty prevalent when it comes to sports and watching sports. Last Sunday when I hosted, I didn’t cook anything, in fact I don’t even know how to cook. My friends and I had what I would have pictured a group of guys snacking on…nothing involving cooking and lots of beer (stereotypically/hypothetically we were men). Then, we get to our hosts’ house, a group of total guys’ guys, and the men are in the kitchen slavin’ away to actually cook our entire game day pre-Thanksgiving spread (stereotypically/hypothetically a woman’s role). There was stuffed chicken wrapped in proscuitto, homemade spinach dip, homemade mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, brussell sprouts, baked sweet potatoes, egg rolls, collared greens, pumpkin pie, apple pie (I bought this…made by chef Trader Joe, I didn’t even attempt to bake…), it was seriously impressive and delicious. While the men were all cooking away during the 1 o’clock games, KES and I sat on the couch and watched football while indulging in a healthy amount of red wine from a decanter (fancy stuff, boys), in fact most of the guys were also drinking red wine instead of beer. While they were total guys while watching the game, shouting, getting in friendly little spats (which was fun for me to be around despite the fact that they were all huge Giants fans and strongly dislike the Patriots), gender stereotypes were definitely broken down in the kitchen and it was so refreshing…or maybe I’m just not a domestic girl and I don’t give guys enough credit?
Observed: Eli is SO much better looking than Peyton. Austin Collie is really hot. The pack of Giants fans did not react well to finding out I was from NY…but the Pats fans who were present admitted they respected it. I have male readers who like my blog, yay! Overheard: “Football makes me growl so much.” “It’s easy to hate the winners.” Told: I “have to hate the Giants.” My first priority is to learn about what is happening in football now, but with that comes a team’s history and back story. Picture if you will little me all ready to hang with the boys in my brand new Pats Tee, walking into a house full of strangers, who I assumed were all going to be Pats fans as well since hey, we’re in Boston! I’m greeted by Giants Tees and a living room “ring of fire.” No this is not a Johnny Cash reference, but instead a shrine to the 2008 Super Bowl in which the underdog, the Giants, had nothing to lose against the undefeated Patriots, resulting in an enormous upset for the Pats. Sure I had “watched” that Super Bowl (more like socialized and ate ate ate), but I didn’t care, that game didn’t even cross my mind as I entered into Giants land yesterday. After all, I do still root for the Giants when they’re not up against the Pats…I guess I have to stop doing this? I have to “hate” them because they ruined my team’s perfect season? Do I care about conforming now that I actively chose to be a Patriots fan? I’m told that I do, but I’ve never been one to care to conform to what other people tell me.
Sunday has quickly become my new favorite day of the week…minus the fact that the next day is Monday…buzz kill.
Thanksgiving is coming early for me this year, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. KES’s friend thinks “I need to watch football with some men” and I must say, I agree. Though my real Thanksgiving day will be spent huddled around an old tiny TV that may or may not still have a VHS player (has anyone else noticed that as a society, we’ve forgotten the ancient word “VCR??”), watching football with the men of my family, it’s not quite the same as watching with a group of young guys who will actively help me learn without going off on tangents about the 1930s and how the opposing teams to Syracuse would come and terrorize the campus before game day (love you, Grandpa!). So pretty much, today is going to be awesome. I get to have a Thanksgiving meal, watch the Patriots beat the Colts (knock on wood), and have a group of guys help me out with my football knowledge (I’d be willing to bet that no Cosmo magazines are going to make a distracting appearance like last Sunday).
Now for more on my views that the Patriots are going to win, giving me a green light to tease my Brother all of Thanksgiving! According to him, and this is a direct quote, “every time Indy plays the Pats, it’s more than just a game. Brady and Peyton are two of the greatest quarterbacks currently playing, but this game means so much more than just Brady vs. Peyton (or Jenna vs. Spencer, though that is pretty important). There is no team I’d rather beat.” Ah, Spencer, I feel the same way; due to the fact that the Colts are your fave team, there is no team I’d rather beat. The match-up seems to be pretty even in terms of strength of the teams as a whole, but the Colts have a lotttt of guys out today due to injuries, which could seriously hurt them. The Patriots are going to have to be aggressive, pressure Manning, and wear the Colts out to have an edge…and it is very important that Brady is on his game. It’s going to be an intense game, and with so much on the line personally, my fingers are seriously crossed that I can go to sleep tonight with a big winning smile on my face!
"According to Playboy, football is the spectator sport most arousing to women." This interesting little "fact" was brought to my attention by a friend who saw it on Twitter. I was obviously curious to know what evidence the Playboy scientists had gathered in their very official boudoir-style lab with stripper-esque lab assistants (this must be the same lab where they develop silicon, edible lingerie, and Hef’s extra strength Viagra), to back up this claim. However, I was unable to find hard evidence or official Playboy lab reports of any kind, thus leading me to do my own analysis.
There are two categories in which this fact can be examined further, the mental side of the game and the physical. Let’s start with the physical. Football is definitely one of the most aggressive team sports on television. As a viewer, I can almost picture the whole field covered in a misty cloud of testosterone as big sweaty manly men let loose with raw aggression and continuously tackle one another in spandex that leaves little to the imagination (lots of nice tuckus’ running around). While their outfits are revealing, their helmets mask their emotion, expressions, and facial attractiveness, which actually may help support Playboy’s “fact.” Sure, there are lots of good looking guys on the field, but my research has presented me with many more men who are simply not attractive in the slightest (keep wearing those helmets, boys).
Now for the mental side of the game. Football is all about power and strength and these athletes are the biggest, toughest, roughest, most manly men in sports (or at least lead on that they are, I like to think they are cuddly teddy bears at home, except definitely not Michael Vick), and I think we can all agree that most women want a man who has the ability to protect them with the same fervor with which he protects a football. However, women also want a man who is not entirely bereft of emotions and will also need them to provide emotional support. Football players show both sides; they may be the most physically intimidating guys around, but they are passionate and often seriously emotionally affected by the game. When they do well and celebrate with screams, chest bumps, and dances, we women are impressed with their talent and want to be joining in with their celebration. But when they have their bad days on the field, and the camera zooms in on an angry, sad, and frustrated man, who we would never expect to see show his emotions so vividly, we just want to be there to comfort them and let them know that they tried their hardest and it will all be OK.
"I think we have a certain perception of masculine athletes being devoid of feeling, and there’s something appealing about seeing those stereotypes broken down on the sideline." -KES
So is football “the spectator sport most arousing to women?” The jury on my end is still out. Thoughts??
The attached article (http://bit.ly/9Fw0ZR) is an extremely funny satirical head-to-head comparison of the Colts’ and Patriots’ superstar quarterbacks based on some very important, non-football related, categories. When comparing Spencer and I in the same categories, here is how we stack up:
Who is funnier? This is debatable depending on the audience; we have very different personalities and senses of humor. However, I’d have to say Spencer is more of a “natural clown.”
Who is smarter? Spencer may be naturally smarter, but I have always been a more dedicated student. If we’re measuring based on grades alone, which in my mind seems fair, I win.
Who is more attractive? I’ll go ahead and say we’re tied, just to avoid conflict.
Who is a better football player? Spencer. I have no idea if I’m any good at football, but I’d be willing to bet I am not…and besides, he’s just plain more athletic.
A big thanks to my little brother, Spencer, who took some time out of his busy sporting/frating/partying with a side of studying lifestyle up at Syracuse University (Go Orange!), to write out the basics of football in a simple and straightforward way (including a diagram!). His explanation has been a big aid to me, and will hopefully help all those looking to learn the ins and outs of football along with me! Check out Spencer’s explanation of the basics of football on the post below!
Spencer and I have always had a bit of a friendly sibling rivalry. He’s 3 years younger than me and we are polar opposites in almost every way except for our undying love and obsession with our beautiful chocolate lab, Lucy. Sure I have the natural ability to “athletically” hunt down a designer deal, but he got the natural ability to skate on ice as easily as he walks down the street. Yes I was born with big brown eyes, but he was blessed with sparkling blue eyes that I will always be insanely jealous of. He has the ability to sleep till 3 PM in the afternoon, and I was cursed with early morning riser syndrome. I’m extremely punctual and he is extremely carefree.
This weekend our sibling rivalry is coming to a head. His big sister is finally showing interest in an area that has always been classified as “his,” and he better watch out, this Sunday his favorite team the Colts, play my team the Patriots…who will win this round of our 20 year rivalry?? Predictions coming soon!
With all the hype leading up to Sunday night’s Patriots/Steelers game, I expected the match-up to be the football version of a Disney Good vs. Evil duel to the death. Simba (Brady) vs. Scar (Roethlisberger), with Scar’s pack of minion Hyenas (the Steelers’ players) cackling as they physically intimidated the rest of the Serengeti animals (the Patriots’ players) and beautiful Nala (Gisele of course) looking on from the sidelines…you get my gist. I really did expect the game to be more like the Jets/Browns game: evenly matched in points throughout, constantly on the edge of my seat with unease at who would come out victorious just by a nose, only to be able to breathe a sigh of relief in the last seconds of the game. Despite the Patriots sitting pretty comfortably in the lead for the whole game, it was still extremely exciting; it’s really just fun to watch the team you support dominate a game that could have easily gone either way and there was definitely still the sense that the big hulking angry Steelers could come back at any moment (though they couldn’t seem to complete many passes and certainly seemed to be off their game). For me personally, the play of the game was when Sanders perfectly picked up a deflected pass and jolted down the field to score a touchdown; it was awesome. The Patriots’ victory was a great note for me to start my football fan-ship on!
Game-watching atmosphere evaluation:
I watched all day Sunday from the comfort of my own apartment. While these were much better conditions for paying attention to the game than the bar on Thursday night, it was a longgg day of football, and I was watching with a group of girls (not all of whom are football fans). By the time the Patriots game rolled around at 8:30 PM or so, some of the group was losing steam. Cosmo magazines came out, the discussions turned to very non-football related topics, and at times I might as well have been in a bar it was so loud in my little apartment. But we had a lot of fun, and for me at least, watching the game was a big part of that.
I went to sleep last night in a seriously uncomfortable, but happy food coma. New favorite beer/game-watching beer of choice: Trader Joe’s Bavarian Style Hefeweizen unfiltered wheat beer, it is delicious.
All in all, the day was a huge success. Next up, the Colts, time to do some digging on them. Now, Gisele, can’t you convince Tom to get a haircut? He’s starting to look creepy.
I woke up this morning with a sense of anticipation and excitement. I washed up, straightened up the apartment, pulled on my Sunday “uniform:” spandex, American Apparel tee and hoodie, grabbed my Marc Jacobs purse, and jogged out the door to pick up snacks for tonight. A few friends/supporters of mine are coming over for the Pats game and supplying snacks for the occasion is a must. Just as popcorn or candy are essentials when going to the movies, salty treats to nosh on are a non-negotiable when watching football. What’s on the menu for tonight? I picked up a variety pack of Harpoon beers, Tostitos scoops, HOT salsa, popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels, carrots and hummus (sometimes a girl wants to have something healthy too!), and then I made brownies!
Just finished watching the Jets/Browns game and poor Rob Ryan, I know what a little sibling rivalry feels like…he’ll definitely be sulking about the loss to Rex for a bit, but yay Jets! Definitely was excited to see a NY team beat the team that beat my new team last week! Their exciting last minute victory pumped me up to watch the Patriots beat the Steelers (knock on wood)!
Welcome to the weekend everyone! When Saturday rolls around I usually have a semi-difficult time figuring out how to spend my days. My first instinct is to be a couch potato and lay around all day now that it’s finally the weekend and I can. My second instinct is to go shopping, and my third instinct is to get out into Boston, explore, and do something a bit more cultural, for example go to a museum.
Today, I was leaning heavily towards shopping and it dawned on me, if I am going to be a football fan, I will need to look the part. I decided to spend some time shopping online for jerseys and my master online shopping skills soon led me to a realization; the NFL has actually acknowledged its female fans and their love of shopping with women.nfl.com. I just assumed I’d be browsing online for a children’s size jersey due to being the height of a 12-year-old, but I was pleasantly surprised; clearly there is a large enough demographic of “us” out there that the NFL was inspired to cater to our non-football related needs, that still work in their profit margin favor.
While it turns out that women’s sports apparel is no new concept, the NFL’s new line of clothing for women has completely changed the game for female fans because it’s actually stuff we’d wear…how did no one come up with that little bit of rocket science earlier? The old method of developing sportswear for women was “shrink it and pink it;” no thanks, just because I am a girl, does not mean I like pink, and I don’t. It makes sense that this would no longer fly, turns out women make up 44% of NFL fans…44 PERCENT, that’s way higher than I would have guessed; watch out boys! While I can’t say I’m a fan of every single option in their Neiman Marcus-esque online “Look Book,” I’d definitely invest in some of their pieces. Living in Boston, I’ve seen a lot of bad sportswear on men and women, and to be honest, I’d never wear a bright pink Red Sox shirt it looks tacky. The teams have colors for a reason, stick to them, which is what the NFL’s line does and they definitely took a hint from American Apparel and made more feminine cuts and washes.
In their Look Book, I also noticed little bios included with each model, well actually they aren’t models, they are wives of players, female football fans, etc. Each bio focuses on how they are strong, healthy women, who love football, but also have a girly side and make their sportswear more feminine with heels, belts, jewelry, and other accessories. A week ago when my TV/online/magazine choices focused on celeb gossip, the majority of the women I read about were the Lindsay Lohan types who do anything but depict what a healthy role model should look like, as these women seem to do. Maybe young girls, even the ones who don’t like sports, could use a little NFL in their lives. I also have to give credit where credit is due; their tag lines are pretty clever. They include: “love your team without looking like you’re on it,” (sounds good, I’m not finding a man if I look like a linebacker) “now show off your colors and your shape,” (with strong women as models and tag lines like this, good job NFL, whether it was on purpose or not (it definitely was), you are also endorsing real women and I definitely support that) and “who says football isn’t pretty?” See world, women can still be girly, pretty, and like football, the NFL said so, and they are the experts after all.
I decided to purchase a Patriots Tee. It looks soft and distressed in the perfect comfy Sunday game day kind of way.
Which are your faves on women.nfl.com ? And just in case you were wondering, this post was not sponsored by women.nfl.com.
I’ve had a handful of girlfriends express their interest in learning about football along with me and as the first week of my mission comes to a close, what have I actually been doing to further my football knowledge you may ask? Well, for one thing, I bought a Sports Illustrated yesterday instead of an US Weekly and I’ve been watching ESPN every morning while pulling on my vintage Ferragamo boots. But in all seriousness, lots and lots of reading! I feel like I’m in college again, ah, the golden years…too soon?? It really has been a nice change from the usual celeb gossip.
Please send suggestions on other outlets I should be employing! Any good sports blogs I should be following? Websites? I’d love your thoughts! Also, thank you to everyone who has given feedback so far, I really appreciate the enthusiasm!
With both the Bruins and Celtics playing last night, Boston had its priorities, and the NFL was not one of them. Due to this fact, every bar was unfortunately only playing the Ravens/Falcons game on mute, and for a girl who less than a week ago would have laughed at the thought of leaving her warm, cozy apartment, filled with free snacks and drinks, to go to a bar for the sole purpose of watching football…my newbie knowledge and attention span were seriously put to the test.
Karen, Mona and I were lucky enough to score some prime seats in front of a huge, seriously sensory-overloading, and possibly seizure-inducing, 4 monitor wall at Game On in Fenway. We each ordered Harpoon White Ales and their “big nachos”…none of us were actually hungry, but I felt very strongly about having the full game-night experience, and let me tell you, not one cheesy chip survived (mmmm). The minor fact that the game was on mute, not to mention my distraction due to the good company, yummy nachos, my mild buzz, and the other games being flashed in my face, honestly did present a problem. However, when I was actually watching and paying attention to the field, it was fun. In fact, it was really fun. Even without sound I knew who had possession of the ball and what “1st and 10” meant for the first time ever. Definitely a personal victory! Though I had to verify some rules and have a few questions answered, I had a pretty good idea about what was going on, and my theory about sports bringing people together was certainly verified; not once did I wish I was at home on my couch being antisocial with my “friends” Michael Scott and Liz Lemon.
I won’t lie to you, we did head out at halftime (it was a work night after all, and Karen and I had very important publishing-related things to do in the morning). Not much had happened thus far and we were fearing the worst for the Ravens. Of course the game got interesting after we left, with the Ravens rallying for a 21-20 lead in the final minute of the game, only to see their efforts negated by a follow-up Falcon winning touchdown a few plays later. I feel like that always happens when you decide to give up on watching.
Sunday night, with the volume on my television up high, I’m in from start to finish. I am surprisingly very confident that with the volume, minimal distractions, and sportscaster commentary, I will have an easy time dedicating myself to watching the whole game. I am still predicting a Patriots victory. They are definitely going to be motivated to make up for last week and according to some ESPN newscasters, the Belichick/Brady team is not one for losing two weeks in a row. On a side note, the Steelers scare me. Maybe it’s the ominous black and gold uniforms, or the fact that QB Ben Roethlisberger is terrifying for multiple reasons…but I’m really hoping the Patriots hit them where it hurts, and according to the article I read this morning, that would be Roethlisberger’s blind side.
Goal for today: Look at a diagram of the players/positions and learn more in depth about what each position is responsible for…and have a peek at who plays each position, their strengths and weaknesses, if they’re hot or not, important things like that.
Since the time my mother deemed me old enough to stay up past 8 PM, Thursday nights have been a very special TV night for me. It all started with the classic Thursday night lineup, Seinfeld, Friends, and ER, and now Community, Parks and Recreation (whoever chose to make it a mid-season replacement show this year must be on something, it is one of the funniest shows on TV), The Office, and 30 Rock. However, this week I was prepared to resist the urge to watch my fave funny men and women, save them for Saturday morning Hulu in bed, and tune in to the Ravens vs. Falcons game. Little did I know, Thursday night games are only available for home viewing to those who subscribe to the NFL network…I’m definitely not at that point yet. After learning of this exclusivity, I was disappointed; I was actually excited to watch my first game and see if my week’s research had paid off. Though I had previously said I was going to work my way up to a sports bar, this new development is forcing me to “get out there” quicker than anticipated. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m jumping from point A to point C, and tonight I’m venturing out with my friend, co-worker, and project-supporter, Karen (follow TrainWrite on Tumblr!) to Boston Beer Works, a sports bar in Fenway aka the heart of Boston sports; I’m definitely hoping to encounter some rowdy, hardcore fans and observe them in their natural habitat! While I’m excited to drink some beer and indulge in game-time snacks, I’m a bit nervous at the prospect of anyone engaging me in football-related conversation this early in my studies. Last night, I decided to inquire about my date’s views on girls who are “into” football. While he gives “credit” to girls who make an effort to understand football, he finds it annoying, instead of alluring, when a girl is clearly pretending to know what she is talking about. At this point, while I am giving it my best shot (quick shout out to the daily Bleacher Report Newsletters: you have quickly become an asset to my education) I can’t say I’m not still “pretending” to know what I’m talking about. Wish me luck!! And for tonight at least, go Ravens!
“Men are clinging to football on a level we aren’t even aware of. For centuries, we ruled everything, and now, in the last ten minutes, there are all these incursions by women. It’s our Alamo.”—Tony Kornheiser
To begin, let’s recap my baseline knowledge. Let’s see, Reggie Bush plays for the New Orleans Saints (Thank you, Keeping up with the Kardashians!), Tom Brady is quarterback for the New England Patriots (US Weekly, you do a superb job of stalking Tom and Gisele) and Lamar Odom…oh wait, he doesn’t play football right? With my knowledge based almost solely off of trashy magazines and reality TV stars who have a pension for dating athletes, I needed a new point from which to start learning the ins and outs of football and with 32 teams and 1,696 players, where does one start? My first key piece of advice: pick your team.
Being a New Yorker in Boston, I knew my own personal draft could go one of two ways. I could either be the feisty New Yorker who hates all New England teams, or I could be the exception, the New York traitor. I’d like to take this time to formally apologize to my family and the state of New York. While you will always mean so much to me, Boston is my new home, and I feel the need to fully embrace it. Also, I have noticed that there is a certain level of respect and intrigue that comes with being a New Yorker who is a New England fan…guys actually seem to respond positively to it, unless of course they are from New York…
In response to becoming a traitor, my friend threatened that she wouldn’t help me. “They are the most hated team in football!” She says, but I’m OK with it, I need to start somewhere and you never know, after I become a more informed individual, football wise, I might find that I share everyone’s hatred of the Patriots. But in the mean time, “Hello, my name is Jenna, and I am a Patriots fan” and as a side note, hellooo Tom Brady you are one good looking guy.
My “to do” list for the week:
1) Wake up to ESPN each morning instead of my go-to Saved by the Bell re-runs (I have to face facts anyway, Zack Morris is not my future husband)
2) Continue to follow all sports related tweets, websites etc.
3) Enlist more help from friends and family- My little brother and dad are each sending emails my way with all of their knowledge, thanks guys!
4) Prepare for my first football Sunday!
I’ll be watching The Patriots vs. The Steelers of course (predicted win: Patriots, from my research they look pretty evenly matched, and hopefully the Patriots will be fired up to win after the embarrassment of last week’s loss…though of course I could be completely wrong).
I think I might have to watch at home this week and work my way up to venturing out to the sports bar down Harvard Street…any suggestions for the perfect game day snack?
Hello, Fumbling Forward readers! I’m Jenna, and I’m a recently single, 23 year old girly girl who just moved to Boston after living her entire life in various parts of New York. Lately I’ve noticed a shift in those around me: girlfriends of mine who had never shown any interest in sports can speak knowledgeably about football teams and their players; my co-workers come together to discuss their fantasy football leagues; on dates, I’m asked, “do you follow sports?” Suddenly, football seems to be on everyone else’s radar, and now, for the first time, is on mine. I find myself realizing that sports can be more than just entertainment, or a game; sports are a social unifier, a topic of conversation that can engage two completely different people with nothing in common for hours on end.
The only problem? To me, football=quantum physics; it has never made any sense, or maybe I’ve just never cared enough to take the time to make sense of it. I could argue your ear off about the best frozen yogurt flavors, or the most impressive song from last week’s Glee episode, but sports?
So, this is my mission: With the help of my family, friends, and lots of game watching and researching, I am going to learn everything I can about football and transform myself from someone who didn’t even know the rules of the game, to someone who can speak confidently about the specifics. I’ll be honest, though, while my motivations to “understand” the allure of sports and learn about the teams and players are legitimate, I have ulterior motives as well…men. Let’s face it, girls who can hold a conversation about sports are impressive in the eyes of the opposite sex, and I wouldn’t mind if my new-found knowledge serves me well in the future by impressing potential suitors (I think my not-so-secret talent for belching may even come in handy at times). So, my web-browser’s history, filled with the likes of Perez Hilton and E! Online, will now transform into bookmarked favorites like ESPN and NFL.com. While I am overwhelmed by the breadth of information I am going to have to master, I’m excited to understand what so many are passionate about, and in turn see how my knowledge impacts my interactions with others. Call it a social experiment.