Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Are you ready for some football....

This month Jess and I have joined several friends in anchoring a weekly touch football game in a nearby park. After some serious cajoling Jess decided to attend three weeks ago, and is hooked. We've recruited Ann and Chris our former co-worker. All in all it's an awfully fun group. The games tend to be largely silly with the "get open and catch it" offense tending to dominate. I'm not sure if we're running the West Coast version of that offense or not. Given the loose resemblance to football formations that we sometimes (rarely) achieve it's hard to give official names to the arrangements. One formation used by Chris, Ann, Jess and I to great ends was the "Big I." The formation consists of the quarterback, and three backs directly behind him or her. From that formation we had all kinds of strange motion plays, described by a defender as looking like Moses parting the Red Sea. In the end, no matter the play we draw up, the best offense comes down to throwing toward people who are uncovered, and expecting them to catch the ball. A pretty simple offense, but honestly far less satisfying than a very complex play. So I've been thinking, in my spare time of random football plays. I've regressed to age 10 when I played Madden 1 and reveled in the fact that you could make up your own plays and then watch them run by your pixelated gridiron titans. That last sentence is much better if you imagine it read by the voice of NFL films, and if you imagine the little video guys moving in super slow motion.

One result of the game has been a rise in Jess' interest in football. She eagerly and of her own volition suggested we watch last week's playoff games. Both she and I rooted for the Saints and wished specific ills upon the Bears. Midway through the game Jess was getting frustrated and even a little upset. I explained that being a fan means, paying attention and cheering victories, and enduring the inevitable disappointment. Her response was perfect, "I don't like the second part." And that encapsulates what makes being a fan of any team hard, knowing that around every joyous corner is a sucker punch. I guess maybe I have a more jaded view having grown up a Brown's fan, and watching countless John Cooper led Buckeye teams fail against Michigan or some lowly-happy-to-be-here bowl opponent.

But the game galvanized Jess. We're both rooting against the Bears. And while I know this could have been the fans of any team, seeing this banner makes me particularly eager to watch the Bears fail. One final reason I relish the defeat of the Bears, Rex Grossman is a stereotype of the dumb frat jock. He's like a charicature of that idea. It's not that he's terrible, though that's debatable. It's that he's dumb. He called a timeout illegally last week. He talks to the press as though his sentences and ideas are being constructed by a team of monkeys using only magnetic poetry. I mean we're talking dumb. Like bag of Quikcrete dumb. Like three evolutionary generations past speech dumb. We're talking about a man for whom the admonition, "Don't forget to breathe" represents sound and necessary medical counsel.

So this week, without big boy football, Jess and I will have to get our fill from touchfootball. Should be a good time. I tried to remember to take photos last week, but I was playing all the time (we had even numbers). And honestly taking photos of others is way less fun being the subject of photographs. Here's hoping I get a chance to do both this weekend.

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