Monday, August 22, 2005

I Decide to Become a Rabid Football Fan

As I had several spare hours this week, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and investigate this mysterious phenomenon called "football".

My old friend Kosh (a.k.a., Ms. Beaverhausen) undertook the finer points of my education, tsk tsking quite frequently over my apparently alarming ignorance.

One must dress in team colors from head to toe, and face paint is frequently used to add a certain je ne sais quois to any dedicated fan. Also undescribable in their unique design are the logo-emblazoned accessories available at kiosks standing every five feet or so. For women, team logo earrings are de rigueur, as well as logo hair scrunchies and logo purses. Women may also wear team logo bandanas, but only if they are worn as microscopic tube tops paired with hot pants. For men, an oversized team jersy is a must, as well as a very large cup of Budweiser; if a team jersey is unavailable, the pregnant look is also very popular. For the very adventurous, a pirate costume will never go out of style.

I discovered that fans are not allowed to park less than five miles from the stadium unless they are driving A.) a Hummer, B.) an oversized pickup truck, C.) an Incredibly Large SUV, or D.) a Recreational Vehicle covered in Buccaneer flags. This restriction may occasionally be circumvented by crying or offering bribes to the uncheerful parking attendant, who will force you to park in a giant mud pit.

As this was my first lesson, it was decided that my initial foray into this mysterious art would be quite basic: we sipped a nicely chilled wine from glasses emblazoned with the Buccaneer team logo and nibbled delicately on fresh fruit, an array of charming cheeses, prosciutto, antipasto, crackers and roasted portabello mushrooms. Generally, one nibbles on fresh lobster or steak and champagne, but pre-season games are just a teensy bit more casual. Although it is considered more traditional to dine on burgers, it is also slightly less "fashion-forward".

Pre-Game Display
A gigantically rippling American flag was toted onto the field by hundreds of volunteers as thousands of fans hummed the National Anthem off-key. An equally gigantic Tampa Bay Buccaneers flag was also dragged onto the field, and all the players flitted merrily through a grunting gauntlet of their fellow players. It was really quite festive.

The Game
While much pre-game posturing was undertaken to symbolize centuries of raping and pillaging, the players were quite smoothly organized and strategic in their play. As soon as someone touched the ball, all play halted and a committee meeting was immediately held to discuss the matter. Frequently, someone would shove the ball at someone else, and then they would hold another committee meeting to discuss that. If someone tackled someone else, then they would hold a committee meeting to mull that one over as well. From what Kosh told me, there was a lot of snappng and sacking going on with all the linebacks, quarterbacks, halfbacks, defensive backs, offensive backs and bad backs-- but it mainly seemed to be a lot of committee meetings. However, one could tell that these were quite strategic, as there was quite a bit of thoughtful ball scratching and butt patting going on.

Halftime During halftime (did you know that football has absolutely no innings?), all the cheerleaders started romping on the field, doing the latest pole dances and blinding fans with their big white teeth and glittery pom poms. Later, the Association For the Future Bimbos of America (composed mainly of five year olds) joined them in a rousing, gyrating rendition of "I Want Your Candy".

*** Tips For the New Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fan ***
1. Don't be too disappointed at the absence of fist fights among the stands. While these are generally acknowledged to be the most exciting part of any game, they are frequently absent from pre-season games, as well as games lacking intense rivalries..

2. Don't joke too loudly about the stadium being so pink due to the red bleacher seats being bleached by the sun. People are very sensitive about football's homoeroticism.

3. When the National Anthem is sung, hum along patriotically and wave your Budweiser in the air. It is considered quite festive to splash the other fans.

4. Scream obscenities at the opposing team and the referee whenever possible.

5. All litter must be left on the stadium floor and seats.


Blogger dreamgurl said...

As you continue to journey down the path to becoming a rabid football fan, you must also learn some of the appropriate post-game behavior. All which depends on whether your team wins or loses.
Example: If your team loses (and watching game from home) begin to cuss, turn red, throw beer, and flip coffee table over.*
*Behavior once exhibited by my husband, an admitted rabid college football fan.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Rainypete said...

Our local team couldn't do worse if they hadn't shown up!! No seriously, they may have done better if they skipped a game or two. At least the tailgate parties are good.

3:12 AM  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

Ah, you're talking about American Football. A curious game in which ball and foot very rarely come into contact. Shouldn't it be called "Throwball" or perhaps "Padded Throwball"? (as - unlike rugby players - American football players don't appear capable of absorbing a tackle unless they wear their own bodyweight in padding).

There's another sport called "Football". Unlike Padded Throwball, however, it's played competitively by every nation on the planet. I believe you call it "soccer" in the US? And only "moms" are allowed play? Or something?

11:41 AM  
Blogger L said...

dreamgurl: thanks for the tip :)

rainypete: the tailgating was definitely my favorite part!

Jim: I think our version of football could be improved by adding some sort of weaponry and loincloths

10:10 PM  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

I think our version of football could be improved by adding some sort of weaponry and loincloths

I think all sports could be improved that way. In fact, behind the scenes, I actively lobby for repressive legislation to ensure that occurs. I'm not promising anything, and I really can't say much as negotiations are at a crucial point, but let's just say the 2012 Olympics could be very interesting indeed.

Also... what's with the drug-bans? We allow athletes to spend their entire lives - every waking moment - training to do one thing very very well, we put them on bizarre and extreme diet, excercise and sleep regimes... but we don't allow steroids because they're unnatural? I ask you!

Once we've sorted out the weaponry and attire it'll be top priority to not only scrap the ban on steroids but actually make them compulsory. Give huge grants to pharmaceutical companies to develop radical new performance enhancers. Let's see how high a person can really jump.

8:53 PM  
Blogger L said...

Jim Bliss: Sir, I like the way you think

10:51 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

Wow, we are so much more docile in Texas, we only eat barbecue at the tailgate,drink beer, and heaven forbid should we ever find ourselves sitting on pink seats. Glad you have come to the light and joined the ranks of rabid football fans.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...

And I thought it was we Texans that were the obessive football connoisseurs. It is quite the experience, isn't it?

8:14 PM  
Anonymous rhodent said...

wow! That does look like you!!!!

8:15 PM  
Anonymous jpr said...

You did mention yelling but I dont think you gave it the attention that it deserves. After all, the best part about football is trash talking and yelling at the top of your lungs until you are mute. The beer is just to get the vocal cords warmed up and the creative trash talking juices flowing. Oh yeah, and to get you drunk...that too.

8:15 PM  
Blogger L said...

mark: I did have a good time, although I was rather perplexed by certain things... and the pink seats were very amusing

Carol: yes it is!

Rhodent: but I'm CUTER

jpr: hmmmm.... "Kosh" did neglect that part of my education

8:15 PM  
Anonymous comfort addict said...

That's a riot! As a closet football fan (who then hates himself for being one), a lot of that sounds familiar; I am quite amused at the difference between tailgating fare in Tampa and Detroit. After having observed all of the "committee meetings," now you know why corporate America uses so many football metaphors. It is practically the same (except the ball scratching).

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Kosh said...

I tried to get in a few good rounds DEEE-FEENCE! and "You suck REF!", but my yelling game is a little out of practice. I'll be better by the next game, if you're still up for it!

Go Bucs!

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Anigans said...

i have childhood trauma associated with the pigskin, a mud pit, gravity and 300 lbs of inertia.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous happy and blue said...

That was just so funny. Good one..

8:16 PM  
Blogger L said...

comfort addict: you know, you're right! corporatespeak DOES employ a lot of football metaphors

kosh: sure!

mr. anigans: was it worse than dodgeball?

Happy&Blue: thank you :)

8:17 PM  

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