Tossing the old pigskin
Sometimes we fail to defy stereotypes. I’m a gay man who enjoys live theatre, particularly musical theatre. I own a lot of purple clothes. I grow flowers. I cry at weddings (and some commercials, certain songs, et cetera). I love to dance.
And I’m a football fan.
I’m a football fan whose spouse really dislikes the sport.
My being a football fan surprises people, particularly after reading about the horrible “why don’t you play football” incident in eighth grade, and other things I’ve written about football culture. Well, my relationship with football is complicated.
Most of my childhood memories of football involve trying not to annoy my dad while he was watching his games. I remember once or twice asking him questions while he was watching a game, because I didn’t understand what was going on on the field, but he told me to stop interrupting him. In years since people have expressed surprise that a football-loving father wouldn’t teach his son the game. It’s entirely possible that he tried when I was younger, and I hadn’t been interested. Our relationship was rocky since before I can remember, so who knows?
The upshot was that I didn’t really understand the game. Being in band I had to attend games and we would march at halftime, but it wasn’t until my junior or possibly senior year that some friends sat me down and explained the game. Then I started enjoying it.
While I was attending community college and living with my maternal grandparents, I started watching college football with my grandpa on Saturdays. Then on most Sundays I would watch the Seahawks with friends.
I continued watching the Seahawks fairly regularly until Ray and I moved in together. Ray couldn’t stand football, so I only watched it occasionally while he was alive. Not long after I started dating Michael, he admitted he didn’t much care for the game, either (for instance, last week when I mentioned that kick-off was in 25 minutes, he sighed, rolled his eyes, and asked, “Is that some sports thing?”).
For many years it was easy to fall out of the habit of watching football. I would still occasionally talk about games with a few people. I would skim the news for information.
A few years ago, I wound up watching a play-off game, and I quite enjoyed it. I’m still not a hardcore fan, and we often have plans for Sundays. Fortunately, between TiVo and the ‘net, I can catch games I miss.
I’m still not a hardcore fan, but my TiVo is programmed to record games by my favorite team, just like last year.
See you at kickoff!