6 Things I’m Trying To Understand About Football

Last week I announced that I was becoming a sports fan for love. I take my commitments very seriously, people. This Sunday, I broke out a bottle of wine (beer’s not really my thing), got the chips and guacamole spread ready and parked my ass on my boyfriend’s couch to watch the Giants and the Cowboys play the first Sunday night NFL game of the season. Like, I actually watched the game and paid attention for the first time ever! No sports blindness! I even took notes and asked so, so many questions so I could understand. What can I say? I was that kid in class who always raised my hand. I like to understand things. Here are some thoughts, feelings and concerns from my very first football game.

1. The theme song. I was shocked to discover that Sunday Night Football has a theme song and it’s sung by Carrie Underwood. I had a number of reactions to this. First of all, why does football need a theme song? I wasn’t able to get a good answer to that question from my dude, but I’m still curious. Carrie Underwood must have gotten paid a fortune to sing it. That aside, was it just me or is this theme song a vague ripoff of “I Hate Myself For Loving You” by Joan Jett? Is it supposed to be? I need to know these things.

2. The arm journal. Tony Romo was wearing an arm band that opens up to expose a little notebook of his plays. My BF told me that not all quarterbacks wear one, but Romo usually rocks an arm journal. So do some QBs memorize the plays and others don’t? Is it a matter of intelligence? Does it affect performance? More importantly, I was thinking they should be available to all of us. I want to start wearing a journal on my arm. It could look like a fashionable cuff, but open up and have my daily schedule on it or a place to jot down “to-dos” or ideas. So brilliant.

3. Forward tucks. Some of these players can do a standing forward tuck. Especially when they are trying to jump the down line (I think that’s what it’s called). I did gymnastics for, like, five years, and I could only do a forward tuck on the trampoline and I weighed under 100 pounds. With the sheer mass of these men, I’m just wondering how they can do this without splitting their heads open. Very impressive.

Hut Position
4. Hut position. This is just so homoerotic it hurts. There were many homoerotic moments on the field — tackling, pileups, ass slapping — but during the hut, a man is literally in position to mount another man’s ass. It doesn’t bother me in the least — I enjoyed it, actually — but I’m wondering how that position came to be.

5. The math. One thing I didn’t know was how much math would be required of me to follow a football game. First down and 14?! Every play is like a fucking equation, which is confusing, especially when you’ve gotten about halfway through your bottle of wine. It felt like word problems all over again. If Eli Manning gets tackled behind the scrimmage line and loses four yards on the first down, what down number and yardage does he need to score another first down? Argh! I don’t know, give me more guacamole.

6. The dancers. I’m sure that people like looking at scantily clad women dancing during a football game, but let’s be honest, they seem like kind of an afterthought. When the ball went out of bounds and they players started to fight, the Dallas Cowboys dancers had to move out of the way so they didn’t get stampeded. I felt sorry for them. I was kind of like, you don’t belong here.

[Photo from Shutterstock]