My dad is one of the hardest working men, even in retirement, that I have ever known. When he was not “working,” he was working, in that for all of my life he was a Do-er. He did not sit, did not relax, did not take naps, did not really watch television, or have hobbies or recreational interests of any sort. He used to say that “moving things appeals to me” when he was talking about using his Kubota to move big piles of dirt of mulch, or ridiculously heavy or large objects, so if one could say moving things and working in the yard and in the garage and building things and fixing things were “recreational” then those were and still are his hobbies. He never, not once ever as far as I know, or ever witnessed, sat down on the sofa or a chair, on a Sunday, and watched football.
…SO, in September of 2012, despite my having been a cheerleader for all of my youth, I watched my very first televised football game. Never in my dating history did I date a boy who followed professional sports, and in all of my retail history I always worked weekends, so the term “football Sunday” was meaningless to me. That fall I had been dating my boyfriend just since July, so when he went to the liquor store at 11 am for “Eagles juice” I had my first experience with Sunday late morning bloody Mary’s while waiting for a football game to start. That first season for me was new in many ways; having people to my house to eat and yell while we all watched the television, instead of working in the yard or around the house or “doing” something productive, was completely anathema to me.
I had a difficult time understanding and following the game, and I asked what were perhaps stupid questions. I watched as the back-up quarterback Nick Foles came in and blew us all away with his amazing first season and record making skills after the starting QB Michael Vick was injured…and because I am an attentive person, and I am also an over-achiever and always want to earn an “A,” I paid careful attention…last year, my second season, I was much more cognizant of the game, the rules, the plays, the skills, the strategies, and the players. I still had many football gatherings and often was preparing food and playing hostess more than I was watching, but I was still learning and paying attention.
THIS season, my 3rd season as a person who watches & follows football, I watched as “our” quarterback fell to the ground in wincing pain two games ago against Houston, and knew not only who the quarterback was who was about to fill in for the rest of the game, and now we know the rest of the season, but I also knew from what team Mark Sanchez had come to be an Eagle this year. I said to my boyfriend, a game or two ago how much I adore watching Darren Sproles, how he makes me think of a video game character, the way he zigs and zags and zips and so fast and so skillfully when he runs (I paid attention in the spring and knew from which team he came too)…I understand the rules better and I understand the plays better and I notice details that were lost to me last year and positively invisible to me the year before. I am now a woman who owns both an Eagles t-shirt and a hat. I am a person who no longer flips the channel when I watch the Philadelphia evening news and the sports segment starts. I may not have been raised in a house where sports were watched or followed, and I may only be on my third season, but my house is now, on most Sundays, a place where -Eagles green- is the color of the day.