The Day I Understood Football Fans

My biggest football-related boast used to be that I knew what a fair catch was. I don’t pretend to know very much about the sport, but occasionally a guy will point something out in an effort to explain it to me. Hence, why I know what a fair catch looks like. For the longest time, I would just yell out “fair catch!” because it made me sound like I knew what I was talking about.

That’s the thing about football. There are so many moving parts and rules. I can watch baseball (and enjoy it live) because it’s pretty straightforward. Runs = points. One at a time. There are no downs or anything to worry about.

Plus, I come from a really fun baseball town (St. Louis) so that helps. But I readily admit that I pay more attention at playoff time than throughout the season, you know, unless I’m at a game.

Game 6 this season? I was jumping around my favorite neighborhood bar (in LA) and screaming and loving every minute of it. Things were exciting and it was “my” team. I was wearing my Cardinals tank and everything. (Fair-weather fan alert!)

The comebacks and constant not-knowing of who was going to win the game right there at the end was riveting to me. And everybody else.

Fast forward to yesterday. I’m in Vegas. My friend J and I have had a little fun rivalry re Tim Tebow in which I (completely lacking any football stats except for the fact that he brought some excitement to some games) took Tebow’s side.

So there I was making my first bet at a Vegas sports book. A flip of the coin told me that not only did I want the Broncos to win, but I wanted them to take the over. Whatever that means. I know it’s something to do with number of points. I had faith in Tebow. Ten dollars worth.

We’ll get to that later.

First up was the 49ers game. I was with a group of 49ers fans. We started watching it at the sports book which was super exciting. I love being with a group of people all focused and excited about one thing. Usually that one thing is fireworks, but yesterday, this worked too.

Side note, every time I saw a Denver fan, I would say TEBOW! Unfortunately, one time the guy was actually a Bengals fan…but I contend that Orange and Black and Orange and Navy Blue look very similar. Meanwhile, I was wearing my distressed NFL-shield t-shirt. The shirt works out because no matter who I’m dating, I’m always rooting for their team.

So I don’t think I have to say how exciting the 49ers game was. My favorite part was those last two minutes when the players would high-five each other thinking they had it in the bag only for the other team to come back and score. In fact, much of the game kept my attention, except for some of the third quarter when I read The Paris Wife instead. (Hey, it’s not like I’m completely different person!)

So the 49ers win and it’s super exciting and my friends win money. Woo hoo!

Then the Broncos/Patriots game starts. I met up with my cousins at my favorite Vegas restaurant (Firefly) and watched the game from afar. Even from there I could see that Denver only had seven points for a long time. Too long. It wasn’t looking good. Luckily the food was amazing and I had a pitcher of sangria to drown my sorrows.

But I didn’t really have that many sorrows to drown, because um, did someone forget to tell the Broncos they had a game? They beat the Steelers in that amazing way last week only to perform (or not perform as it was) like they did this week? Boo.

That’s usually what the Cardinals do in post-season. (See? Fair-weather.)
Also any mention of the Cardinals is the StL Cardinals (baseball)…All I know about the football Cardinals is that that’s where Kurt Warner went after the Rams…right?

Long story short – too late – if all games could be like yesterday’s 49ers festival of excitement, I would watch many more. I totally get it now. “It” being sports and people’s obsessions with it.

Until I figure out a team I want to root for long-term, I’ll continue to cheer on the underdogs and the cute guys and the good stories.

I just might not put a bet down without more information.

Who are we kidding? I’m the girl who bets on horses based on their names and/or jersey colors. I also enjoy fun Superbowl bets. Like the dollar grid one and the “what color will the Gatorade be?” one. After all, it’s the long shots that reap the biggest rewards.

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