Saturday, May 2, 2009

Why I (Really Really) Hate Football

I hate Sports. I hate Sports a lot. I've even given Sports multiple chances to prove themselves, but so far I've been pretty disappointed, with the sole exception of Baseball. Extending an olive branch, Baseball offered me $2 beers and gratuitous fireworks on warm summer evenings during my Season of Voluntary Unemployment, and for that I remain grateful. Thanks for the memories, Baseball, or rather, the lack thereof (see: $2 beers).

I suppose it wasn't entirely fair of me to hold a grudge against Baseball, but the alternative was holding a grudge against my grandparents, so Baseball just had to take one for the team, so to speak. You see, when I was a leetle Jeannie, my parents and I lived with my grandparents, in the mostly finished basement of their ranch-style house.

(What? If your dad was a musician, and not the orchestra kind, the tortured lead guitarist kind, you probably lived in your grandparents' basement too.)

My bedroom was located directly and unfortunately beneath my grandparents' living room. The living room was their sanctuary, the television the heart of their home. It was a fairly large set for the time (mid- to late 80's, I think), and it routinely beamed the Braves game into their living room in pixels large enough for their aging eyes. I don't remember Nannaw and Pappaw having too many social friends, but I do remember another couple who never missed a game at our house, Buddy and Charlotte.

On game nights, my grandparents and their friends were transformed. Gone was the sluggishness caused by diabetes, digestive ailments, arthritis, and glaucoma, and in its place was the screaming, stomping, rabid, unadulterated rage that only a bad play taken personally can provoke.

Those same nights, I lay awake in my bed, listening as eight orthopedically shod feet stomped the floor in fury. DAMMIT, BLAUSER!!!!! they'd scream. GOD DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!! COME ON!!!!!

Loathing rankled in my underslept heart, because didn't they realize I had to be up at seven the next morning? Seven! Had they no idea how hard my life was? How could I be expected to stay on the honor roll under these sorts of living conditions? Why, it was child abuse, that's what it was!!

But I couldn't hate my grandparents, could I? Of course not. Not Nannaw who always gave me an oatmeal cream pie or a Starcrunch, whether I'd finished my dinner or not (although it was many years before I'd completely forgive her for repeatedly forcing my hair into sponge rollers in a relentless effort to make me resemble something she described as "ladylike"). Not Pappaw, who always patted me on the head, called me "Little Sweetie," and seemed to have an endless supply of Tootsie Rolls. And neither could I hold a grudge against Charlotte, whose curly hair looked not unlike that of my beloved Hugga Bunch doll, nor against Buddy who was the spitting image of Count von Count.

So Baseball had to take one for the team. Oh, Baseball, how I hate hate hated your guts, as well as those of your stooge Blauser, an incompetent muttonhead whose inadequacies so often prompted the outraged screaming that blasted through the floorboards and into my brain.

I suppose that in the many years that I did not live and attempt to sleep beneath my grandparent's living room, my hatred for Baseball dulled. The sleepless nights became nothing more than a memory, as we moved to our own house shortly before I turned eleven. As an adult, my attitude toward Baseball was fairly indifferent, albeit tinged with remnants of childhood loathing. In the past few years, however, Baseball has wooed me, and successfully so. It tantalized me with the promise of Other Things To Do when I tired of drinking at the pool, sweetening the deal with $5 tickets.

Okay, Baseball, I thought skeptically. I'll give you a chance. One chance.

Baseball met and even exceeded my expectations that by offering me a free shuttle that enabled me to drink as many of Baseball's $2 (TWO DOLLARS!) beers as I could afford. And because of the enormous quantity of affordable beers I had consumed, I slept beautifully that night. Baseball made its amends, and all is forgiven.

However, Baseball's thoughtful research into my personal interests (see: $2 beers & free ride) couldn't cure my hatred for Sports as a whole because of that sluggish bastard, Football.

Fuck you, Football. Get a fucking watch. I loathe tardiness in general, but Football just takes it to a whole 'nother level.

Why is it exactly that Football is allowed to turn ONE hour into THREE hours? What's so damn special about Football that it gets to, oh, I don't know, STOP TIME? I still don't know. All I know is that when I was a kid, Football routinely took advantage of my youthful naivete and at every opportunity, ruined my life.

Homework completed just in time, I'd often rush excitedly to the TV, eager to see what new feats of derring-do those Rescue Rangers might accomplish, or what zany predicament Huey, Duey, and Luey would get themselves into now. I'd inevitably switch on the set during a commercial break, and I'd wait patiently for the half-hour to arrive, and with it, animated bliss.

But no, what was this? It's four-thirty. Where are the Rescue Rangers? Where is Darkwing Duck? Duck Tales? No? What is this?!

Football, that's what. Fucking football.

Wincing in dispair, I'd glance at the little time clock in the corner of the screen. Oh, I'd think to myself. Well, there's only 38 minutes left, so it's just one show, maybe a little extra. I can wait! I wasn't selfish. I was willing to compromise. Football could have the TV for a little while.

Because there was an odd amount of time left on the clock, I expected that my show would start a little late, displaced by the end of the game. This too was okay, but of course I had to sit there holding vigil over the TV, lest I forget that my displaced show would begin at an odd time, causing me to miss a second show altogether.

And I'd wait. And wait. And wait. Thirty-eight actual minutes would come and go, and somehow there would still be time left on the clock, but it didn't seem like much time really........So I'd wait some more.

And finally, at long last, after what seemed like an eternity, Football would relinquish the TV, just in time for.......THE EVENING NEWS.

Time and time again this happened, for surely, I believed, at some point Football would catch on and get its clock fixed. Any day now, Football would think to itself, Say, aren't I about, oh, five years late for.......everything? And realizing that its chronic tardiness was due to a long busted time clock, Football would either have its clock repaired, or perhaps even get a new clock, who knew, maybe even one that was fast rather than agonizingly slow. Time and time again, I had faith that Football would finally get it right, finally get its clock fixed, finally stop lying to me.

But no. Football never got its clock fixed, and to this day it doesn't even have the courage to be honest about just how long it plans to swallow up my regularly scheduled programming. So fuck you, Football. No amount of cheap beer or seasonal entertainment can make up for this because YOU'RE STILL DOING IT! Baseball got its shit together and quit waking me up at night, and it even made amends, but you??? You think you're too good. You don't just think you're too cool for school, you think you're too cool for time!!! TIME IS IN THE FUCKING BIBLE, FOOTBALL! IT'S SCIENCE! YOU CANNOT DISREGARD IT! But Football is the original hipster, scorning tradition and not caring when innocent children get hurt in the process.

So fuck you, Football. No more chances for you. Your time is finally up.


The Devil's Daughter-In-Law said...

Yeah, fuck YOU, football!

I hate it, too. It's clock may be constantly broken, but it's calendar is unfortunately accurate. Late august, every year, my husband becomes a loud, useless, obsessed slug.

KatieLeonard said...

Oh, you have NO IDEA about football. Try being dragged to the games at 7am for tailgating a game that starts at 2pm. When you are way too young to enjoy the sport or drink the $8 beers.

Then later in life you are finally old enough to drink the beers (and hopefully daddy is buying) but Tiffany's Bachlorette party is the night before. I think I can sleep off the hangover in the car until time to go in and start drinking again. But no--9am drunk redneck (not daddy) will just not let me sleep!!!