Hello, I’m not the biggest football fan around. I very seldom watch an entire game. That is unless it’s the Harding County Ranchers junior high team.
Then I pack up Gramma and travel across two states to watch future NFL stars. I sit on hard bleachers in wind, rain, and snow and sip poor coffee and spit sunflower seeds out. And dang, it is fun.
But this past weekend was a little different. The Bison were playing in Texas for their seventh championship in eight years. I attended NDSU, albeit it briefly. It was in the late sixties. I went to football games. Traveled on the Rahjah bus to Brookings. After we had raised the necessary bail money, we were asked to leave and never come back. But that is another story.
When asked what my favorite team is, I used to say the Twins. That hasn’t worked out real well the past few years. There was a time when I leaned towards the Vikings. That hasn’t worked out real well the past few years. Then I migrated towards the Broncos. That hasn’t worked out real well the past few years. When Carson Wentz went to the Eagles, my heart went along. Then he got hurt and I kind of fizzled out on that one.
So I cheer for the Ranchers, the Bison, and of course, the Berthold Bombers.
But yesterday as the NFL playoffs were on, I started to get into the game. The Eagles vs. the Bears. Kind of like a wildlife documentary. The Bears with the number one defense in the NFL. The Eagles with their backup quarterback is who is going to make many millions of dollars this year. I was kind of cheering for the Eagles, because they kept showing Wentz on the sideline. But I really didn’t have a horse in the race.
Now I was watching the game with Shirley. She doesn’t follow football very close. She wanted to know when the Vikings played. When you have to answer questions like that, it kind of throws your game off.
But over the year she has made some acute observations. She thinks you should get extra points for hitting the goal posts or the crossbar. She wants to know why you can hit some people hard but can’t touch the quarterback. She has a point there. You have to explain every penalty to her. It makes for an interesting afternoon, and thank God there is no one listening to my explanations that knows football.
And yesterday when the Eagles called timeout to “ice” the kicker, she asked, “Why do they do that?”
I explained that it is the dumbest thing they do. These guys are professionals. They get paid to kick that ball. They have been doing it their entire lives. They aren’t going to get nervous. Since they were kicking in junior high, they have dreamed of kicking the winning field goal in the Super Bowl or in the playoffs. They relish the moment and the timeout just gives them more time to enjoy the moment.
Clunk! Off the goal post. Clunk! Off the crossbar. And they didn’t give extra points.
Fly Eagles, fly!