Something big is happening this weekend!
What? Our wedding anniversary is this weekend? Oh, yes, that too. But I'm talking about something that is on waaay more people's calendars. It's Razorback football time!
I love football. And I don't just mean going to football games, and I don't just mean Razorback football, though I do love those things. A LOT. But I actually love the sport of football. I find it fascinating and entertaining. Yes, I'm a girl. No, I'm not a tomboy. I don't like racecars or power tools or other traditionally "boy" stuff (though for a brief period in college I was a pretty enthusiastic pro wrestling fan--but that's another story for another time). I just really enjoy football. I know I'm not the only girl around who feels this way--many of my girlfriends like it, and a few even love it like me.
The girls I know who care nothing about football think I'm weird, I know. They can't imagine why I'd be interested in what, on the surface, looks like a bunch of giants smashing into each other. There are plenty of reasons for my devotion, though!
1. It's all about strategy and logic. Whoever came up with the stereotype that people playing and coaching football are dumb clearly never took a look at the rules. The game is intricate, and playing it well requires intelligent planning and creative problem solving. Watching great coaches orchestrate brilliant plays is pure joy for my brain.
2. There's some serious talent out there. I've seen athletes throw and kick with strength and accuracy I can't fathom even after seeing it. I've seen guys run, I swear, without their feet touching the ground. I've seen players have two or three opponents dragging them to the ground from the back and they still manage to move forward, and I've seen them do somersaults in midair to avoid a fallen player and land on their feet to keep running. Football players have strength, of course, but watching their balance, grace, speed and skill in action is a fascinating study in physical superiority.
3. I like being a part of the cool crowd. Well, you know. If you live in Northwest Arkansas, you are surrounded by Razorback frenzy. I love being excited about something that unites me with my alma mater and my community. In a larger sense, I can go anywhere in the country and meet a complete stranger, and if they like football we have an instant connection and conversation fodder for as long as we need it. Unless they are an LSU fan; then I will have to walk away immediately and go wash my hands.
4. It can be so very, very satisfying. I don't care how un-football, how girly, how dainty you are, EVERYONE has a moment now and then when they want to throw something through a wall. That thirst for aggression is beautifully quenched when, say, a receiver catches a pass and is immediately and cleanly slammed to the ground by a defender he never saw coming. I'm sure anyone who doesn't like football and just read that last sentence is rolling their eyes and mottering something about Neanderthals and violence. Whatever. They just haven't seen a really good tackle.
5. It's exciting! I think everyone needs to have some hobby in their lives that they enjoy so much they have to cheer about it. It feels GOOD to hold your breath in anticipation of a pass landing in the right hands, to high five random people around you, to yell a cheer so loud you go a little hoarse. I mean, scrapbooking's great and all, but when is the last time it earned anyone a high five?
When I was in high school, my best friend (who will remain nameless because she might kill me otherwise) was quoted in our yearbook as saying that football was her favorite sport because of the tight uniform pants. She made a good point, but that doesn't really factor in for me these days. I love football for the game that it is and the experience of watching it. I am so ready for kickoff. Go Hogs!!!