Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pondering the pigskin

Oge (who I just noticed is now a Texan!) will not necessarily be happy with this, but he won't be surprised by this admission either: I'm not really a football fan.

This may in part be due to my upbringing. My dad was not really a football fan and I went to high school in Peru where fútbol is something else entirely. That changed slightly when I went to college when, in order to be a freshman in relatively good standing, one went to football games. I therefore became a fairly ardent fan of the Big Green, even if we are currently 2-7. I didn't really understand the game all that well even then. This changed when, of all things, I joined the marching band my senior year (I switched to cymbals after playing the videocamera for a season) and I wanted to know when -- and more importantly why -- we had to start playing. (I also learned for the aforementioned Oge, the 'shmen on my hallway who played. And who derived great pleasure from tackling me in the hallway when I went to brush my teeth. Shall I describe what it's like having an offensive tackle doing something called the "turkey trot" on your chest while the rest of my 'shmen are looking on? I digress...) My dear wife played with the DCMB for five years and still can't really tell you what is happening on the field, but I finally picked up a cursory understanding.

This was not enough to turn my into a football fan, however. I don't really follow the NFL, nor do I really follow college football. After all, I teach at a school which happily doesn't have a football team (I've talked to the athletic director and she used the word "happy"). This also comes after having gone to graduate school at a place where football (along with basketball and hockey) was somewhat sacred: I shamfacedly confess that I never attended a game while I was there.

All this is meant to preface the peculiar things I'm feeling today, when NPR, colleagues at work and even my neighbors are asking me how I feel about the Michigan-OSU Game-to-End-All-Games this afternoon. (No, I didn't know they were both undefeated, although somehow i knew that Rutgers was.) And to be honest, with Angela and Xan out this weekend on Cape Cod and me here trying to get some serious writing done, I will reluctantly have to refrain from watching The Game.

But today?

Today, I feel like a Wolverine. Go Blue.

(UPDATE: So I lied, slightly. I have to make an appetizer for a birthday dinner tonight and I just turned on the game, where I discover it's 7-7. More perplexingly, however, I heard for the first time the opening strains of "O Fortuna" (from Orff's Carmina Burana) done by a marching band as fight music. I'm impressed -- and slightly disturbed. [Actually, I am more disturbed by this. Apparently, this is a common marching band thing?] But hey, Xan can actually sing that. I'm not kidding: he heard it on the radio the other day and has been happily screaming what sounds like "O Fortuna" all the time, appropriately fortissimo.)


emptywheel said...

Here's what I don't understand. I trained that trained-on-futbal Shai to love football while he was in A2. And I've trained that trained-on-futbal Derek to love football in our years together. It's a project of mine, training people into football.

How did you escape my tutorials?

It was kind of a sad day here in Ann Arbor last night.

Middento said...

I can imagine. I was a bit depressed as well, fueled by the fact that the person whose place I visited was also from Michigan (if not quite a Wolverine).

I think I escaped your tutorials because I knew enough to pass as someone who understood football (which I do); what you missed was that I wasn't an enthusiast.

By the way, the recent debate about the luxury boxes at the Stadium reminded me of the pride you have that Amerst doesn't have one. I kept smiling as I heard more about it.

Mrs. Non-Gorilla said...

"dartmouth green, their sheep experienced"
-- a brown band button, circa 1989

Middento said...


Hey, by the way, does anyone know what's the color of crap?

Anonymous said...

It's tennis for me, if I have to choose a sport. Andre A was so cute in his black tennies!! And Boom Boom definitely was a heartthrob - being German and such a great player!!! I have grown to like Federer - even though his character is so Swiss!
Patty K

Mrs. Non-Gorilla said...

green, if you've been eating spinach. *thbbbbbbbbbpht*