I have a list of things to do if I’m ever going to be the perfect person. Not that I’m close enough to actually have that goal in my sights or anything, but I have a list of six or seven hundred things I’d have to change about myself to be able to say I was within spitting distance of being all the things I admire about everyone.
Kind of like The 100 Places You Should Visit Before You Die, except you can wear your slippers for most of mine.
On my list is to be a decent football fan.
I think women that know a lot about football are cool. Especially the ones that don’t throw it in your face and just quietly mutter a football term here or there while pretending not to watch and nodding sympathetically while the other females in the room are swapping recipes.
The perfect person knows enough about football to watch ESPN and understand enough of Tony Kornheiser’s dialogue to not have to check the TV, wondering if it got switched to the Spanish channel.
She can watch an entire quarter of a game without commenting on the shininess of the players’ pants.
She knows Ohio State can’t play the Steelers in the Turkey Bowl; that the Miami Dolphins is not the team of Miami University in southern Ohio; and that Paul Brown stadium is not where the Browns play. She knows that NFC does not stand for Not Fully Capable.
And she can enter a football pool without screwing up and calling it a “football pole.”
I’m quite sure I’ve got some years left before I can check this one off my list. Because I’ve been following the football pool that my husband and son are in, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what the hell those people are doing over there.
I was cool when they were picking the signature helmets of the participants. But I should have had an inkling of how serious this was going to be, when I saw the helmet with a rabid attack dog foaming at the mouth.
The rules started out pretty simple. I actually enjoyed looking at the chart posted weekly with my guys’ helmets slipping slowly down toward the bottom and the pink pacifier and Winnie the Pooh helmets rising to the top.
Then about two weeks ago, it started to get complicated. This past week, I got a shooting pain in my forehead just reading the most recent rules change. Here’s what it said:
“This week we begin the 4th quarter of the NFL season, so we have another rule change. So each week for the next 4 weeks I’ll give you 3 must-pick games. You also get 1 free choice game each week, or you can ignore that in favor of an optional upset game. If you pick the underdog in an optional upset game, and the underdog wins, you’ll earn 3 points. The favored team in the optional upset game cannot be your free choice game team. Still no using sanctioned websites, but no worries about repeating your picks.”