Most who know me are quite aware that j is not a big sports fan. And if you read my previous post here, you will know that hockey and I have a love/hate relationship (as in there are people I love who enjoy the sport while I can’t stop myself from thinking critically about its glorification of violence).
So, it won’t come as a surprise that football and I are indifferent acquaintances. I don’t understand the game, nor do I care to understand the game. It lives on, and since it has one of the shortest seasons out their I tolerate its existance as a mere irritation that every Sunday is taken over by the game October through February.
My hatred for football was much more pronounced in high school. I went to a school that put the football team (a successful team for 14-19 year olds…) on a pedestal. They got almost a full day of school off on each game day to prepare. Sidenote: H.S. admin, who do you think you were fooling? I know it was a Catholic high school, but if you believe that you tricked us into believing the players spent all day in the chapel before the game day praying for an extra touchdown you (along with some of the players) have a serious head injury issue. I’m not ashamed to say that I loathed the football team, or more accurately what they stood for to me.
That being said football in my house is sacred. I grew up on a steady diet of college football (University of Michigan…I don’t even know what their mascot is…corn? Maize?). It really didn’t make an impression. But what did was (and continues to be) the reaction from others when they find out who in our house is obsessed (there’s really no other word, sorry) with the game. Not our dad (maybe if it was a sci-fi, tech-y kind of battle to the death), but our mom. She is the fan and the one who is not only enthusiastic but, for lack of a better word, knows her shit about football.
1998ish, Toronto, Skydome, Hard Rock Cafe, Argonauts home game
Mom and I were in TO for a day, just the two of us. We ended up in the Hard Rock eating dinner and watching a CFL game. Or mom watched and I stared at my burger. As the game progressed mom filled me in about the rules of the game. At some point I excused myself from the table.
While I was away my mom got a visitor. Some young guy, who was sitting with his girlfriend went to our table and chatted with mom and the conversation went something like this:
Young Guy: Excuse me m’aam, but I didn’t want to say anything in front of your daughter but you were giving her some wrong information about the rules *insert young guy’s “correct” answer*
Mom: Well, thanks for that, but actually what you are reciting are the rules for the NFL. This is CFL football, dear. Slightly different, but different all the same.
*Young Guy slinks off back to table*
As recounted by mom and waiter who thought the exchange was hilarious
So, yes. Football = very important in our household.
This brings us to today, Superbowl Sunday…a day that is synonymous with beer, sport, money, fame, America and a well-known rule of never getting between the TV and our mom.
I usually sit down with her and watch, if nothing else than just for the food (drool), as I will be doing this year (wings? yes please!). And every year I choose a team to root for. It’s arbitrary as I don’t have any favourites or feel any allegiance towards any town. Mom is the same way, her fanatical nature is only apparent when watching college football. NFL football is just for the watchin’.
However, this Superbowl we are rooting for a team. The Green Bay Packers. No, there’s no Wisconsin blood in our house. We’re rooting for the Packers more because we can’t stand the thought of the opposing team winning.
Why you may ask? Their quarterback is an accused rapist.
Hold on. Yes, I am aware that there are lots of pro atheletes who have dodged this bullet, so to speak but I have more reasons.
Ben Roethlisberger has been accused, not once but twice of sexual assault. Both times there were never any charges drawn up due to lack of evidence. This most recent accusation Ben came up with a very convincing argument for the woman’s injuries. She fell down a flight of stairs. When she was checked out the medical staff could only come to the conclusion that yes, her injuries could be attributed to a very bad fall. Or sexual assault. They couldn’t be sure.
FYI: This is a pretty common excuse that I have heard from abusers before. It’s not original, it’s not clever and is sure as hell doesn’t fool people. Especially people in our house.
What is most disturbing is not that police didn’t take steps to charge the SOB. But it’s that the NFL, actually did something. Ben was suspended for the first 4 games of the 2010/2011 season for “player misconduct”. You may be wondering what other players have been slapped with this kind of punishment…Adam Jones, Chris Henry, Tank Johnson and Michael Vick. All of these guys were arrested, and charged. Goes to show you how serious the “player misconduct” ruling is and what it means.
Just so I can make it clear:
When the NFL is the voice of reason in a case of violence against women, we have a problem people.
So for this reason and this reason only, today I become a dedicated cheese-head.
Maybe the NFL isn’t all that bad.