Jewish World Review Oct. 24, 2003 / 28 Tishrei, 5764
NFL fan learns to handle heightened sensations
March: The husband doesn't ask a lot, so when he asks what I
think about cheap seat NFL Colts tickets this year, I say sure. The husband
thinks it will be fun to go to games together.
August: The husband thinks the first pre-season game would be a
good time for me to get initiated. We find our section, our row and our
seats. You get a lot when you buy cheap seats, a lot in the way of
altitude. Our seats are in the ninth row. From the top.
The husband says something about me reminds him of Astroturf. I am
green around the gills, panicked about the height and being within arms
reach of the underside of a football dome. From where I sit, major sections
of the dome cover clearly could use a good steam pressing.
"I'll be fine as long as nobody gets crazy and starts clapping or
yelling and jumping up and down," I say. By the end of the fourth quarter,
I am able to uncover my eyes, and mouth the words, "Go team."
Second pre-season game: I'm a veteran now; surely things will go
better. Five minutes after we have taken our seats, the back of our bench
bows out behind us. "Earthquake!" I scream, gripping the arm of a
12-year-old boy next to me. My husband peels me off the kid and says it was
only a extra large fan in our row leaning backward.
I resume hyperventilating. For the first time in 25 years of
marriage the husband asks a question he has never before asked, "Would you
like to talk about what you're feeling?"
The announcer bellows that there will be a drawing for a free
airline trip. The winner will be a ticket holder in the upper deck. They
draw a ticket from up here because we are so high, they can just open up a
hole in the dome and the winner can grab on to a rope dangling from the
belly of the plane.
Things are improving. By the end of the third quarter, I am
relaxed enough to raise both hands to shoulder-level when it is our turn to
do the wave.
September: Season opener. I spend the first two quarters
concentrating on breathing in and out.
A vendor appears selling beer. "Are you crazy?" I yell. " Look at
the size of these guys in this section! It's like 200 Jareds BEFORE the
Subway diet. You want to add more weight and watch this place, collapse?
Keep moving, buddy!"
During the third quarter, I have a breakthrough. I find the
courage to look down at the helmeted ants crawling on the field instead of
staring at the big screen directly across the stadium.
By game's end I hear sporadic clapping and feeble shouts of, "Go
dog, go!" I think the noise is coming from me.
October: The panic phase where my heart races and I'm certain I
will be crushed by the crowd only lasts 15 minutes. Fans around me are
screaming, "Hey ref, go kiss a goat!" and "Take it to the outhouse!" I am
able to smile and nod like I appreciate their insights.
I don't have a clue what they mean, which is why I turn to the
husband and say, "I think it would be a good idea to attack deep today. You
know, quick routes, behind the linebackers while including the running
backs and the tight ends in the passing game."
The husband's jaw drops and he lapses into shock. I shake him and
tell him the No. 1 thing I have learned from attending football games:
"Breathe deep, you'll be just fine."
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© 2001, Lori Borgman
JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids. To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.
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