Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Decidedly un-American of me.

I'm not an American. I am a U.S. citizen, but has only been the case for the past five years or so. As I have elaborately explained in my About Me post, I didn't grow up in the U.S. I've been living here for a long time now, though, almost 15 years now. But there is one thing that still makes me decidedly un-American: my inability to understand Football.

I married into a family to whom football is a part of life. This means that it has also taken over my life for the better portion of fall and winter. B wanted us to name our son (or daughter) Payton - for Walter Payton (no). B's family has had coveted season tickets to the Chicago Bears home games for the past four generations. Each generation has named their children a variation of [Italian first name] in order to keep the tickets in the family for as long as possible (Something I will do my best to resist perpetuating). When we first talked about the possibility of moving here, Brian's first (and only real hesitation) was leaving his season tickets behind, after only one year of it being "his turn" (a few thousand dollars I was less than thrilled to fork over).

We found a Chicago Bear-themed sports bar here in Las Vegas that opened early on Sundays and played the games on one big TV. Last year, being the dutiful new wife who felt guilty for asking her husband to move West, I tagged along every Sunday and some Monday nights. I sat in an uncomfortable chair while my sciatic nerve was killing me during the end of my first and beginning of my second trimester. I couldn't even partake in the fun part - a free shot for every touchdown! I wasn't terribly happy to be doing it, but because Sundays are our only days off together, I thought it was more important for us to spend time together.

Until last year, I had never "tried" to understand. The fact that every Bears game was on local TV meant that I didn't have to. B could sit on the couch, while I walked around the neighborhood, ran errands, or did some hoursework. But last season, and this season, every game is an event. I tried. I really did. I can do it, there are no distractions. I sat in front of the TV, I asked questions, everything. I...just... don't... get... it. I get the basics. Run from one end of the field to the other without getting stopped. Cool. But, why does the game stop every 15 seconds? And why is that guy kicking something now? (You can try to answer these questions, but I'm telling you, I still won't get it) This week, the Bears played Monday night football (which is for some reason special because there is a theme song). Mia and I sat on the couch while B screamed and yelled at the TV. He'd turn to me and say: "Did you see that _____?". No, I honestly didn't. "That guy just hit that other guy really hard, did you see it?" Nope. I may have been staring at the screen, but I didn't even SEE what happened.

Is the game OVER yet??

This year, we have to plan ahead: is the game going to be available on TV? Do we have to go to a restaurant (no bars anymore! there's a baby!)? But this time, I've given up. At least I have the baby to talk to now, instead of having to bring my Kindle around.

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