Superbowl Sunday is almost here. The High Holiday of sports fans nationwide. The Day of Days. The Ecstasy and the Agony. Hey, wait just cotton picking minute. Isn’t that from the Bible?
The Cowboys are not in the Game, so husband will be wearing a black arm band. I’m a nervous wreck. I don’t know the rules, never really wanted to. All I see is a bunch of guys running around grunting and slamming into each other. Occasionally one of them gives birth to piglet, after which chaos ensues and they scramble all over the place waving their arms in the air. I don’t blame them, that would scare me too. It’s a cattle stampede with lines painted on the grass.
At any given moment the guy on the field not wearing a helmet can throw a yellow dish towel ground. The rule at this point is that every man in the room jumps up yelling “He didn’t even touch him” or something about a horse? This is the day my husband turns into a foaming at the mouth devil demon. He will scream “I can’t f–king believe this” at random intervals. I don’t understand why he can’t believe it. It happens every game. There must be a pattern. From what I can tell, anything that the guys in the green spandex pants and big shoulder pads do is outside the bounds of reason or human decency. It is to be shouted down. Preferably loud enough to be heard all the way from New England, or Minnesota or wherever else this assault on sanity is broadcast from.
Mr. Husband has asked me several times if I want to have people over for Superbowl Sunday. I mumble things like “I guess so” or “Whatever you want to do.” Well I’m a big fat liar. What I really want to do is hop the next plane for Nepal or another place farther away, if there is one. The reason the whole having people over thing scares me is that I won’t be able to hide in the bedroom with my headphones to drown out the noise. The constant roar of screaming people coming out of the TV is maddening. If I close my eyes for too long, images of lions, gladiators, blood and guts comes to mind.
Living in the French Quarter in New Orleans, I grew to fear and loathe drunken sports fans. For 25 years I lived with Sugar Bowl and Saints fans staggering around after games, drunk out of their minds. They would block my driveway with their cars, whizz on my doorstep and yack in my flowerpots. One year I got stuck on an elevator with 3 wasted football players doing their best to mistake me for a groupie. Managed to escape with my honor intact but it was a terrifying experience.
All in all, I think husband fell into the same trap that I practically live in. If he just explains it clearly enough I will understand the wonder and the fabulousness that is football. Well I tried, pretended and finally ran. If the cat can hide under the bed then why can’t I? It’s my house too.
Actually, I have a newly diagnosed disorder called footballophobia. It’s a grim secret, a family curse. It’s not recognized as an actual disorder yet, but will be soon. The very mention of the gruesome activity causes my heart to pound, my throat closes up, and I have trouble breathing. Haven’t had any more success explaining why football is so unpleasant for me than husband has explaining why it is so wonderful.
I’ve read studies about desensitization techniques where a person can learn not to be afraid or repulsed by objects or activities. Maybe this works, but you can actually learn to like them? Should you even try?