Wednesday, November 2, 2011

College Football and Embroidery

Baseball season is over! Yay! I’m doing the happy dance. it’s college football season. I really don’t get the whole crazed sports thing. I don’t mind watching a baseball game now and then. As long as I know a bit about the team. But college football is another beast altogether.

For example, last night he watched the last quarter (thankfully, he’s not one of those, I have to watch the entire game people—he’s too busy for that) of the Northern Illinois vs. Toledo game. (It’s not like Cal actually cares about either team.)

 I asked, “Why are you streaming this game?”

Cal said, “Because this is the highest scoring game ever in this division.”

Me: “And you care about that?”

Cal: “Yeah, because neither team has a defense to speak of.”

Me: “So you want to watch a lot of losers play football?”  Okay, I didn’t actually say that—I thought it.

Watching a game for no reason other than a statistical anomaly, only shows how statistics obsessed sports is. And obscure stats can make any game seem special. For example, “This game has the most punts by a left-footed kicker who’s blind in one eye.” (And yet the earth keeps spinning. Imagine that.)

Cal and I have been married 23 years, and I knew this college football thing was coming. I’ve tried “getting into the game.” I assumed that if I knew enough about the game, I’d get involved and interested. Nope. It’s still mind numbing—though I did enjoy watching Colt McCoy a season or two back.

I’ve tried writing while Cal watches the game, but it’s hard for me to mumble appropriate words of encouragement/agreement while I’m writing. Cal: “Check out that running back—both blockers missed him.” Me: (In the midst of rescuing a character from destruction) “Oh, that’s too bad. Maybe next time.” Cal: “No, our team just scored.” Me: “What?”

This year I’m doing something different. I bought pillowcases and I’m embroidering them. (Yes, mom, your years of torture are paying off. My mom was a firm believer in the old European training of daughters. I can sew, cross-stitch, embroider, etc. And I know that the tidiness of the back side of the embroidery is as important as the front. My aunt Louisa, who’s a Swiss boarding school teacher, used to grade her students on the back of their embroidery as well as on the front. She once gave me a “C.” That’s the last time I ever showed her my embroidery.) Sorry, back to football. Anyway, I’m embroidering.

Now Cal and I have the following conversations.

Cal: That coach should’ve called for a time out—that’s rotten clock management.

Me: Yes. I agree. (Holding up my embroidery to his face.) Does that row of satin stitches look even to you?

Cal: Looks great.

Me: You give it an “A,” right?

Cal: Absolutely.

Me (smiling like a Cheshire cat): I love college football.

p.s. Check out this great post on self-promotion by Stina Lindenblatt.


  1. Hehehe I tend to knit in those situations. ;-)

  2. That's awesome. Carl cares less about sports than I do, but usually he comes bursting out of his study with some great theological or philosophical revelation, and I agree, it's much easier to look enthusiastic when I'm quilting than when I'm in the middle of plotting a devious and twisty scene.

    Enjoy football season!

  3. I used to cross-stitch, but don't ask me to grade it! In fact, maybe I should bury the evidence.

  4. Carolyn-

    No one should grade needlework. Ever. I mean would the Bayeux Tapestry have been made if they knew someone would be grading the backside?

  5. (A game where both sides like a defense is actually fairly interesting; both teams can't stop their opponents from scoring points, so their only viable strategy is to score even more than them. It becomes a total "I-HAVE-MORE-POINTS-THAN-YOU-DO-NEENER-NEENER" match.)

  6. I'm the opposite--I like football but I don't get baseball. Also I like pro-football more than college (which is a terrible thing to say in Nebraska!)

  7. LOL, I'm glad you found a way to spend the football time together that is productive/enjoyable for you both! Haha.

    I confess, I never "got" football until I went to college. In high school it was because our team wasn't very good & I didn't know how the game was played. After I learned the game, it still wasn't that interesting to me. Enter freshman year of college. My university gave all college freshmen free tickets to the home games, so I ended up going to the opener with my dorm-mates. It was something to do on a Saturday with my friends AND it was free.

    The experience was, well, a little mind-blowing. In a stadium full of fans with a team that had gone from one of the worst in our conference to really good (I was lucky in that I came into football just as our team was taking off; the quarterback my freshman year was Aaron Rodgers, whose team won this last Super Bowl - yeah, I was spoiled that first year), in the midst of an intensely spirited student section, I was converted. Football games were some of the most fun experiences I had in college, and I became invested in my team & how we stood in our conference.

    So yeah, I'm a fan, though not so much anymore. Most of the names I'd come to recognize on the team have graduated by now, and the team isn't as good now as it was when I was there. It's also a little too stressful for me to watch, haha, and watching on TV is just not the same as BEING there. So it's that and having a team to root for. Like I can't get into pro football because I have no team allegiance. :P

    Ahem, anyway, sorry for that essay. Just wanted to say I'm on both sides of the coin! Haha.