Tonight's the night! The first game of regulation play in the '04/'05 season. I've got the Patriots although it was a difficult choice with Peyton Manning being the big deal co-MVP from last year. Still I think that the Patriots will want to come back strong after getting smoked in their last pre-season game. I also noticed that Manning threw more than one interception in his last pre-season game. But pre-season, shmee-season. Tonight they play for real and I am beyond excited.
I will be ensconced in a booth facing the flat screen over the bar at Enoteca Drago eating delicious Italian food and drinking more than one of the 50 offerings that they have by the glass. With me will be my best friend Christina (go Carolina!) and long time no-see Sheryl - because oddly enough I know more women that are into football than men. Swear. Most of the men I know can take or leave the pigskin, while the women I know not only love the game but can discuss players and stats. One of the best superbowl parties I ever went to was attended by women and only women. It was the Denver-Greenbay game in San Diego in 1998. We actually went down the night before to see if we could meet any cute guys in town for the game. All we found were a lot of fat people in windbreakers and polyester, some wearing their cheeseheads out to dinner. It was pretty much a major disappointment after all that work to find a parking place.
At the party the next day there were seven of us and we had excellent snacks! Mini goat cheese pizzas, mushroom quiches and spinach salad with our white wine and light beer. We were at my friend Jonne's house and that girl used to watch ESPN Sportcenter every night she could spout stats and once pointed out Bubby Brister to me at a bar in Aspen. I had no idea who he was much less that he played football. She's a huge Dan Marino fan and is still disappointed that he never got a championship ring.
I've been a football fan since the late 70s when I used to watch with my dad. Over the years it's become an addiction, especially when you throw in football pools. I won last year and by the end of the season I would even place the occasional bet. You can bet on anything, weird things - like the coin toss. I don't bet on the coin toss, but I do like the under/over. So far the betting thing hasn't worked out too well - my bets cancelled each other out. My mom loves football too. She and her husband played the pool together and they would sit down and look at the current stats and the schedule and the IR list and then they'd go back and forth about what their pick would be. They were out by the third week I think.
So it's strange to me that I have rarely, if ever, dated guys who like football. A few years ago I dated a guy who watched it with me and enjoyed it, but if I hadn't wanted to watch he would've been out in the garage with his arc welder. He did sweet football related things for me like running out to buy a new Directv receiver when his blew up right before the first Monday night game because I was coming over for dinner and said I wanted to watch the game. And he went to a really gross sports bar with me and Jonne to watch the AFC playoffs and he held my purse while I was outside having a cigarette. And he bought a big screen TV in time for the superbowl which he had to hire a couple guys of the street to help him move into the house.
But he was an anomoly - in many ways.
There used to be Brett - my bestest manfriend - who would often use his key to come in and crash on the daybed in the living room after a big Saturday night out, and in the morning we would hang out and drink coffee and watch the early game. Then we'd go get food for the afternoon game and make something for dinner and watch the late game. But he's gone - back to the NYC where his Giants will most certainly disappoint him AGAIN this year. Sorry dude but they ain't got it goin' on.
This year my friend Dave has Directv's NFL ticket so I will be making the trek out to Malibu where we will loll in the luxuriously decorated bonus room, complete with bar and mini-kitchen, and try his darling wife Sally's patience as she gets stuck on baby duty while we hang out in front of the TV set all day. Actually Sal is one of the best ladies I know so I could see her getting me out for an early hike before I sit on my ass all day noshing pigs in a blanket. Because I see her point that there's just something wrong about sitting inside all day when it's gorgeous outside. Here in California there really is no good excuse to do that.
If you live in a place where it's freezing or it snows there's really nothing else to do but sit in front of the tube and eat cheese curds - explains a lot about why those folks from Green Bay and Denver were larger than your average fan. It's cold in both those places. But in sunny southern California it's really hard to rationalize sitting inside on a sunny day. And so I pray for rain. Nothing makes me happier than waking up to a gray, drizzly Sunday morning during football season.
And I look forward to watching the best sport EVAH with Christina, Sheryl, Elizabeth, Jonne, Jerilyn, Dave & Patrick! Are you ready for some football!!