Who am I? First it started with family support for my NFL-playing nephew and godson. It crept up on me gradually with the occasional visit to the Superdome. It was a family thing, not a football thing. Then there were more frequently rearranged Sunday afternoons to watch games in bars and on the internet. Then I find myself reading the Sports page and frustrated that our local paper is not giving their local super-star (yes, that’s my nephew) the respect he deserves. It seems that in Texas they don’t care much about teams in other states. I even strike up conversations with strangers wearing his teams jersey in public places. I’ve been caught shouting out random “Whodats”. Do I know myself?
Then my son’s college team had all this drama about leaving one conference and going to the SEC. They needed some support. I could sense it. We made a pilgrimage to Kyle Field. It also helps to know enough to be able to talk to your son about something he loves, when he calls home. Before I know it, I’m rearranging Saturdays too, to make sure that I can watch the Aggie games. At least the Houston paper Sports section coverage is satisfactory. Should I be worried when I reach for the Sports section before the Style section? At the Cotton Bowl party I was frustrated by the distracting conversations that forced me to watch many of the best plays through replays, rather than the live feed. Aaarrgghhh … My old football disdaining persona had retreated to some place in my past.
Then my daughter’s high school football team made the state championship finals the first time in 60 years, so of course they needed my support. This is Texas high school football. It’s more cultural event than football. I can justify this as a community support event, right? We have to leave the annual family Christmas party early to go to Cowboy Stadium to watch this final game live. Am I still someone I know? Apparently I’m one of many, as we learned the attendance at this high school game was over 48,000.
Now it’s January, it’s a rainy Saturday afternoon. Of course my home team, The Texans, now needs my support in their first play-off game. Our dinner and movie plans tonight are on hold waiting for the game to finish. In former times this would not have been acceptable. Today this seems perfectly understandable. It’s the logical thing to do, right?
Looking ahead to the end of the month, there’s the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. I’ve been suckered into many social Super Bowl parties in my past, but never have I ever considered watching the Pro Bowl … ever. This year it’s protected time on my calendar. My NFL-playing nephew has been selected to punt for the NFC team. I have to support him. This is what a good aunt does, right?
I finally understand what my friend Lisa Gertsch means when she is sorry to see football season finish up and gets very excited when it starts up again in the fall. I need to ask her what she does after the Super Bowl. What’s next?