As tourist season ends, football season takes over

September 4, 2012

It is a time of relief: tourists, mostly gone; parking meters in Rehoboth, mostly gone; long lines, mostly gone; traffic, mostly gone; professional football, not so gone.

Yes, ladies, it is that time of year when football will define your décor. Helmets, coffee mugs, blankets and warm-up suits sporting all the colors of your husband’s team will take over your home to the point that it looks like a defining moment in a gang turf war between the Crips and Bloods.

Your social life will become nonexistent, which is fine since you have no life or no friends anyway ever since your husband bought a television with a screen so big it actually extends out the side of the house, where a special addition had to be devised and is held on with duct tape. Of course, I’m exaggerating, I forgot about those fantasy friends your husband has who play Fantasy Football. It goes without saying, the war of the remote control will make the War of the Roses look like child’s play.

So in order to educate and enlighten my readers, all two of them, and that would be a family of Airedales, I always like to give a little test to evaluate how much knowledge is out there. In a game in which terms like penalties, clipping, pass interference and roughing the passer are as common as the number of players loaded into ambulances parked off to the side, then it is key to start with the basics.

Let’s begin at the top. A line judge is (a) an official, (b) someone who decides if rules have been broken on the field, or (c) a person on the waiting list to become an “American Idol” judge.

A football player is considered a top-ranking player if he (a) carries the ball for a lot of yardage, (b) passes the ball for a lot of completions, or (c) is wearing a diamond earring that weighs over 50 carats in one ear and a diamond pendant as big as the Hope diamond around his neck.

The head football coach is (a) in charge of the team, (b) in charge of schedule, (c) carries on like he is leading the charge of the Light Brigade, leading his men into the valley of the six hundred.

If you answered the letter “c” to all of the above, it’s obvious you are not an idiot and know a lot about the game. So there probably is no need to go any further, since you have an intricate knowledge of the game. I’m not sure it is football, but some kind of game anyway.

So now that we have the personnel identified, the actual playing of the game is simple. You take 11 men the size of a refrigerator, not just any refrigerator, but one of those industrial Sub-Zero things, and line them up across from 11 other men the size of cement building blocks fused at the neck. A football is between them. Someone usually yells, “Your mother….” and the game begins.

Now, most people will think that the object of the game is to take this football down the field and into the end zone for a touchdown. Wrong again. For those who want to walk off the field, the object of the game is to hand the ball off or pass it off to anyone, even if it is your own mother. Unless you want a new face, hope to use a walker to get off the field or want your internal organs rearranged, trust me, you’ll want to get rid of that stupid, stupid ball.

Now you’ll be able to spot when a touchdown occurs; it’s when you see a player break dancing, doing the mashed potato or the twist in the end zone or when you recognize your husband in the stands, waving a Styrofoam finger over his painted head.

So let the games begin.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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