Monday, September 14, 2009

Why Does Football Have to Ruin the Fall?

As football season officially began yesterday (at least for my household!)with the loss by the now very disappointing Redskins (please don't let it be another year of this!), I thought I'd post a column that I wrote which ran in my local paper, The Fauquier Democrat some time ago.

Win One for Me, Coach Gibbs, Please!

Autumn is here. The best season, in my opinion. Our area boasts unparalleled scenery at every turn. The apple orchards are ripe for the picking. My pantry is stuffed with all the spices for making apple butter, applesauce and apple pie. The weather is crisp, perfect for a cozy sweater and a fire. The best time of year.

Except, it’s football season. And, if your husband is a football fan, and you are not, it can be a challenging season. And, if your team is not winning, it’s going to be a depressing one. Monday mornings after a Sunday loss, oh please honey, work is calling you.

The entire week is spent looking forward to Sunday. But, it doesn’t start on Sunday. Oh no, it begins on Monday! Sonny Jergenson and George Michael meet with Joe Gibbs. What went wrong the day before? What will they do to win next weeks’ game? Who was injured, who was benched? Why did this play fail, Coach? Then, on Saturday night, it’s the Redskins Report with the same two sports critics but add two, Michael Wilbon and John Riggins. And after that, it’s the Joe Gibbs Show.

By Saturday, I’m exhausted. Even an ex-high school cheerleader who knew nothing about football can now name at least 5 players. I’m eager for Sunday just to get it over, but alas, it’s only Saturday and college football will be on today. All day.

Before my husband and I got married, my husband’s grandmother told me I should learn to love football. She took up the hobby when she married. I tried. But, who can sit and watch as two teams fight over a ball when there is laundry, lunches to be made, kids to bathe, dinner to make or just a good book sitting on your bedside table? Unfortunately for my husband, not me.

However, fortunately for my husband, he now has our two-year old son. I think the little tyke was screaming for a Redskins victory while still in the uterus. He owns three Redskins outfits, one being his favorite. Each morning, his first words are “can I wear my Ridkins outfit?” This is uttered as I am walking into his room before he has gotten out of bed or had his diaper changed. When I reply that no, he cannot wear his Redskins outfit again today, he is not happy. He repeats the question numerous times.

The inquisition does not stop until I have managed to coerce him into getting dressed, in regular clothing. Then we must choose a hat, not his own Redskins hat, but one of his father’s four team hats. Which one will my son chose today? Not sure yet. It’s a fifteen-minute debate.

And, then there is the outside world, full of Redskins paraphernalia. Let me say, I cannot go into any of the grocery stores without my son yelling, at the top of his lungs, there is a Redskins balloon within his sight. Now, everyone turns to stare at the cute kid who loves the hometown team. But, they get to leave the store. I have to stay and for the entire visit, it is all about that balloon. Or, perhaps there is another patron doting a team shirt. Well, if my son could eject himself from the shopping cart, he would stalk that person and try to convince him the shirt was his.

Recently, while in the express checkout lane, my son asked the customer behind us if he could have his Redskins hat. “Can I have your Ridkins hat?” Well, the gentleman took it as a compliment until my son immediately let the gentleman know he was not pleased that he could not have the hat with his team on it.

So, if you see my son and I in the store and you are doting our teams’ logo, I suggest you run for it. If it is game day, you’ll see us coming a mile away. He’ll be wearing that polyester Ridkins outfit with matching socks and cap and yelling, “go Ridksins!”

My husband did not do this to my son. He is enjoying it though. Except, on Sundays when my son asks if the Redskins are going to blow it again. I cringe, because I know there is that possibility and Monday morning will not be pleasant. So, please Coach Gibbs, pull out a win. And, make it a good one. Do it for me. And, to my future daughter-in-law, I sincerely hope you are a fan.


  1. That was great! I feel the exact same way. My house becomes nothing but football this time of year. My two boys and my husband not only watch all day Sat and Sun, but they are also in several fantasy leagues.

  2. Oh fantasy leagues. That's the best! As if there isn't enough reality football going on, they have to "create" their own teams! Mine does it too!

  3. What's a Sunday afternoon nap without the game roaring in the background? Autumn means FOOTBALL! Go Skins!

  4. Heh. I'm actually a more rabid football fan than my husband. He enjoys football; I crave it. On any given fall weekend, I'm the one on the couch screaming for my favorite teams to make the play, and shouting at them when they don't. Him? He alternates between working on the computer and watching the game with me.

  5. your husband sounds like me! Believe me, everyone in my husband's entire family are huge football fans. Girls included!! And, I USED to like having it on b/c it felt like fall when I heard it streaming from the t.v. but now it's such a huge move to depression if they lose, that i dread it!

  6. It's always fun when the kids get into the act. Hope you have a great season.