Friday, February 4, 2011

Reflections on Football

The Super Bowl is this Sunday and though I have no idea who's playing (I just know for sure it's not the Lions), I find myself looking forward to it every year. I think it's the combination of good food, funny commercials, and time with friends that makes it so fun for me.

The thing about me is, I like football, but I don't get it. I get that two teams are competing to get the ball down to their end of the field, or something to that effect. But what I don't get, and what I will never get, is what a "down" is. I don't consider myself a slow person - I think I have at least average intelligence. But I dare one of you to try to explain to me what a down is. Give it a try - I'll let you know if one of the explanations clicks. It's possible I've just never cared enough to really try to figure it out.

In high school, I went to every football game. Not because I was a huge fan but because... (this is the first time I've said this on my blog) I was in marching band. Yes, marching band - only the coolest of all extracurricular activities, obviously. Oh, and not only was I in marching band, but I played (you are not ready for this, I guarantee it) the trombone. I told you you weren't ready for it.

In regular band I played the flute (which I hated), but since my school's marching band didn't have flutes in it, I had to learn a new instrument. And since there was a shortage of trombones, that's what I learned. And I have to admit, I loved it. Both the trombone and marching band. If you were never in marching band, I guess you probably wouldn't get it, but for those of you who were in it, you know what I'm talking about. Marching band was so fun, and so hilarious, and basically, so awesome. I feel better now that that's out there.

Anyway, my point is, I went to all the football games my high school ever had (home games, that is), yet there's much about the game I don't understand. Still, football holds a special place in my heart. In the fall, I like having the games on the t.v. in the background on a Saturday afternoon even though I only have a vague idea about what's going on. Touchdowns, I get. Beyond that, who knows.

But to me, it doesn't even really matter. It's just the spirit of football that I enjoy the most. I'm not even sure yet if I'm going to watch the game on Sunday, but if I do, I'll just be soaking in the atmosphere most likely. Though I suppose maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to understand what a "down" is. Even if I'm only watching the game for the marching band and commercials.

What do you watch the Super Bowl for? I think I'll post a poll so you can weigh in!


Katherine said...

I am SO with you here! Baseball I get. Football? Uh-Uh. I'm a marching band girl myself (as you know) and like delicious food, so that's the only draw for me. This year maybe I'll actually bang on the walls and ceiling of my apartment to try to get my neighbors to quiet down while they watch and take my curmudgeonliness to a new level!

Emily said...

I think the coolest thing about marching band is the outfits, especially the hats.

You may think you are a nerd (I mean really cool person) for being in marching band, but I'll share a little confession that might make you feel better: I regret not joining the band. My musical knowledge stops with the recorder - like Hot Cross Buns style.

Brady said...

So, here is my explanation of a down (This coming from the guy who only watches the Wyoming Cowboys lose their football games and the Utah Utes beat BYU.)

You get four tries to move the ball 10 yards. If you don't move it in 10 yards, the other team gets to try.

Each attempt is called a down. (Why? I have no idea)

If you successfully move it 10 or more yards, you get to start over with a First Down.

Any clearer?

Pretty easy

violet50 said...

Brian, I think I have given her that exact explanation many times, but they say that if someone else comes in and says the same thing, it finally clicks. Here's hoping! And I'm looking for the commercial with the little boy dressed up as Darth Vader. Very funny!

Heather said...

BONES RULE! I loved Marching band,mostly.
I never payed that close attention though to the games while we played at them, just to the drum major to see when we should play.
I have tried to get into football, and I do sometimes, but I would rather just eat yummy food and hang out with people.

Mark said...

Maybe each attempt is called a down because it starts with the ball starts down on the ground, and ends with it back on the ground. Unless the play falls under one of the 257 exceptions in the rule book. Brady can explain them to you.

My sisters were in marching band in HS and college, and they never watched the game. They were too busy being band geeks to pay attention to the field.

I've never needed an instrument to enhance my nerdliness. Go Packers!

Mark said...

This weekend, don't be the chick who keeps asking the other guys on the couch to explain what is going on in the game. It's like the guy at the opera who asks if the character on stage has tuberculosis, why is she still singing so loud?

Elizabeth Downie said...

haha, don't worry Mark, I won't be asking about the game at all. I usually spend the Super Bowl game flirting.

Melanie said...

I played the trombone in the 6th grade. Then I quit to focus on piano and soccer and basketball. (I use "focus" loosely).

I would explain a down this way: You get 4 tries to move the ball 10 yds toward your end zone. Each try, they mark where you're at based upon where the previous player was brought "down" by the opponents. So they call it a down... I don't know. If you make it the 10 yds, then you get 4 new tries. And so it progresses until you get the touchdown.

I think you've got the concept of 4 tries to go 10 yds, and the name is just throwing you off.

Sui Sin Far said...

You're trying to go down the field to make your touchdown. It's like in Ender's Game. The enemy's gate is down.

I don't like football. I'll watch it with my brother and that's about that.

lizzie mc.- said...

Trombone so suits you. Every trombone player I've met is hilarious. Glad to know this tid bit.

Love junkfood & subs Sunday aka Superbowl. My only aim is to pester my husband and be contrary to his team so we can have our competition. Andy, his fam, and a few friends have made their own version of fantasy football. And choose teams to root for or is that route... anyways. Always fun to have football family rivalry. Happy Sunday.

Kathy said...

I'm pretty sure marching band was the coolest activity to be in. That's why I was extremely popular in high school. It was definitely the uniform that was two sizes too big- oh, and the clarinet that made me cool. I'm sure as a trombonist, you also felt pretty glamorous when you put on that uniform.

Anonymous said...

I only watch for two get my yearly testosterone tanks filled by absorbing the energy around me and to eat the amazing appetizers. Since I'm pregnant w/ possibly twins this time around I'll be eating a lot!

~ Malissa ~ said...

When lousy teams were playing during the Super Bowl when I was in High School, my channel was on TNT (Gone With the Wind, baby!) This year, PITTSBURGH is going to the Super Bowl!! (So, no Gone with the Wind for me!) :-)

As for marching band, people underestimate the atractive-ness, talent, intelligence, athletic skill, and speed that lies within a musician (a REAL musician...ones that can run while the charging trombones are coming at them on the field. Sorry, I said it.) "Go football!!" (and when I say that, I REALLY mean, "Make way for the band!"

Liz said...

I played the flute, but quite before high school. In high school I would go to football games but I never really watched the game. I was too busy watching the cheerleaders, but not in a pervie way I promise I just really really wanted to be one.