Nope, not a sport fanatic. Not at all.
Sunday evening, Don and I found ourselves in company of some of his colleagues with the playoff game (conference championship) of the NFC as the impetus for the gathering. That's right. I attended a football viewing party.
But, you are not a fan of football, you say.
That is correct, I reply.
So, why this one? You ask.
I shall tell you.
Phoenix was playing.
Yup, Phoenix, my hometown. Or rather, my town of 8 years before we moved to The Netherlands. The fact that the team had risen through the ranks this season, winning game after game had certainly eluded me, but The Cardinals arrival at this championship game, precursor to THE SUPERBOWL couldn't be missed. Well, I suppose it could have, but with the plethora of email and facebook messages arriving from LOYAL FANS (aka my friends) back in Phoenix lauding the accomplishments of the hometown team, I didn't miss it.
I presented myself honestly and openly at this viewing party outing myself immediately as the person in the room who easily knew the least about the sport and likely couldn't care less about the game.
And then, there was the National Anthem and the kickoff.
And somehow, I was completely swept in.
Suddenly, I was the person in the room jumping up and shouting louder than anyone on the good plays. I was also the person in the room holding head in hands and biting her nails on the bad ones.
In a word I was looking: Fanatic.
Midway through the game I publicly declared my enthusiasm for all things PHOENIX CARDINALS announcing to all within earshot: "If the Cards win tonight I am getting cornrows in my hair tomorrow!" (Follow my logic here, this in honor of the ever-amazing Larry Fitzgerald, Number 11, Wide Receiver, who I admittedly developed a bit of a crush on through the course of the game--but honestly, what's not to love, admire and emulate when watching the powerhouse of grace, speed and finesse?)
(Oh, and he's super good looking too)
I know Don was secretly (he even may have said it out loud) hoping that my enthusiasm for white girl dreds would leave me or I would retract the statement by the end of the game. I did neither but offered the compromise that I would merely throw a few plaits into my coiff as
talisman token gesture of fanaticism support until the Superbowl.
So,that's that then. The Phoenix Cardinals won the game and are on their way for the first time to the mother of all bowl games. And me? I am braiding my hair in devotion. Upon consensus there will be one into the 'do for me. One for Elway, the stuffed bear who was watching along with us (that's a whole 'nother story), and one in for Don's boss. Raise your hands in the air in support of The Cards and I just may add a braid for you too.
Don't worry, I will complete the look with red and white beads hanging from the braids. It's going to be grand. I am celebrating the way only a fair weather fan can.
American Football is so my sport.