The Pacific Northwest has gone just a little crazy over football after the Seahawks’ win of the Super Bowl. Even those of us who never watch football have found ourselves glued to the games and, truth be told, actually cheering.
I sub in school libraries occasionally and found myself subbing in an elementary school the Friday before Super Bowl Sunday. The principal had relaxed the “uniforms only” rule for that day and the kids could wear sports t-shirts instead (or colors of their favorite teams). I wish I had counted the Seahawk jerseys I saw–a sea of blue and green all day long.
The day before the big Seattle victory parade, I was again subbing, this time in a high school library, and I overheard plans and scheming all day long. Predictions at that point were for a 200-300,000 crowd. We’re located on the Kitsap Peninsula, a 10 mile drive and a ferry ride away from Seattle, but the seniors early in the day had planned that this day would be their “senior skip day.” Excitement turned to disgust when they realized a bunch of juniors were going, too. In the end, a sizable number of ninth and tenth graders must have joined the ranks–the staff speculated that at least 2/3 of their student body was gone the next day. And predictions were wrong–a crowd of some 700,000 showed for the parade.
But earlier, the day before the big game, five women friends and I gathered for lunch. Eventually the discussion turned to football’s finer points. That was a stretch since what we five know about football could be written in a big black marker on a toy football. It was pathetic.
Betty (I’ve changed names to protect all of us) was the most excited. She and her husband, who rarely watch television, had watched the game against San Francisco and could hardly wait for this game. “I bought hot dog fixings and we’re all set–we’re going to have popcorn, too!” She passed the bowl of spinach to Dora.
“Maybe I’ll watch, ” said Dora as she tackled her spinach. “You know, I didn’t know what the ’12th Man’ was until two weeks ago.”
“Neither did I,” added Rochelle (who grew up in football-crazy Ohio).
“Well, I knew THAT!” exclaimed Margaret. “But I didn’t know until recently that the two parts of the team, defense and offense, aren’t on the field at the same time. Imagine that!”
“They’re not? said Dora.
“I didn’t know that either,” added Rochelle.
“Well,” explained Betty, as she fumbled with her roll as she buttered it, “A few of the players do stay on the field, though.”
“I don’t think so.” Margaret was running a little interference.
Henrietta took a sip of tea and entered the line-up. “Did you know there are no quarterbacks anymore?”
“Really? Are you sure?” I was feeling blind-sided.
“Yes, really–no quarterbacks,” Henrietta defended.
(She emailed the next day that she was mistaken–she thought cornerbacks had replaced quarterbacks, “But actually they both exist.”)
“So who’s predicted to win?”
“I heard Seahawks. It’s going to be a close game, a good game.” Betty had the ball and was running with it.
“So you’re predicting a close score?”
“That’s what some people are saying.”
Yep, we were all blind-sided!