Sunday, October 18, 2009

teachergirl rants: the gameday edition.

dear girl behind me who, with her five friends, is sharing the spot of two seats:

i appreciate the college football game tradition of tailgating. i think that most people probably don't get riproaring drunk before a game where you have to stand for four hours, keep track of complicated plays, and deal with the heat and limited oxygen of a stadium full of tens of thousands (nearly a hundred thousand) people. 

of course, as i write that, i think that i may be very wrong, given the fact that i heard you complain that you had forgotten your flash and, oh woe is you, didn't have your game on that day.

uh huh.

listen.  you are already standing on my husband's seat. which you shouldn't be doing.  despite both of us having an internal battle about whether or not we were going to be jerks about said spatial intrusion, we decided, nonverbally, against it. thank you for having some semblance of a soul and realizing that when we might want to sit down, you need to move your flip-flopped feet off of our stadium seat.  thank you for also realizing that if you touched my husband one more time, i was going to have to say something.  i mean, i might not have, but i might have started sighing really loudly and looking back at you even more than i was.  so thanks for not making me get passive-aggressive on you.  i appreciate it. 

but here's a few tips.

number one. sit in your own seat.  crowding in with your friends in their 9th row end zone seat may seem like a really good idea, but it's not.  go to your nosebleed section, begrudgingly, and then realize that the brilliance of this stadium is that EVERY seat is good.  and then, once you have paid your dues, you can relish the days when you unexpectedly get the most amazing seat ever, where if the kicker went wide right you'd be catching the failed field goal. 

it's only fair.

number two. stop talking about football like you know what you're talking about unless you actually know what you're talking about.  listen, i understand. i often say things, in the privacy of my own living room, that would be laughable to anyone other than musicboy, who just lovingly listens and corrects me when i'm an idiot. most of the time, though, i confine my comments to things that i know about or have learned about.

or, if i'm not sure, i frame it as a question. that way, i save face if i'm just horribly wrong.  like, for example, last night, i asked musicboy if that particular play should have been a holding penalty call. and i learned that holding only refers to someone who DOESN'T have the ball.  knowing that i had just seemed like an idiot, i made a joke of my idiocy by saying that they should change the rules.

that, my dear, is how it's done.

don't, for example, say that the play featuring a player on our team who has the ball, is trying to break two tackles, and is not yet down on the ground but is still digging for yardage, nay inches, should have been called by the ref 4 seconds ago.


don't, for another example, say that the kick-returning dynamo should have gone to the left instead of jutting up the middle, where he subsequently was tackled, because on the left WAS A BIGGER WALL OF THE OPPOSING TEAM.

these are comments that might be entertaining to those around you at your local sports bar or friend's living room, but they're not for the die-hard fans around you who probably know more about the statistics of this team than you can conceive of. when you enter the stadium, you have to bring your a spectator game. otherwise? you have to be a virtually silent fan, cheering when the obvious things happen and keeping your opinions to yourself.

#3.  on behalf of all women everywhere, can i just please suggest that you speak powerfully and with authority rather than with that affected, artificially elevated voice that has now come to be associated (perhaps unfairly) with blondes or with airheads?  i think you're smarter than that.  i really do.  but i think you speak like that because you think it gets you points, because you think that people like it, or because you think that it will get you what you want.

stop it.

you are an attractive woman who attends one of the best universities in the nation. i don't care what you major in or what your gpa is. you're here. 

speak with authority.  speak with power.  you will get much farther and will do much more with that voice than with the one that is both easily dismissed and easily mocked.  life is not a post-game party, where the dimmest bulb seems the shiniest.  bright is beautiful. own it.

on behalf of all of us who don't think your drunk airhead girl schtick is cute, thank you for your kind consideration.

teachergirl, the football fan.

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