My football career never took off because I’m a narcissistic, attention whore and so I became a pitcher. Later I would start a blog.
On pitching, it’s the embodiment of an egomaniac. The phrase “ball in his hands” stems from the position and there’s a reason that on a scorecard, the pitcher is position number one. He’s always center stage, the game doesn’t start until he’s ready, and all eyes are on him.
A blog is just a twenty-first century name for “house of narcissism.”
So back to the football. As a 6’2″ 210lbs (there’s a reason my brother refers to those days as “Fadam”) freshman in high school benching 65lbs and squatting 115lbs, Coach Brunenkant was excited to have an offensive lineman project. I was in his Beginning Weights class at 11am on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays and for a block period on Wednesdays and was getting the full sale to block in his offense.
I was not going to play O-Line. Ever.
Despite getting to school early and doing things like read books and talk to no one, I was longing for the limelight. To pitch in October, my team’s world series fate in my hands, I idolized the Jack Morris’ of the world. Gutsy performers who took the team on their back, willing them to victory.
And then I played freshman tennis because the baseball coach was too frightening.
Eventually I’d get over that – I’m still terrified of the man – and letter a few times on the diamond, winning two conference titles, garnering one state runner-up appearance (this guy hit a 2-run homer in extras to beat us that I still don’t think has landed) and a few individual awards. It was fun and I hadn’t had to block anyone.
So now that we’ve loosely made our way back to football and not once mentioned basketball (which begins in just nine days, how excited are you?), allow me the point.
Football, despite my lack of desire to play it, is glorious. It’s the best hangover cure since the breakfast burrito and plays the glorious role of the dangling carrot getting you to the weekend. Have you ever tailgated? There’s not much else to say.
It’s a game centered around fandom and I love that.
As they have for eons, people come together to cheer on the successes of others. Their adopted group driving towards a collective goal of victory. And I’m fascinated by the emotional attachment we can grow to the wins and losses of something we have absolutely no control over. It’s bass ackwards but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So now that we’ve covered my narcissism, shyness in high school, and why I love football, I’ll mention that I’m channeling the football spirit into some football writing over at Pacific Takes. I’m primarily covering Arizona’s season, the roller coaster that it is. I talk a lot about the program’s changing culture and I mention this Rodriguez guy a lot.
Here’s my latest where I talk about digging holes, ketchup, and burying trees.
On the basketball front, I’m giddy. The season is just around the corner and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been meandering around town with a good day buzz going and stopped to fully nerd out with someone in a “[insert college here] Basketball” shirt to talk upcoming season.
Let’s get ready cause it’s going to be a fun one.