|I was always flabbergasted that Walter Payton was sponsored by KangaROOS.|
A few years ago, I was broadcasting high school football games for a local Philadelphia radio station and was given the assignment to cover the Catholic League championship game between St. Joes Prep and La Salle High. The wonderful thing about broadcasting high school football is that your average audience consists of around 11 people, so as an announcer, you just make up statistics and learn the fine art of stretching out your sentences to cover up the fact that you spend the entire game scuttling through your papers to find out #53's name when in fact he may have switched jerseys with #87 midway through the season and they just never updated the program. You say things like, "Handoff to number thirtyyyyyyyyyyyyyy two, yeah, that's a two, Jimmy McccccccccccccccNichols who rumbles up the field forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, oh, I dunno, about 7 yards? Is this field even painted? I can't see the yardage markers, and yeah, that tackle was made byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Christopher DiFillipiantonio and wow, yes, that's his actual name. Nice play buddy."
Anyway, at this particular game my wife decided to join me and instead of having her just sit there and freeze to death, I decided to put her to work. There was a raucous student section of St. Joes Prep fans so we pretended that my wife was our sideline reporter, relaying updates from the St. Joes' section. We didn't actually have another microphone or the technology to do anything really, so I would just pass Katie the mic and she'd make up some story like, "Hey guys! There's four kids down here with their shirts off and they're barking like frogs. It's great! Back to you guys in the booth!"
|One of the many reasons my wife likes the Bengals.|
By midway through the 2nd Quarter, Katie was literally rocking back and forth in her chair, itching for us to pass her the mic just so she could say something ridiculous followed by, "Back to you guys in the booth!" I don't know if she watched one minute of game action that night and I don't even know if there was anyone else in the booth with me, nor was I actually in a booth, but my wife was WAY into those three hours of football. Since then, we've literally watched thousands of more hours of football together and she has never even been CLOSE to that excited for a game, until, now I say, I say, UNTIL reading The Blind Side and watching Michael Oher play football.
Now Michael Oher plays Offensive Tackle, which is without a doubt the most boring person to watch on a football field (with the exception of the Offensive Guard who lines up next to the tackle and happens to be the 22nd least mobile player on the field at all times). But because of The Blind Side, Baltimore Ravens' offensive possessions are now must-see-TV in our household.
Katie also likes watching any team that is named after a wild animal, like the Lions or Panthers or Jaguars or Bengals (especially the Bengals with their giant, elongated orange Bengal at midfield) or the Cheetahs or the Chickens or the Vikings because she has been to Norway quite a few times and loves it there and they have nice purple horns on their helmets which now as I write that, sounds VERY erotic.
I like to form my opinions on football players based on their performances or personalities or abilities to run over a moose, but then again this is not TV I Watch, this is TV My Wife Watches (which now looking back seems like a VERY silly decision).
Regardless, here are my wife's thoughts on various football players and personalities:
NFL People My Wife Likes:
It must first be made clear that my wife's favorite athlete of all-time is Latrell Sprewell, a guy who once choked out his coach and was purportedly blackballed from the NBA for having an attitude problem. She also lives by the credo, "Don't Tell Me What To Do" and is a VERY scary person (especially when dishes are left in the sink).
|Let's be honest, this pass was probably picked off.|
|I never understand why people wear jackets in Los Angeles.|
|It's not polite to point Michael. It's also not polite to COMPLETELY DOMINATE my fantasy football league.|
Other receiving votes: Mason Crosby (Katie's brother went to Colorado and so did Mason), Desean Jackson (I actually have no idea whether or not Katie likes him, but I absolutely LURVE him), Charles Woodson (I have his Raiders jersey and she likes to wear it), Randy Moss, Hines Ward (I think she likes that he's Peloponnesian or something), Chad Ochocinco (funny and cute), Shannon Sharpe (funny and enormous) and any dude who shows off his arms like Osi Umenyiora.
NFL People My Wife LOATHES:
|Not pictured: Ben's third hand getting to third base.|
Ben Roethlisberger - I can't quite explain the hatred that my wife has for Big Ben. When his face appears on the screen, I unconsciously start picking up my dirty socks from the floor in an attempt to stay out of her wake.
|Why is that microphone recording his package?|
Ray Lewis - This is one that I staunchly disagree with my wife about. Okay, the guy killed someone with his bare hands, get over it. Fans like players that are passionate about stuff and Ray Lew is passionate about taking a guy's face and smashing it. He is also passionate about taking a knife and jamming it into a guy's ribcage and killing him and then not going to jail because he's really good at tackling people AND selling deodorant.
|A Pre-Bieber Bieber.|
Cris Collinsworth - Just a weeny.
NFL's A-List Celebs:
|Honestly, what is going on here? Was Reggie wearing a jacket without a shirt? I drive a Nissan Altima.|
Reggie Bush - Another quote from my wife: "I wish he and Kim Kardash would get back together. I bet that'd be nice for her. Although, he's always travelling which can be tough on a relationship. Although, she's a busy girl too. I dunno, I don't really have enough thoughts on them to make this interesting."
|Buy one get one haircuts!|
Kurt Warner - My wife previously hated Kurt and thought he was way too religious, but really enjoyed getting to know him on Dancing With The Stars. Personally, I think his legacy is way overrated and remember him more for coughing up the ball and being about as mobile as a shoe. Then again, he could occasionally fit a ball into the tightest of spaces at absolutely went bing-bang-bonkers during that season with the Rams in 1999. Overall feelings on Kurt Warns ......... thumbs up!
|Of course that kid has that hairstyle!|
Michael Oher - What's not to love? Big, black cuddly dude who came from the most humbling of beginnings to achieve NFL stardom and has yet to choke anyone including Jesse James.
Tom Brady - "So over him," my wife said when I asked her about Brady. Look, I understand that he left his pregnant girlfriend and is currently rocking the Bieber, but this dude is legit. He's a phenomenal quarterback, tough as nails and an absolute pimp. As my wife mulled it over, she finally admitted, "I mean, he's no Ben Roethlisberger. I'd certainly have lunch with him if he asked me."
NFL People My Wife LOVVVVVVVES:
|Omar Epps / Mike Tomlin / Not Me|
Mike Tomlin - My wife has a thing for young, fit, black coaches who look and act absolutely NOTHING like me. Tomlin is serious, stern and could crush a beer can with his neck. I am goofy, loose and am terrified of both aluminum and people with really strong necks.
|It's just head-lice, not that big of a deal.|
Stewart Bradley - C'mon, I am fully capable of admitting when a dude is good looking (George Clooney, Chris Webber, Enya) and Stewart Bradley is not. Also, he's always getting hurt and is absolutely nothing like Byron Evans. Thumbs down.
|Thanks Mark. This does a lot for my confidence.|
Mark Sanchez (and to be quite honest, anyone who played quarterback at USC) - More quotes right from the horse's mouth: "He cute. I like him because he's on the Jets, which was my dad's favorite team growing up and he came right in and started as a rookie, right? He likes playing practical jokes and although I don't like practical jokes played on me, I like when they're played on other people. Also, I haven't quite studied it closely enough, but I bet he has some nice little tight buns like Derek Jeter. Yeah, I bet he has some nice little Derek Jeter buns. Wait, why haven't I studied that?"