Something happens to me on Saturday. On other days I am a mild-mannered wife and mother. I'm a bookish type who listens to NPR and watches History Channel. I teach Voice and sing opera. But not on Saturday. On Saturday I become a screaming, snarling, crazed fanatic. Football.
So what's a sci-fi-loving, Italian-art-song-singing, trivia-spouting nerd like me doing watching football? I blame my dad. He took me to my first game, a high school game, when I was a kid and I fell in love with football. I started watching televised games with my dad, and over time learned the ins and outs of the game. Unfortunately, my dad and I are no longer allowed to watch football together at my parents' house. My mom seems to think we get too rowdy.
Now, when I say that I love football I don't mean that I watch with mild interest. I mean that I watch on the edge of my seat while screaming orders to players, coaches, and refs as if they can hear me. I don't know what happens to me. It's like I have some kind of Jekyll and Hyde transformation. I go from non-confrontational choir girl to rabid, blood-thirsty super fan. While I normally don't have the heart to smush a spider, on Saturdays I find myself screaming things like, "Crush his skull!" at my teams players. I cackle with glee when an opposing team's player goes down. I delight in the tears of grown men after a heartbreaking loss.
What is it about this game that makes me turn into such a ruthless maniac? Perhaps it's just the raw violence involved. I mean, huge grown men are out on the field plowing each other down in order to get a little ball to the opposite end of the field. They are smashing and crushing and knocking and dragging and pulling and pushing and beating each other senseless. That's not something I would normally be into. I do not advocate violence. I don't like vicious maulings.
Except on Saturday. On Saturday vicious maulings are awesome.