We've established my lack of passion for sports. So it will come as no surprise to you that I've lived in the same city as an NFL team for most of my life and had never attended one of their games, that is until a couple of weeks ago. In my 34 years I'd only been in their stadium for the U2 Achtung Baby concert in high school. (Which was stellar by the way!) But I don't really feel like I'm missing anything with my lack of interest in sports. It just doesn't do it for me. And attending my first NFL game didn't change that essential fact, but attending a game was vastly different from just watching it on TV. I felt like I'd stepped into another world, a fascinating, delightful world filled with new customs, cultural expectations, indigenous costumes and musical traditions involving lots of Kid Rock.
And tailgating, oh, the tailgating! Sitting around outside in a parking lot on a Sunday morning, talking and hanging out with friends and family, while eating savory and not so nutritious foods? Plus the excuse needed to drink alcohol before noon? I could do this every weekend.
These were some of the most memorable things from my very first NFL game:
-The disgusted look on Kristen's face anytime the cheerleaders were on the field.
-Joe got stung by a bee. He thought he had a piece of bbq brisket on his thumb and he squeezed it. That brisket was actually a bee.
-The continuous use of the music of Kid Rock throughout the game. The hoped for possibility that Kid Rock was actually performing songs at gunpoint while being held hostage in one of the enormous speakers.
-Tara seat-dancing to Kid Rock.
-The fact that one of Joe's coworkers spilled his beer down the back of the guy sitting next to me, but not a drop got on me.
-Enormous US flag, really, really huge, accompanied by a strangely negative patriotic-seeming country song.
-Fly overs from several military helicopters and jets, our seats were up high, quite high, so the jets and helicopters seemed to be flying within my arm's reach. My inner 12 year old boy was stoked.
-The vast collection of gold and red clothing choices. My favorite was the piled on Mardi Gras bead necklaces and knitted red and gold snood wearing girl a couple of rows in front of us. And she was stumbly druuuunnnk too.
-Joe giving me some condescension free lessons in football. I think I understand, but I'm pretty sure I still don't care. That's harder to teach.
-The little dancing chiefs player statues outside of the port-a-potty line in the parking lot. Amusing while waiting, and inspiring the 350lb bib-n-brace overall wearing guy in front of us to dance right along.
-Many, many over-the-top polished and coiffed ladies with prom hair and make up, but wearing baby size jerseys, high heeled boots and painted on jeans. How is that comfortable? The best girl had this serious heavy black eyeliner that swept up at the edge of her eye so that it nearly reached her eyebrows. I'm not even sure I would know how to apply that correctly.
-The actual game was not good. Our team got one touchdown, it started raining, it started raining harder and we left around half time.
-Yelling, shouting and whistling loudly. These activities are generally frowned upon in public. I like that they are encouraged at sporting events. I yelled and hooted with relish and enthusiasm.
-Going home, changing out of my rain soaked jeans, picking up a great book, shrugging off my sporty facade, and getting back to the book nerd that I truly am.