by Elise Seyfried
I can’t tell you how excited I am about the Super Bowl Sunday!! Really, I can’t. Because I’m not. Oh, I’ll probably wander through the family room at ad times, just to see what edgy humor and special effects a jillion bucks a minute buys these days. I might catch a glimpse of the halftime show, because I’ve been a fan of Justin Timberlake since I was a little girl. But the gridiron competition itself? Not at all.
For one thing, I lack the background info necessary to truly appreciate the game: which teams are playing, for example. How the game is actually played, for another. Only one of our kids played football in school. Patrick was a place kicker. I faithfully attended the Upper Dublin High School games. However, after he kicked, I always tuned out the rest of the game and therefore can’t tell my fullbacks from my halfbacks from my three-eighth backs.
But more importantly, I lack the interest. And at this point in my life, I’m not afraid to say it. I have learned that the sky will not fall if I am not keen on this or that subject. But it wasn’t always this way.
Time was, I was an utter fraud. Because my husband Steve was a rabid sports fan, and because I was a rabid Steve fan, I feigned wild enthusiasm for the World Series, the NCAA Final Four Tournament and the PGA tour. Couldn’t wait to get up early and catch the action at Wimbledon. Never mind that, deep down, I would only have been intrigued by tennis if McEnroe and Connors were lobbing, say, a live ferret back and forth over the net.
For the first few years we were together, we hosted a small Super Bowl party. Actress that I was, I rooted for the star quarterback as he snaked through a line of behemoths en route to that silly little victory dance. On pain of death, I’d still be unable to recall a single team or player from those golden days of sport. Can’t even remember the commercials. Just a total blank.
By the way, my make-believe enjoyment extended to the Bob Dylan tickets I bought for us in our dating days. What, I ask you, is the big deal about Dylan? Steve thinks he’s wonderful. I do not get it. But I was there, and I dutifully rose to my feet with the crowd while The Great One mumbled that the times they were a changin’.
Around about year four of wedded life, I finally dropped the facade. Miraculously, my marriage has survived the following revelations: 1) I truly detest Bob Dylan songs. 2) I will NEVER carry Steve’s golf clubs again. I’d once done this for 18 very painful holes at the Valdosta (GA) Country Club in my quest to be a stellar girlfriend. 3) The second my hubby leaves the room, I switch from Sports Center to the Food Network. 4) I hate the Olympics!
It seems they come along every three months or so, hyped to the nth degree. I am afraid to watch the young athletes’ dreams crash and burn when they slip doing a triple axel or bungle it on the balance beam; I am convinced that I am a jinx, and I feel they have a better shot at success if I stay far, far away.
So what are my plans for Sunday evening?
Nothing involving touchdowns; that’s for sure. The Crown Jewel of American Sports will glitter on without me. That leaves some popcorn in the bowl and an open spot on our sofa. If you’re a fan, come on by. You and Steve can cheer yourselves hoarse. I am, officially, bowled over.
Elise Seyfried is Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ’s Lutheran Church in Oreland. She is also an actress, wife, mother of five and co-author (with husband, Steve) of 15 plays for children. She is the author of a self-published book, “Unhaling: On God, Grace and a Perfectly Imperfect Life,” a collection of essays. It can be purchased for $15 plus shipping through www.eliseseyfried.com.