November 17th, 2011

love a nerd

LJ Idol 8:5 - Inconceivable!

If you had told me a few years ago that I would be spending my Thursday night at a bar - willingly - watching a football game - I would have asked you what you were smoking.

Last week at karaoke, I happened to notice on the TV at the bar that they would be playing the Broncos vs. Jets game and my heart rejoiced. Since saying my "I do's" with a Broncos fan just over three years ago in Vegas, I have become what I never really would thought I would be.

Not just a Broncos fan, although that's surprising enough, but a SPORTS FAN in general.

To give you a little background, I come from a family of jocks and sports fans. My mother would have played basketball in high school if she hadn't graduated before Title IX. I mean, for Pete's sake, my dad's name is Mike Schmidt and he played baseball. (Not for the Phillies, though...for Gonzaga in the early seventies. And he never went pro. But Bing Crosby did watch him play once.) My Uncle Bob was a football standout at WSU. And, not to brag, but he does golf with John Elway. And his dad. (This makes my heart happy.)

My brothers wrestled. Or at least two out of three did. Baseball. Basketball. Football. Youth league soccer. And because I didn't care about sports at all as a teenager, I would chill at home in front of the TV or curling up on the couch with a good book and enjoying a blessed few hours of quiet away from my rowdy, rambunctious family. Why would I want to be sitting in uncomfortable bleachers when I could be at home, on the couch? To me, the choice was clearly obvious.

In fifth grade, I attempted to play softball. Basically this consisted of a few things, but primarily I stood in the outfield with my friend Jami and talked about the newest Babysitters Club book and psyched out the kid who was batting by yelling "BEEP!!" as loud as we could. When I finally hit the ball (reverse psychology after hearing someone say "Yeah, like SHE'S going to hit it"), I ended up running backwards around the bases, bound and determined to get a home run if it would KILL ME. I started on third and well...I just kept going.

And my misadventures in sports became a bit of a family legend. And because it's fun to over-exaggerate to make for a better story, I can't lie, I have padded a few of my sports-related misadventures.

"Remember that time that Mrs. Lott told you in seventh grade that you couldn't serve when you played volleyball in PE because you knocked Mr. Hutchinson unconscious?"

(He caught it mid-air. But she still wouldn't let me serve anymore. It was probably a good call.)

"Remember that time that you tackled that kid in flag football when you were a freshman? WHAT ARE YOU DOING, I'M ON YOUR TEAM!"

(I never really tackled him. He was on my team, though.)

"Remember that time you bounced the soccer ball off your head in fifth grade?"

(That one really happened, and it hurt like hell, too. I remember ending up in the nurse's office after that, partly because of shock and partly because of pain.)

My first husband hated sports. I imagine that's because the jocks were mean to him in high school, because that's usually why a lot of guys hate sports, at least from my personal experience. We'd watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Football was stupid. Baseball was boring. Bowling was pointless because "I always get gutter balls." He wouldn't even take a walk with me because as far as he was concerned, there was no point unless you were going somewhere.

After my divorce, I became a Carolina Panthers fan and would have kissed the ground that Jake Delhomme walked on. I invited my parents and my brothers over to my place and we watched the Panthers play the Seahawks, where I received a lot of grief for rooting for the "wrong team". It was a massacre. They went home happy, I stayed home and sulked. Jake, you let me down. You and Steve Smith and your Bojangles chicken commercials have disappointed me for the last time!

And I fell in love with - and married - a diehard Denver Broncos fan. The first weekend I spent here in Tucson in November of 2006 was right in the thick of football season, and I remember tiptoeing around my future father-in-law as he screamed at Marty Schottenheimer from the couch in the front room. When we went on our first date, we kept sneaking glances at the TV behind us at the bar. It was the big Manning vs. Manning game. Colts vs. Giants. Brother vs, brother. Peyton vs. Eli. (I think the Giants won.)

Fast forward just over five years. Instead of me taking a hot bath and escaping the riotous yells of victorious football fans as their team takes the win, I'm right there screaming along with them as Tebow runs for a touchdown and Broncos win...BRONCOS WIN!

If you had told me ten years ago that I'd be suggesting that my husband and I spend our date night at Buffalo Wild Wings watching the Broncos play the Jets on a sixty inch flat screen TV, I would have laughed at you. Inconceivable, I would have thought.

That word, you know, doesn't always mean what you think it means.