You may not believe me, but this title is not in jest.

I am a fan of BYU football.

No, I am not lying.

For those of you who may be scratching your head in confusion, let me help you out. Notice the placement of the word 'football.' Notice that it's there. I still say that Current School of Choice is the best place for me to be. School and football are not necessarily the same.

I was, however, raised in the home of BYU football fans. I happen to be spending a lot of time with an avid BYU fan. It's amazing how easy it can be to become interested in the things your interest finds interesting.

For those who may be confused as to why this is very significant in my life, let me somewhat briefly sketch the background.

I started piano lessons when I was five. When the kids my age were learning to play sports, I was practicing the piano. When I was in junior high and high school, I picked up the flute and was involved in a bit of drama. Still no interest in football. I have memories of watching my normally very composed and mellow father get excited, jump up and down and yell at the TV while watching a BYU game. Can we say....bewildering?

My freshman year at the Y, I was taking 16-ish (I think...) credits, was working part time, was on the swing team, and was in the marching band. I dove into all of this not having any sort of concept of the time involved with all of these things. Especially marching band. I'd plan to catch up on homework on a particular Saturday, only to have forgotten that it was a Game Day. Marching band steps off to do pre-game stuff an HOUR before kickoff, and is required to stay until the very last moment of the game. I hadn't been planning to take an entire six hours (or more, plus the six hours of rehearsal during the week) out of my Saturday to freeze to death (I also had very severe anemia). I knew that each team had an endzone, and that they were trying to get the ball to the opposite endzone to get a touchdown. That was about all I knew. Then, I'd get to the game and look around me. I'd see fans that were out of control about the goings on of the game. I quickly got to thinking that football was just an excuse for men to go back to their neanderthalic roots, and I was NOT impressed. At all. I vowed to never attend a live football game ever again if I could help it.

To make things a little shorter here, I reached the low point of my bitterness, and started to find myself a little curious. What could draw people so strongly? Why would people arrive at my place of employment (a bookstore) wearing [team's color] head to toe and still happily spend hundreds of dollars for more stuff?

Almost a year ago, Scottro hosted a football party. By this time, I'd decided that enough was enough, and that if I was going to function in the world, I needed to be able to have a basic foundation of what this sport was all about and why it ran peoples' lives. Figuring that there would be people there that I respected and that had the potential of being knowledgeable and helpful, I decided to go. (Great chili and other friends being there helped too, of course.) Much to my amazement, the men in the room did not act like neanderthals! Even better, they were willing to answer my questions! They were able to cheer, and be quite excited, but they seemed to be somewhat dignified about it. And they weren't annoyed with me, either. I was SO pleased, and had a great time.

Fast forward about five months. I started dating The Franchise, and things seemed to be going well. I decided it was really time to figure out a thing or two about sports. So I bought a cool book. About sports. Learned the basics. That created a framework, so now, I just learn from the best. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes knowing some of the inner workings of the sport. I watched my first whole football game over fall break - USC vs. Washington. It was great! I just watched the entire BYU/New Mexico game this weekend. SO fun. The more I learn, the more I can follow, and the more I enjoy.

Who knew that being a BYU fan could be so...unifying?


erin said...

We are very happy that you've caught the spirit of football. And BYU football is awesome. Can't wait for Saturday's game...

eleka nahmen said...

*shakes head in appall*

All I can say is "wow."

(\vows to never, ever, ever date a guy who is predisposed to like any game that ends in "ball"\)