Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why the People Who Know Me Are Shocked...

... about my professional football decision.

I once went to a game in full face paint.

Next to my wedding and birth of my son, my favorite memory is going to Super Bowl XXV.

I'll attempt to be brief:

I went to college in Fallic Southern State and the athletic team I played on raised money for extra equipment by working as security guards (you know, the ones with the yellow jackets that say SECURITY on the back) at concerts and sporting events.

We had to sign up in August (preseason) and I did because I KNEW the GIANTS were going to the Super Bowl.

No. Stop right there.

Every one else was predicting a three-peat for the 49ers or maybe the LA (at the time) Rams but I knew it was the GIANTS time. Even when Phil Simms went down in the middle of the season - I knew.

Here is where I cut the story and 'yada, yada, yada' the actual season and the playoffs (except for a brief mention of Leonard Marshall smushing pretty boy, Joe Montana... heh, heh, heh). The GIANTS beat the 49ers on a last second field goal and my prediction came true - the GIANTS were coming to town for the Super Bowl.

Now some people backed out at this point because they didn't want to get stuck being security in the parking lot or guarding a bathroom or something. I decided to take the risk since even hanging out in the parking lot was closer than I was probably ever going to get to going to the Super Bowl.

Another key to this story is that we were in the midst of the Persian Gulf War and so security was absolutely hyper. The day started very early for us and I was stationed inside the stadium - sa-WEET! But right as the Florida orchestra was setting up for the National Anthem, the guy in charge called me down from the top of the stadium and positioned me down in the bowels of the stadium, in front of a ladies room. I watched Whitney Houston sing the National Anthem on a tv that was hanging above the snack bar.

Now this was 1991 and I was a football-obssessed college student who had no clue the damage terrorists could do so with only a twinge of guilt... I left my post. There was no way I was getting THAT close, actually hearing the roar of the crowd - but not watching the actual game.

I went back up and walked around trying to look important and trying to stay out of other peoples' way. Then I caught the supervisors' attention who gave me a glare and then said he was a GIANTS fan too and sat me down to guard that row of chairs. YES!

As the second half started he said that he really did need me back up where I was - I didn't care, I just wanted to stay in the stadium. I went back up to the very top to 'guard the flags'. This is also where you can find the real fans, and not all of corporate America who just use the game as another perk. They were happy to see me as the other woman who had been there didn't even like football and when they pushed her to pick a team she said the OTHER one.

I returned to my post and watched and held hands with the other fans when the other team lined up for a game winning field goal. I held my breath as we looked to the players on the field to tell us because our height and angle was so great it was hard to tell if the ball went through the goal posts or not... HE MISSED! I watched as one of my favorite players - and actual good guy - jumped so high his fingertips seemed to touch the skywaited. Final Scored: 20-19.


After the game I was helping walk the guys to their busses (Yes, Mr. 7'6", 300+lb, offensive lineman - I am here to protect you!). Some of them invited the group of us to go out and party and celebrate their victory with them. Some of the guys and women from my school went, but I did not.

I wanted my idols to stay my idols and I wasn't stupid. These are grown men, celebrating a huge victory in slightly seedy city's party district. I'll pass.


ppb said...

so, clearly, this letting go of football is a sign of hte apocalypse?

and the super bowl trumped your ordination?

Identity mixed said...

That is a beautiful memory! I have one very close - being excused from high school to go to the Penguin Rally after they won the Stanley Cup. Went down with a bunch of friends and we got stuck on the highway outside of the Heinz plant. We had to sit there and smell pickles and vinegar for 3 hours, but people were out of their cars "whooping" and loving life. I smelled like pickles for weeks and I did not mind one bit.

It was when the only English Jagr knew was "Elvis has left the building!"

Michele R said...

A great memory I have is getting to go see hubby's alma mater (Syracuse University) play in the Fiesta Bowl one year. We had a blast! I actually stopped and called my mom from a pay phone, just so she could hear the noise of the crowd.

This year, we are traveling back to the alma mater (and our home town) to take our boys to their first game at "The Dome."

St. Casserole said...

All this sports stuff is beyond me but I do understand that you had a great time!

Was this like sitting on stage with Van Cliburn?

Just wondering.

The Vicar of Hogsmeade said...

That was a great game!

If I had been able to go to the Super Bowl that the Seahawks were in, it would've trumped my ordination. No question.

I have Sirius radio because of home broadcast of NFL games. And I have NFL network on pretty regularly.

I think I have a glimmer of what a huge shift this is for you.

will smama said...

My ordination was certainly a momentous occasion but it was tainted by the challenge of flying from where I am now to Fallic Southern State (and yes I know I am spelling phallic wrong). My ordination took place in September of 2001 so although joyous, it was hard to really enjoy the moment.