Monday, January 14, 2008
Go the Bolts!
When I first landed on these fair shores, I thought American football was the woosiest game out. For heaven sake, I'm a Kiwi raised on rugby - 80 minutes a game with only a 10 minute half-time, no padding, no game stoppages unless for injury, pretty much the same 15 players playing for the entire match, non-stop.
And then on the field comes these huge Yankee brutes, wearing tights and long socks and gloves, padded to the hilt, with helmets even, special teams left right and center, four hours of game time, which only really boils down to about 15 minutes in total of actual "play" time, and you get to rest between moves.
And then I started watching this woosy game, particularly College football, and understanding the rules a wee bit better, and getting to recognize a few players, and perhaps even start appreciating the athleticness of those "brutes". Then we moved to San Diego, home for my other half. And thus the Chargers, and SDSU's Aztecs, for which we even had season tickets, became "my" teams. And a few years back, the other half's dad (my father-out-of-law) took me to my first NFL game at Qualcomm Stadium. Not only did we drink a lot of beer, but the atmosphere was quite amazing. And the noise! (Can't even remember if we won or not - not the fault of the beer, I hasten to add.)
And every year now I've avidly watched the season on TV, cheering the Chargers on - groaning when Schottenheimer would make a dud call during the last few minutes of a close game, cheering when LT and Gates and Merriman and Cromartie and Kaeding and all the others did their thing. Waved Drew Brees farewell. And sometimes wishing Rivers had a wee bit more humility... And wondering how on earth could we then get a new coach who had at one time been a coach for the Raiders (and I was taught to "hate the Raiders"!)!
And on Saturday, I didn't see any woosy players as Packers and Sea Hawks fought it out in driving snow, with bare arms.
And yesterday, I had my heart in my mouth as we beat those Mannings - and that's another story in San Diego Chargers' history...
And next weekend we're playing the Patriots (the "cheaters", as they're disparagingly called in San Diego, I learned over Christmas) for a place in the Super Bowl...
Go the Bolts!