Years ago my Unca Rob started a football pool. He invited Uncle Chauncey, Mike, my husband, my biological father, my sister’s husband, more of my uncles and a couple of other people.

My husband hadn’t watched football since I’d known him, and he doesn’t like betting on stuff, but I’m game for anything, so I asked Unca Rob if I could join in his stead.

Unca Rob never tells me no.

In the beginning he had set up a non-existent player named ‘Dumbass.’ Dumbass was going to generate random picks. It was an experiment to see if studying statistics did any good.

I pointed out that I had never seen football, and would be voting for teams based on colors, mascots and whether I had good memories in the towns they played for.

My husband told me with exasperation that I was not influencing the game, and to please stop calling it voting. 

It was unanimously decided that I would suffice as the team’s Dumbass.

I did very well that year. Apparently nobody else was as savvy as I  about dolphins’ being cuter than rams, or pirates’ being more fun at a party than saints.

But the best part was the banter.

It was smart, razzy and hilarious. I saved every posting.

One of my cousins was quiet — and got hounded for it — before he quit the pool at the end of the season with the comment that he didn’t know there was a minimum SAT score required for participation.

My husband said, “I can see how being in a chat with you, Rob, Chauncey and Jan would be intimitating.”

He was clever to include me in that list, even though we both know I’m not in that league.

No one considered putting Mike on that list.

Mike is our whipping boy. (Watch the comments for Mike’s two cents. He will point out that he wins the pool every year. As if that matters.)

The next year Rob kicked everyone out who wasn’t chatty — even his son, whose sole posting, after a round of ‘What the hell is a seahawk, anyway?’, was “You people are clogging up my inbox. P.S., a seahawk is a breed of osprey.”

Last year my birthday goal was to start watching the games.

Now I’m addicted.

Though we had a teaser game on Thursday, tomorrow is the meaty beginning of the 2011 season. I’ve waited 9 months. It was agony.

Don’t call the house. I’ll be wearing my Chargers jersey and cheering my dumbass head off.


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7 Responses to “Football”

  1. Will Says:

    *sets up automated call-bot*

  2. roberto Says:

    When you play a game with folks, you expect to interact with them to at least a certain degree. Otherwise, you might as well be playing against some artificial opponent. Like Dumbass for instance. At least when you filled that role (in terms of randomness of picks) you brought personality and humanity to the part.

    Sometimes I go out by myself to play nine holes of golf at my local course. There are often regulars there who play all the time usually because they are avid players who bought a pass or who work there and get free golf. There is one regular that I refuse to play with because he never says a goddam thing. He’s not mute. I’ve heard him speak. It’s really creepy and it’s very uncomfortable to spend two hours with a person like that.

  3. Mike Says:

    T., this year you’ll have the entire Press Enterprise sports writing team to help you make your picks. True, you have the Sun to assist in your picks now, but aren’t they a “second rate” paper (your words if I’m not mistaken)?
    Just giving you a hard time for that comment about me not being on that level. Take it back!!

  4. T. Says:

    Uncle! Uncle! I take it back!

  5. Gunky Says:

    I LOVED football til I married man who knew nothing about it. it took some time to wean, but I still have warm fuzzies for Sunday mornings in the fall.

    just another reason to wish we lived closer : P

  6. Shannon Says:

    What was up in now down. We are through the Looking Glass.
    Remember when we first met? Kim watched football constantly and when you and I talked about Aunt Flo’s visit you would refer to it as the SuperBowl.That morphed into when Kim would talk about football to me I would say, “Toni started her period yesterday.”
    He would get the hint and stop talking about something I didn’t want to hear.
    We stopped our Dish Network a couple years ago so he hasn’t watched football since then.
    Now you are talking about football.
    Kim started his period yesterday.

  7. T. Says:

    Ha ha! I forgot all about that Shannon!

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