What’s a Mother to Do?
by Ann Edwards Cannon

Chapter 21
’Tis the Season for Football 

[p.63]Basically, I define football as a game where a group of very large men wearing tights run around trying to hurt each other. I mean it. These guys really do want to rip each other apart because they’re ticked off at having to wear such silly outfits. Here they’ve spent all this time developing manly muscles and the next thing you know some coach is making them wear sissy ballerina pants in front of 60,000 people.

I’d be mad, too.

Then again I don’t think wearing tights in public is nearly as bad as wearing boxers, which is what basketball players do. They put on their underwear and off they go to the nearest gym to play a game of pickup with other guys also wearing underwear. So on the basis of clothes alone, I would definitely choose football as my favorite sport.

Actually, I’ve been going to football games for years. When we were in sixth grade, my friend Gigi and I used to pay a quarter for seats in the end zone where we hooked up with sixth grade boys who engaged in the well-known mating ritual of throwing popcorn at our heads.

We also enjoyed trying out original cheers such as the following:

SAY IT CLEAR!
SAY IT LOUD!
OUR FEET SMELL
AND WE’RE PROUD!

Or something along those lines.

Later, when we were teenagers, Gigi and I went to games mainly to critique uniforms. This was a highly educational experience which basically taught us that you are in very big trouble fashion-wise if, like the University of Wyoming, your school colors happen to be brown and gold because recent scientific evidence strongly suggests that people are ten times more likely to mistake your cheerleaders for a convention of Taco Time employees.

[p.64]And since we’re on the subject of fashion, I really wish the football coaches in this country would make a conscientious effort to stop wearing polyester pants and opt instead for natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or, on special occasions such as bowl games, raw silk.

(By the way, have you noticed how many college players are wearing black shoes again? In my opinion this is a serious fashion mistake. White socks and black shoes break the line of the leg.)

Well, as you can imagine, all those years of watching football has given me a thorough grasp of the intricacies of the game—a fact which impresses my friends who are confused by the sport. It’s not that hard, I tell them. Basically, what you have are two teams each with eleven players. One team is the offense, the other is the defense. They line up on the field, the center snaps the ball to the quarterback, and then blah, blah, blah, so on and so forth, etcetera, etcetera, until somebody wins the game and we all go home.

See? There’s nothing to it.

The only reason why people get confused is that they’ve been listening to sports announcers too long. Basically, sports announcers are individuals who get paid huge sums of  money to be on TV wearing earphones and sitting in lazy-boy recliners while gassing with each other about what ever game they happen to be watching. These people are not always easy to understand. When they cover golf matches, for instance, they sit there and whisper to each other which I personally believe is very rude. I want to stand up like my old third grade teacher, Mrs. Rigby, and say, “Excuse me. Would you mind sharing that with the rest of the class, please?”

When it comes to football, sports announcers stop speaking English altogether. They have conversations like the following:

“This defensive line always does a lot of stunting. What do you think, Bob?”

“I thoroughly agree with your comments about stunting, Bill, and by the way, I like your new suit.”

So my advice to you is to forget the sports announcers altogether and concentrate on the game itself. Cheer. Scream. Eat lots of popcorn. Have fun.

And may the team with the best-looking guys win.