I don't care about football.
There, I've said it. And it's true.
I spent four years of my life at Texas A&M (and about 15 years of my life living in College Station, Texas, home of the fightin' Texas Aggies.) And yet, when one of my fellow Texan friends asks me how my team did over the weekend, it takes me a minute to figure out just what "my team" is, and then I have to stutter over some stupid explanation about how I "missed" the game. Truth be told, I didn't know there was a game, and I don't know why this football team is suddenly "my team" just because I went to school there.
The bad news about not being a football fan especially here in Georgia is that it excludes one from many water cooler conversations every Monday. The big news about Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick's injury just didn't have much of an impact on those of us who don't watch football, but it was huge life-changing news to everyone else.
Inevitably this time of year I'll go to some meeting and a speaker will crack a joke about the Dogs and some people will laugh, but someone else will make another joke and I sit there with absolutely no idea what's going on. See, if you're not a football fan, you become incredibly ignorant during football season. I feel like everywhere I go, I'm surrounded by people who are speaking another language. Every now and then I pick up a phrase I've heard before ("touchdown" is one) and I smile with understanding. But then someone turns to me and asks me what I think of A&M's new coach. Guess what? I didn't know A&M had a new coach, and I sure as heck don't have an opinion about his abilities. So I say something ambiguous like, "We'll see Should be interesting."
Last year I tried to be a good southerner, and I watched the great Thanksgiving A&M-University of Texas game on television. (I think I still owe UT grad Joe Hoffman a steak dinner for my poorly-negotiated wager on that one.) I watched the entire game, and I was able to hold my head high on Monday morning and engage in conversation about how "my team" had lost the big game. But just when things were starting to go well, the conversation began jumbled up with "footballese" again, and people started using foreign phrases like "50 yard line, "turnover" and "triple overtime."
And once again, I smile and mumble, "We'll see Should be interesting."
Perhaps there's no hope for us bad southerners during football season after all.
April Avison is the city editor of the Daily Herald. Her column appears on Mondays. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.