Just Excitedly Busy – Watching The Game

Oct 19, 2009 by

A fellow game watcher referred to it as the Gifted and Talented TV once we observed during a commercial break that the tube under the shady tent was broadcasting the game a couple of seconds earlier than the large, spiffy flat screen that most everybody else who didn’t mind the sun was glued to across the yard of concrete that flanked the side of the house.

If we were a tad more mercenary, we could have cleaned up on some split-second bets with folks drunker than we as we ran from teevee to teevee, but we were glued to this game, full of brew from the keg of Rodeo Lawyer Beer nearby, and content to cheer on the team a couple of seconds before the rest of the crowd assembled knew what was happening. Our small crew of women had its priorities, by God, and we were cheering on the Saints in their victory this weekend between mediating disputes between our kids, getting each other more food and beer, and just being raucous fools with our friends.

It sounds like some kind of bad joke: a Jewish mother and her son go to a pig roast…but, truth of the matter is, we basked in the smell of the beast roasting on the spit the guys from Cochon set up on our neighbors’ rental property as payment for some debris moving and hauling work he did for them, and didn’t partake of any. The kid was too busy running around with all the other kids there, and I was only getting up from my chair to get some beer at the commercials and grab some trail mix, chips, or the divine jambalaya someone had brought. The game was one that kept your eyes glued to the screen, for certain, and I wasn’t planning on missing much.

How do women get into watching these things?

I was never much interested in this as a kid. Sure I’d get into it a little, but not like this. Blame it on some of the Super Bowl parties I began to attend while I was here…or on the University of Tennessee games my mother and her parents spoke of back in the day (at one crucial win for the Vols, Granddaddy had had to shove Grandmother into a mass of bushes to save her from hordes of fans who had descended on the field to carry off the goalposts; my grandparents came home looking like hell, but, aside from some scrapes from the bushes they dove into, they were otherwise uninjured)…or the times I have gone to LSU games and cheered with my husband – for the opposing team (San Jose State, University of Illinois, and Tulane, all of which my husband has some connection to)…or the grade-school interest I had in the Houston Oilers until they made some exploratory trips to Jacksonville over a possible move, held up the city for certain conditions that had to be met for them to stay in Houston (among them ripping out the Astrolite scoreboard in the Astrodome to get more seating installed), then left anyway for Tennessee. Tennessee already had the Vols, dammit, they didn’t need a pro football team…but apparently they did, because the Titans are still there.

But hey, the evidence is there that I have become an avid watcher of these games from a few years before we moved back to New Orleans, when I was the only woman in a sea of men and boys watching the Super Bowl game at the party the men’s club of the synagogue in Queens we attended would throw. It’s photographic evidence on the synagogue’s website for all to see, to boot – all the other women were sitting back at some tables out of range of the TV and concentrating on other things. I think on it now and realize none of them were from the South.

Watching football games is a communal exercise, now more than ever – and I’m not just talking about those who go to the Superdome or their stadium of choice and cheer their team on in a seat while paying out the nose for concessions. One thing I chatted with longtime Saints fans about were the days when tickets to Saints games couldn’t be given away, and since the regular season games were never sold out, the games weren’t shown on Fox Sports on the weekends, and forget Monday Night Football. The only recourses left were snagging one of those empty seats, heading for the nearest bar if you didn’t have cable or satellite TV, or listening to the radio. Having a large block party gathering to watch, say, the teams Ditka coached just wasn’t done.

But hey, there I was with Saints fan families all around me nibbling on grilled oysters while waiting on the pig to finish cooking, dogs running all over the place and dodging feet large and small while scrounging for food dropped to the ground, kids running, laughing, and commandeering the trailer the spit came on in order to pretend they were pirates on a ship with a purple flame job, and people of all ages cheering Lance Moore’s catch in the end zone seconds after we at the G & T teevee screamed for him and his happy dance.

When the game was over, someone pointed out the main difference between the two screens: “The G & T: DirecTV on it. The big flat-screen: Cox.”

Good to know…especially when I saw the time warped Patriots-Oilers…errr…Patriots-Titans game on the flat screen a few moments later. That teevee attached to Cox kept going back, and back, and back…


Update, 10-20: DSB over at bark, bugs, leaves, and lizards gives us something to think about other than the victories when we are watching football.

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