So my wife plays football for a women’s team in our city. Before you ask, no, it’s not a lingerie football team (this topic deserves its own post). They wear football equipment and it is full tackle. She wears the number 75 and she is proud to be a part of the team. This isn’t her first year playing. She played back in 2015 too, so I already had a preview of what to expect.
However, this year, they are more serious than I remember. She comes home sore and covered in bruises. And that’s when I see her. This, of course, gives her plenty of opportunities to torture me. The other night, she tried to convince me that she had injured herself so badly that she might not be able to play for the rest of the season. This is something that she likes to do. She always has. She likes to test me to see if I can tell her that she is lying. I should have known that she wasn’t serious because she didn’t seem as upset as I would expect her to be if it were true. But she got me. Good job, babe.
Now, I would like to specify that I am not a football fan. Over the last 9 and a half years, I’ve been convinced to go to my in-laws to watch football on the condition of food. Because what else?
I grew up in a hockey family (ringette too, but mostly hockey), so that is a sport that I understand and like to watch. Personally, I prefer my water in liquid form, rather than ice. I’m a swimmer. I play water polo. But that’s besides the point.
Football is a sport that I don’t understand the rules of. I get the basics: run the ball to the other side of the field to score touchdown while the other team tries to stop you. So I do understand some of what is happening, but watching one on TV, I get bored. It is too slow paced to keep my attention for long. That being said, my wife and I have gone to a Saskatchewan Roughrider game. It was the next game they played against Montreal after they lost the Grey Cup. Double overtime for the win. It was exciting. Mostly because it is impossible to not get excited when you are in the atmosphere of the game with hundreds of other fans. We’ve been to a few other Roughrider games and they were enjoyable live, even if I didn’t understand what was happening.
This week alone, I haven’t seen her until almost 9PM and when she does get home, she is off for a shower before a short wind down period. Then it is bed time. Then on game day, she left at 5:30AM to catch the bus to Brandon. I was up and ready to go for 7:00 AM to catch a ride to the game with my father-in-law (thanks, Trevor). It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive, but you also lose an hour on the way there.
So what’s a girl to do on that long journey? Well, I can tell you what I was supposed to do. I was supposed to work on my novel, on editing out my ‘thought’ verbs like wonder, know, etc. I also had a book to read, but it was just the two of us. So instead, we chatted for the drive. We talked about families and adventures. We shared our memories of the person we both love enough to drive 3 1/2 hours to watch her play football. It was a good drive.
So then we arrived in Brandon and got something to eat (Whole30 approved for me) before heading to the game. Trevor had agreed to teach me some things about football during the game, so that I could maybe start to understand what is happening on the field.
There is a reason that I mentioned before that I don’t enjoy football and it is that: from the moment I saw my wife walk onto the field, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I wanted to understand the game, so that I could talk about it with her later and actually follow what she says. I had forgotten this feeling since the first time that she played football. I had forgotten how excited I am at the prospect of watching her play.
So I listened to my father-in-law intensely as he explained what certain calls meant and how you can score 2 points on a safety. I learned about procedures and illegal blocks. He explained why a ball was turned over at a certain point rather than another. Obviously I did not learn everything I need to know to understand football, but I made a start. It is more than I understood before the game and I will keep learning as long as she keeps playing.
So I may have gotten a bit sunburnt and wind burnt, but I will still be in the stands rain or shine. I will continue to learn because I love watching my wife play football. I love how excited she is before and after a game. She is revved up and ready to play for days before and I can tell how happy it makes her. I’m proud that she is my wife and that she is out there kicking ass. She is a #beast and I love fierceness about her. So I will be at every game I can. I will cheer her on from the sidelines as loudly as I can. Because I am proud to be a football wife.
Until next time.