Three years ago today I wrote this post. Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez are no longer around, but the rest of the post is as relevant today as it was then. I love when that happens…
Football was never my favorite sport, and then I became a Jets Fan.
I did not allow my sons to play football in high school for fear some padded monstrosity would mercilessly tackle them. I saw nothing appealing about a game in which large men ran after a pigskin, excessive levels of testosterone abounding, looking to pummel whatever got in their path. It seemed to me the polar opposite of evolved.
Interest started slowly. My sons would gather in our den with lots of friends to watch games. For whatever reason – perhaps it was home team pride (NY Jets), perhaps it was too much faith in Mark Sanchez or Rex Ryan, or perhaps for no good reason at all, we chose the Jets. I’d bring snacks to a hungry crowd, sitting on the edge of their seats, yelling and watching the television with extreme intention, (I often asked why they didn’t put as much energy into their school work). They spoke (screamed?) in an animated fashion – usually saying something motivational, followed by expletives of disgust;, as in; “Come on, come on, just through it to an open guy” – then – “You f#@*ing asshole. Like that. I would leave the room, shaking my head, thinking, who cares?
But there were times when one or all three of my sons would watch and I’d sit beside them, asking questions, trying to understand the game and their interest in it. It was a challenge because our conversations generally went like this: “What just happened?” I’d ask in response to them slamming their hand on the couch or stomping a foot.” To which they’d respond, “Shh, not now, Mom.”
Then last year, on a sunny, beautiful, exciting day, the generous man I’m dating invited my sons and me to see a game at the MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The jets were playing the Indianapolis Colts. Our seats were close to the action on the 40 yard line. We wore Jets paraphernalia; hats, jerseys, sweatshirts. And the piece de resistance was – after all the yelling, standing, and posturing – the Jets won!
My first experience, watching the Jets play live, was a resounding success. But then the Jets, being the Jets, just lost one game after another. It wasn’t easy being a Jets fan.
When I asked my son Scott if we could pick another team to root for, he smiled, shook his head, and said; “Mom, a fan’s a fan. You don’t just leave them when they’re down.” And I think, Don’t you love it, life lessons can come from anywhere!