My thoughts on football (careful, it’s not much)

lehigh lafayette

In response to yesterday’s Sunday School getting to know you question, “What do you think about college football?” I had several thoughts, and said as much, to which I heard several cries of “Blog ’em!” and “Facebook it!” (to which I’m not really sure how to respond, as I am the world’s most insecure individual and figure that the mocking vs. encouraging ratio of such comments is about dead even).

Still, if you’re interested, here’s my stream of consciousness about college football, my experiences with football, football in general, and my after church plans:

  1. I went to Lehigh University, which, along with Lafayette College, enjoys the country’s oldest college football rivalry. During my time at Lehigh, this rivalry dragged out an ever-evolving group of 18–19 year old non-football enthusiasts whose presence at the annual game could be explained simply by the fact that they were pledging fraternities and were under strict orders to obtain a piece of goalpost. This quest often resulted in the kind of violence that can only be carried out by boys who’ve drunk more at Friday afternoon cocktails, Friday evening fraternity parties, Saturday morning sunrise cocktails, and Saturday pre-game tailgating during their college careers than I will have drunk in a lifetime. Considering the intoxication level, it’s a wonder they could even navigate the bleachers.
  2. My freshman year at Lehigh marked the last game in Taylor Stadium, which was located just below my dormitory quad. My friend (now husband) was determined to go to the historic last game, despite predictions of wind chills of forty below (that’s below zero, folks, which for Eastern PA is freakishly cold). I remember huddling with Craig under a blanket that was maybe 4′ x 6′ (was this what ignited the first sparks of future romance?) and wondering (seriously) whether I would ever feel my feet again (which I did, about 6 hours later). The best part of the game for me was imagining all the members of the marching band brass section with their mouthpieces stuck to their tongues.
  3. I learned how to play football at Villa Walsh Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school, where I had like 15 kids in my gym class. In that one flag football gym class, Mrs. Webb taught me all I ever needed to know about football: 4 chances to go 10 yards. Any other regulation is for me like the infield fly rule in baseball or the corner kick rule in soccer: someone knows when these things apply and it doesn’t need to be me. What I remember about that gym class, besides the 4 downs thing and the “kick or stick” choice after a third down, is this: one girl in the class tied her flag to her underwear, which, looking back now, was not necessarily an advantage.
  4. I don’t really follow football—college or pro—but I do like a good game. I watch the Superbowl, but always make sure to get the New York Times the day of the game and read the entire sports section to apprise myself of well-researched factoids that may prove useful in conversation. Fine, laugh if you must.
  5. Sometimes after church we take the kids to Dunkin Donuts. Unfortunately, a car collided with our usual Dunkin Donuts, due to a driver who had a seizure at the wheel. Luckily, no one was hurt (but were any donuts harmed?) and DD was back in business for our visit on Sunday. I couldn’t help thinking while I was there, though, what if someone had been hurt, or heaven forbid, killed, and it was because of an irresistible donut craving? Is it more noble to meet one’s accidental end at the library, or the symphony, or ringing the bell on a street corner dressed as Santa Claus? All I know is that I’m glad I didn’t meet my end due to hypothermia or lose my toes due to frostbite at Lehigh/Lafayette 1987. I know people sacrifice a lot for sports, but come on—that’s a bit much.

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