I love fall. I love the pretty colors of Southern California (green, and green, and- ooh, is that red? Nope, I'm colorblind. Green...), I love the chilly 85 degree weather, and I love those original Starbucks flavors (I have spent many hours in the E.R. due to a pumpkin overdose). But you know what I don't get?
When I think of fall, I think of dainty leaves falling on crisp grey sidewalks. I think of Halloween and Thanksgiving and spending cozy nights with your family. I think of Glee premiering. I don't think of 258 pound brutes in full pads massacring each other over an oblong ball.
Since I'm in the marching band, I am forced to spend at least one day of my weekend freezing my behind off in the football stands, listlessly staring at this parade (when I actually watch the game, of course). Four years in band and I still don't understand what the hell it's all about. Scrimmage lines? Offense and defense? Touchdowns? I think I'll stick with Spanish as my foreign language, thanks. I only found out last year that the teams change goals (I hope that's what they're called) after halftime, and that honestly blew my mind.
Don't get me wrong, I have total respect for the football players. I can't imagine what it's like, knowing that you're destined to become a punching bag for a "running back" on the opposing team. And wearing those uniforms? Makes your butt look huge. Not attractive.
I just don't understand the concept of the game. Why do we haul ourselves out of our cozy homes to a freezing cold stadium to watch people to get thrown around like rag dolls trying to catch a ball? Is it part of our intense sadistic desire to see people get hurt? Do we think that liking football would make us more popular? Do we have nothing better to do because we have finished the entire series of "The Office" on Netflix?
Of course, I like to think that football is learned through a "bilingual" household the easiest, like in homes where a certain language is spoken. Growing up, I lived with my mom, and she just doesn't watch football. My grandfather was a "guard" in high school (he tried to explain to me what that meant; I zoned out on the Criminal Minds episode that was on at that moment), and my mother and aunt grew up watching lots of football. Of course, when a language isn't practiced with subsequent generations, it becomes lost. And that is what happened to me. It makes my mother laugh when she explains some simple rule of this game to my astonished gaze; I love my mother, but she is to blame for my football illiteracy.
I cheer when the crowd cheers. I know that I have to shut up when a guy gets hurt. I know that the other team is bad and Mesa is good. I have embarrassed myself many times by cheering for the other team, but that's just what happens when someone doesn't speak the language. It sounds so caveman when you think about it, but to me football is some kind of extraterrestrial language, and in the fall I've been thrust in the middle of their planet with nowhere to go.
Thankfully, I only have two more months left for my mission on Planet Football. Then I get to embark to Planet Basketball.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of The Equestrian.