Are you ready for some football?

Can we talk about football, please? Like how awesome Tony Romo (who must always be referred to as ‘Tony Romo,’ never ‘Tony’) performed for my fantasy football team? Or how awesome football is in general, with its speed, athleticism, crazy fan bases, Hail Marys, trick plays, or 4th-and-1s?

I know there’s women out there who hate football and all it stands for, who don’t understand the allure, who don’t know who L.T. or T.O. are, who don’t know why their husbands or significant others would need to make player trades or adhere to salary caps, who don’t know why their guys watch games downstairs on the sly or vanish from parties to check scores.

But there’s got to be women out there who love the sport just as much, if not more, than some men. Right?

I can’t be the only woman at work who steals the sports section from the men so I can check my players’ statistics. And I can’t be the only woman who can tell you which team specific players used to play for, even if we’re talking about players who were done playing before I was born.

There has to be women out there who can’t miss opening kickoffs (especially if they are Vikings fans, since the Vikes are infamous for giving up touchdowns 3 seconds into the game). There has to be women who like to scream at the television: “Flea flicker! Why won’t you try the flea flicker, for god’s sake, COME ON!!!”

There has to be women who don’t understand the competitive merit of a 2-yard screen pass on third-and-long, who understand that the coach has to keep rushing the ball to establish the run, but don’t understand that when that hasn’t worked the last 15 times, why a nice long pass isn’t in order.

I know some women use football as an opportunity to rag on their significant other for ignoring them. For Jason & I, football is quality bonding time. I love sitting on the couch with him, both of us adorned with Vikings jerseys or sweatshirts, surrounded by football fare like beef sticks or fresh-from-the-crockpot-meatballs, our fantasy football lineups spread out hopefully in front of us like lottery tickets.

I love high-fiving him after a particularly good play, scaring the cats off our laps with our exuberance. And I love how my soul dies a little when a game is announced by Joe Buck, that talentless hack.

Anyway, football is awesome, is what I’m saying. And I hope more and more women out there feel the same way.

Because then maybe I wouldn’t have to always retrieve the sports section from the freaking men’s bathroom.

What’s in a name?

My cousin Joe has always had a fascination with unique football player names. One year, when he was amused by the name R.W. McQuarters (who then played for the 49ers), his mom spent hours on the phone trying to procure a jersey for him and somehow inadvertently got connected to the 49ers coaches room.

She ended up talking to a bewildered Steve Mariucci (the head coach), who kept asking her, “HOW did you get this number?” while she politely asked if he was the person who could sell her a jersey over the phone because she had her credit card ready and everything.

The next year, during the Thanksgiving game between the Bears and Lions, Joe decided we should pick a name and all take a drink any time the announcers said it.

He picked the name Urlacher. As in Brian Urlacher – the heart and soul of the Bears. In fact, even though Urlacher was a rookie at the time, the announcers couldn’t help but gush about him, mentioning his name exactly 32987238957783 times. And this was just during the pre-game. Luckily, none of us were drinking alcohol or I’d be writing this from the grave.

The NFL is rife with unique names. Like Rex Hadnot of the Dolphins: “I thought you had it, Rex!” “HadNOT!”

Or Trent Dilfer of the 49ers, whose name is now an insulting putdown: “Seriously man, don’t be such a Dilfer.”

Or Mark Colombo of the Cowboys: “How would I know where the quarterback is? I’m not Colombo. Oh wait…”

Or Todd Weiner of the Falcons. (This is only funny to me, probably. Because I grew up in a small town whose 17 of its 20 4-H members had last names that were either Weiner, Burger or Bacon.)

But then a few weeks ago, I saw The Name. The name to top all names. The name that made me want to immediately go out and purchase the jersey, even though the player is a member of the St. Louis Rams, who I vehemently rooted against in Super Bowl XXXIV for the sole reason that I could not stand Kurt Warner’s wife.

The name is Incognito.

Richie Incognito.

How freaking cool is THAT?

INCOGNITO.

Best name ever.

Master of the universe

Universe: Hey, how would you like a really dry – painfully dry – throat to celebrate the beginning of your weekend?

Shauna: No, that’s OK. I’m good.

Universe: One dry, moisture-resistant throat coming right up.

Shauna: No, I said I-

Universe: Hey dude, how would you like to have horrible side pain?

Jason: What? No! Actually, I had that a week ago and it sucked.

Universe: Too bad. Here you go.

Jason: Ow!

Universe: Hey, how would you like to be eliminated from your football pool because your team got beat by a last-second field goal?

Shauna: Oh, come on!

Universe: Yeah, it won’t just be a regular chip shot field goal, but a 62-yarder, just one yard short of tying the NFL record. Nice, eh?

Shauna: ARGHH!

Universe: Oh, while I’m at it, how about you guys go without heat this weekend?

Shauna: NO. No, no, no.

Jason: Yeah, we’re kinda fans of the heat. Especially when the temperature outside is 32 degrees and I, even with my abundance of body-warming testosterone, find the effects of warm air soothing.

Universe: Yeah, well, still. No heat for you. Also, they won’t be able to send someone out to look at the furnace until Sunday. When the repair rate is $40 more than Monday’s rate.

Shauna and Jason: Crap.

Universe: Enjoy your weekend!

(We did enjoy our weekend anyway, thanks to the comedic genius of Jim Colliton and Brian Regan.)

P.S. Thanks for nothing, Philadelphia Eagles! Losers.

Manic Monday

I am just incredulous that today still exists, in its slow-as-molasses manner, despite my repeated requests that it just hurry the hell up and be OVER WITH. I mean, really. How many times can I punch Today in the head before it finally gets the message that, you know, you’re not welcome here? Move Along.
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