Growing up, my only experience with football was when my parents went to Marshall University football games every fall. My grandma came over to babysit us, we went out to eat. It was great fun. I loved football.
Then in college I went to one singular game to watch my sorority sister receive her homecoming crown. I stayed for one half and then went back to my friend's house to drink beer.
No, wait. I went to one other game besides that homecoming game. I stayed for 10 minutes and left because it was too hot (and then went back to my friend's house to drink beer.)
Any and all other football games in college were spent in the parking lot tailgating. It was great fun. I loved football.
Nobody will ever confuse me with a sports fan, that's for sure.
Then, in a twist of fate, I met my husband, who Paula-Abdul-dancing-with-the-
cat-opposite-attract-fashion (and yes, I just threw a 90s music reference in here because that's how I do), loved attending games as much as I disliked attending them. And on top of that, he was a Kentucky fan -- one of the most passionate and occasionally volatile types of sports fans out there.So, six years ago, I began my life as a sports wife.
In Kentucky, basketball is King. The cold winters keep kids indoors shooting hoops for four months out of the year -- or in front of their TVs watching the Cats. If it's not a 20 point blowout, it's a loss. If they aren't a first seed in the tournament, they were robbed. If their dressers aren't filled with blue shirts then -- well, that will never happen, because most Cats fans have enough blue tshirts to clothe a small army. Basically, I've learned three things in my six years partnered up with my Cats fan: games should probably be watched in private and not around other people (unless they are also Cats fans); hide all the remotes unless you want to buy more after they are smashed into oblivion; and don't talk to them about football, because they will change the subject. Probably to basketball.
Almost four years ago, my husband and I moved to Gainesville, Florida, and if you're an SEC fan you'll know immediately why that's a problem -- it's the home of SEC rivals, the Florida Gators. Don't think we didn't talk about that ad naseum before we moved.
The differences between the two schools were clear almost immediately. Down here, football rules the roost. Teams who come to the Swamp don't win -- only Gators come out alive. The same, however, doesn't apply for the O'Connell Center, where the Gators play basketball....I guess because it's not as swampy.
Gator fans talk about football as much as Cats fans talk about basketball, and are just as passionate. We went to a Kentucky/Florida football game a few years ago and were cussed at, stared at and pushed -- YES PUSHED. We were all, "Really, people? If we get a field goal it'll be a miracle. Making fun of Kentucky football is like making fun of a child because he can't tie his shoes." We did get a field goal that game -- and that was it.
Living in a football town has its benefits, though. We can always get tickets to the Kentucky/Florida basketball game and we tend to have a few more than three points. Most games we've won, and have refrained from swearing at or pushing anybody.
Now we're raising our little boy here in Gainesville, and we're starting him early. He loves basketball and already has a closet full of blue clothes. He might have been born in Florida, but his blue runs blue.
Do you love football or basketball?