This is the rare post about sports

I have a lot of misdirected enthusiasm. I babbled incoherently to my mom for roughly twenty minutes because Bastille is going to be giving a concert near me. I freaked about the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie to my friend who doesn’t care about Harry Potter because she just happened to be there when I found out about it. But it was last night that I realized I really need to start learning my audience.

Me: DUDE YOUR SCHOOL IS GOING TO THE FUCKING ROSE BOWL!
Tara: I would not have even known that was a game that was happening had it not been for the nonstop screaming that is going on outside my window right now.
Me: I’ll bet everyone is going apeshit.
Tara: It’s been ten minutes and it’s still going.
Tara: And like three sirens have gone past.
Me: You guys haven’t been to the Rose Bowl in like twenty-six years!
Tara: That’s exciting I guess.
Me: And you’ll probably be playing the Stanford Christmas trees or whatever the hell they are, so it’s going to be a GAME.
Tara: …Rose Bowl is football, right?
Me: Yes.

See? I can be a Michigan Wolverine and still bleed green. I grew up a State fan! I just happen to go to, you know, the other school. Besides, we have a common enemy. You should have seen this coming, though, Buckeyes. No team as awful as ours should have gotten that close to beating you. I mean, jeez.

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Bittersweet things

Friday night was my brother Alex’s last high school football game, ever. It had its ups and downs—Alex was almost the hero with his tie-breaking extra point—but ultimately the other team pulled ahead, and it was a sad, anticlimactic affair. Last year’s seniors went out in a blaze of glory, emerging victorious in the playoffs from double overtime as people in the stands literally cried from joy. I guess not every last game can be a cliched sports movie, but damn. It was sad.

I had to walk onto the field with Alex in front of everybody before the game started, because they showcase all the senior varsity players and their families. I didn’t trip, and personally I think we should all just be thankful for that.

But you know what? He moved on. He went straight to his room when he got home that night, and I coaxed him out with fresh-baked cookies and we all talked about the game. And the next day, he went to visit a college that wants him to play for them. High school football’s over, and I’m sad, because I may have just been the sister who comes in from out of town and yells really loudly in the stands, but it was a very fun, very intense, very emotionally charged four years of my life. I made posters, dammit. But he’s good enough to play in college, and I have to believe he’ll have the chance.

The Hat of Destiny and Magic

My Friday night was shaping up to be quite lovely. It was drizzling outside, and I was staying in. I had my pajamas on. I was planning on doing some online shopping, re-reading Harry Potter, and listening to my little brother Alex’s football game on the radio, as I wasn’t able to be there in personMy roommate had made scones. It was practically ideal. And then… well, then I got a text.

Mom: We left The Hat in the trunk of your car
Mom: You need to wear it tonight
Me:
Me:
Mom: You know what’s at stake. You must wear the hat.
Me: Oh, God.

The Hat is a very special hat that was knitted by one of the parents on my brother’s team back in 2008. It must be worn at every game by a football parent or otherwise affiliated person. When The Hat is not worn, we lose. Always. And the one time, the ONE TIME The Hat just HAD TO BE tragically misplaced (in the trunk of my car) was the one game that would make or break our season. If we didn’t win, we would be out of the playoffs. We were hanging on by a thread as it was. And the magical Hat was some 300 miles away, in my possession.

So I had to wear The Hat.

I sent a picture to Tara and explained the situation.

Tara: You were born to wear that hat.
Me: That look in my eyes is a cry for help.
Tara: You look like you’re being held hostage and your captors are forcing you to wear it.

At one point, my mother Facetimed me to make sure I was wearing the hat. Then she made me prove it to everyone in the immediate vicinity, so I waved awkwardly to all the people in the bleachers, and they cheered at me like I was the chosen one. BUT THE HAT WORKED. We won the game, and our playoff dreams are still alive, and I’ll be returning The Hat to its rightful place soon enough.

Elodie does college

I tagged along with my roommate to the football game over the weekend. To say that I have never pregamed is to understate the matter dramatically. The only tailgates I have ever been to were the ones in parking lots with my parents and their friends at Alex’s high school games, where I ate a lot of potato chips. So this was something different.

I danced on top of a large wooden platform with approximately 50 other people. This was something of a surprise, considering I’m generally opposed to dancing in the light of day where people can see me, but I didn’t want to be the one idiot standing there not dancing. My roommate quickly became occupied with a boy, which left me realizing I would have to start conversing with people other than her. I began talking to this frat guy (you’ve seen movies), which my roommate, who was nearby, thought was flirting, but which was really just me emphatically telling the guy not only that he was wrong but the EXTENT to which he was wrong about the polar bears on Lost. I don’t think this should surprise anyone. I once tried to flirt using a Ghostbusters reference.

We won the game by a lot, which was a nice change to the previous weeks’ barely-by-the-skin-of-our-teeths victories. Take that, Dad. (My dad hates our football team. He tries to deny it, but I can see it in his eyes.)

FOOTBALL, PEOPLE. THIS IS HAPPENING.

Home for the weekend to see my brother’s football game! I have a very loud, aggressive, guttural, borderline manly shout that I reserve specifically for football games. And usually, it’s things like “DEFENSE!” and “FACE MASK!” and “COME OOOONNNNN!” But today I turned to Allison and said, “I’m going to shout more positively today.” So there I was, in the middle of the stands, waving a noisemaker and screaming things like “IN IT TO WIN IT!” and “LET’S MAKE SOME MAGIC HAPPEN!” and “THIS IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF!”

It didn’t help, we lost. But I’ll be damned if my shouting wasn’t the most inspirational shouting in the entire stadium.

Hi! Sorry! Don’t hate me!

Um… hi. *peers out nervously* I know. It’s been a while. Long time, no see. How’ve you been? You all look GREAT. Yes, I’m buttering you up with compliments. What’s wrong with that?

I’m back at school, living in an apartment with a friend of mine. We haven’t taken the trash out since we got here, and I have a bunch of canned food but no can opener, so basically we’re thriving. I was taking a French History course, which I was really excited about, but I had to drop it because taking five English-heavy courses on top of having a job and commuting eight hours every weekend is stupid.

The commuting is because it’s my little brother’s last year playing high school football, and it might sound trivial, but I’ve been trucking it around all over the state of Michigan with that team for the past three years. I’ve driven five hours nonstop just to meet the fan bus in a city I’ve never been to. I’ve bought hot cocoa just to warm up my hands while tailgating in snowy parking lots. I once went to a game where it was 80 degrees one minute, and downpouring the next. And I’ve loved every minute of it. They have a place in my heart. I’m going to miss this.

So, I think that’s everything I’ve been up to.  I’m on season four of The Vampire Diaries. I started watching Game of Thrones. Two days ago, Darren Criss performed at a pep rally for the Michigan/Notre Dame football game. He was HERE. IN THIS CITY. Mere MONTHS after I was unable to go to his concert, he comes to ME. And I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT. WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME? My mom’s response to this was, “You should get out more.” Well, I would if I thought there was a chance I might just happen upon Darren Criss singing an impromptu rendition of the Michigan fight song, but how often does that happen?

The list of things I suck at seems to be getting longer

My brother Alex is a football kicker, and yesterday I took him to practice punting. Here’s a fun fact I bet none of you saw coming: I suck at tossing.

“So what do I have to do?” I asked while Alex laced up his shoes. Alex has been playing for years, but he’s a kicker, not a punter, and he had only recently taken up punting, so I had never done this bit before. “Also, when you do this with Mom and Dad, have either of them ever gotten hit?”

“No they haven’t, ye of little faith,” he said. “All I need you to do is toss me the ball. I catch it, you duck out of the way, and I punt. Simple.”

“Like this?” I said, tossing one at him with barely enough gusto to merit calling it a toss.

“More like this,” he said, tossing it back. “Like more vertical. And more spiral. And straighter.”

“So basically the opposite of everything I just did,” I said.

“Well, yeah.”

While he stretched, I practiced tossing. I literally just threw a football around on the field by myself while people on the nearby tennis courts watched bemused. And I didn’t get any better. I literally could not fathom how to make it happen. At one point he said, “You have somehow turned one of the simplest things into the world into something excruciating.” The moral of the story here is that I’ve decided to cross “football-tossing” off my list of potential secret talents.