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.

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.

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.

“Queen Elodie” has a nice ring to it

So I was doing my biweekly Almighty Facebook Creep Session. You know, the one where you check up on everyone from childhood friends to old crushes. And I’m sitting here thinking, How is it that every single one of my childhood friends went on to win homecoming queen? I swear there’s some kind of creepy social experiment at play here. At first it was cute. I was like, “God, Ella’s so nice. She totally deserves it. And look at that dress!” Then it got a little odd. It was more like, “Wow! Leigh got elected homecoming queen too! What a coincidence!” And then, “Amanda too? Her hair looks fantastic. In fact, I hate how great it looks. How does it even curl like that?” And finally, “WHY DIDN’T I GET THE MEMO THAT WE WERE ALL SUPPOSED TO BLOSSOM INTO GODDESSES THE LIKES OF WHICH NO MORTAL MAN HAS EVER SEEN? WHY ARE THEY SO GOOD-LOOKING? AND WHY DOES AMANDA’S HAIR LOOK SO FREAKING MANAGEABLE WHILE MINE JUST SORT OF SITS THERE?!?!”

I think I would’ve made an excellent queen. I wouldn’t have realized those forms were for real, so when I walked out onto the field with my family the announcer would have said, “And here’s Elodie. She wants to pursue a career in… um, wizardry… and after high school she plans to go to college at… well, it doesn’t say, but she plans to marry Joseph Gordon-Levitt…” I would have tripped and faceplanted it right into the turf, and during pictures I’d say something like, “Wait, was anyone else making a funny face in that picture? …No? Just me?” To cap it off, I would try to toss the crown into the air and catch it on my head, and I would proceed to bean our star football player right on the noggin, knocking him unconscious and singlehandedly losing the game for us all.

Lions and Tigers and… Wolverines? (OH MY!)

I finally have a defining quality in our hallway! There’s the girl who listens to opera. There’s the girl who Skypes 24/7. There’s the girl who sings in the shower. Now I get to be the girl who has ESPN on all weekend. People keep poking their heads in to check the scores. I mean, okay, it’s not as awesome as being the girl who can juggle, but as far as defining qualities go, it could certainly be worse.

(Not a bad weekend to root for Michigan, though, eh?)

Also, I think a well-timed “that’s what she said” joke is hilarious.

It’s official: my little brother’s maturity level has surpassed my own.

He had a football game yesterday, and the other team (not naming names, but if you’re a team riddled with assholes and douchebaggery that couldn’t even win graciously, then I’m looking at you) started yelling stuff at him. “You’ll never make 50 straight PATs! You gonna miss another 47-yard field goal? Go back to JV!”

Alex got bumped up to varsity when he was a freshman, so he gets a lot of crap thrown in his face. He’s fifteen now, and he handles it a lot better than I do.

Alex’s reaction: They’re just the kind of guys that think they know more than everybody else and have no respect for anyone except each other.

Clearly starting college has done wonders for my maturity. (I still laugh when the ketchup bottle makes a farting noise, but I’ve stopped giggling whenever the teacher tells us to turn to page 69. Baby steps.)

Hail to the victors!

I don’t have season tickets, but I watched the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game while fist-pumping egregiously. (As the clock ran out and Denard Robinson was thusly immortalized as a god walking among mere mortals, Ann Arbor exploded into applause that never truly petered out. Some say you can still hear a solitary clapper.) Anyway, it got me wondering… what if I was just wandering around campus and I happened to see Denard Robinson in, say, the dining hall? Or that one Starbucks around the corner? What would I DO? (These are the things I think about. I know, I know. I need a hobby.)

The idea of not doing anything is too foolish to contemplate. I would have to do something. Most likely, all self-control would fly right out the window, and I’d charge at him while saying loudly, “You don’t know me, but I have a jersey with your name on it in my closet!” And while he and his football entourage (in my head for some reason he’s hanging out with Tate Forcier) hurried away, I would yell with great passion, “I sleep in it! All the time! I love you!”

Tears of Life

Understanding of this post requires understanding of two things: I love football, and I love Pokemon, which of course brings up the notion of Pokemon football… which would be less violent and more adorable.

You know that scene in Pokemon: The First Movie where Ash turns to stone and Pikachu tries to shock him back to life? And Pikachu cries, and the entire world cries with him because it’s the saddest thing ever? (Seriously. That scene was the trauma of my youth. I don’t think I ever fully recovered. To this day I carry scars.) Well, I bought that song (“Tears of Life”) on iTunes.

Fast forward a bit. I was watching the preseason Lions vs. Patriots game. I’m a Lions fan. It’s very painful being a Lions fan, unless you watch the preseason games and pretend they are the regular season games. Anyway, I had it on mute and I was listening to “Tears of Life” and basically rediscovering my childhood. Then I looked up just as the sadness of “Tears of Life” rose to the up-tempo bit where Ash comes back to life… right when the Lions intercepted a Tom Brady pass! A freaking Tom Brady pass! And the music was all miraculous and incredible and I started fist-pumping, to the shock of my parents and their friends, because I was so caught up in the moment and, well, okay, I realize this has had-to-be-there-moment written ALL over it. But dude. It was a little bit awesome.