It’s Game Day at “Writing with Cheryl”

9 Jan

(Let me be honest with you on this Monday morning. I will find very little time to brainstorm, market, query editors, or do anything else remotely writing-related today. It is, after all, the Big Day. The day of the Big Game. The day when I pray the crimson stars will align and my Bama football team will bring home another national championship. I will be otherwise occupied today, with ESPN-watching, snack-making, hand-wringing, and high-fiving.

I will share with you, though, an excerpt of an article I wrote a few years ago for an Alabama sports magazine. It was entitled “Momma’s Rules for Watching Football at Home” and it provided readers with all sorts of handy tips and advice. Perhaps it can help you as you get ready to watch the Bama-LSU championship game later tonight. And if you’re not watching the game, take a break from writing and yell “Roll Tide!” for me anyway.)
1. Once the game begins, all conversation will be focused solely on the game. If you choose to talk about anything else, you will be sent to another room.

2. During commercials, you have a quick respite to go to the bathroom, replenish your snack plate, or talk about games other than the current game being watched. Once the game is back on, however, you must be in your seat and attentive once again.

3. There will be no blocking the view of the television simply because you need to show me how well you do ballet.

4. If you decide to talk about boys, you must go to another room (this applies specifically to the preteen and teenage girls in my home).

5. You will attend the game properly attired. Ideally, you need to wear an Alabama shirt. If you do not have one, you can wear a generic red shirt. If you do not have one of these shirts, one will be provided for you.

6. You will bring appropriate game-day snacks. Chips and rotel dip, buffalo wings, pizza, rice krispy treats, chocolate cake are all fine with me. (Who am I kidding? Any food–storebought, gourmet–is good football food! Bring it on.)

7. You have permission to scream mercilessly at the referees. You also have permission to laugh and mock the other team and coaches. You have permission to wring your hands over Alabama’s performance, but you will never yell “They suck.” My home is a hate-free environment and we will support our team no matter what (This applies primarily to my husband Gary, who gets completely disgusted the moment we commit our first fumble.)

8. You will listen to my incessent comments and commentary about the team’s playing during the game. I know everyone on the roster, have studied their stats, and know a bunch about the other team as well. You will bow to my intelligence (and keep your mouth shut if you don’t).

9. You will yell “Rolllllll Tiiiiiiiiiide” on every kickoff, and at other random moments throughout the game.

10. You will not (never, ever) ask such questions as, “What does holding mean?” or “Why did they get two points for that tackle in the end zone?” or “What’s a cornerback?” while the game is taking place. During a game is not the appropriate time to learn about football. (If, however, you have a sincere desire to understand the fine points of the game, I will be happy to answer reasonable questions during commercials.)

11. If you are a teenage daughter and would love to have a curfew extended, keys to the car, or some extra cash in your pocket, cheering alongside me with unabashed enthusiasm is a great start!

12. If you are a preteen, talking about how “hot” our team’s quarterback is (although he is quite the cutie) does not qualify as “educated football discussion.”

13. If you are a four-year-old, do not ask “When is this game going to be over?” repeatedly.

14. You are permitted to perform “happy dances” after touchdowns have been scored. I appreciate exuberance!

15. You will understand why I close my eyes and cover my face if we are behind with under two minutes to go; you will understand why I actually leave the room if we are trying to score to win within the last thirty seconds. If you don’t understand, you will pretend as if you do.

I won’t get into “Momma’s Rules for the Day after College Football Games” (such as: “You will let me read every article in the sports section of the newspaper out loud to you,” “You will give the television over to me for two hours, so I can rewatch my dvr-ed version of the game from the day before,” “You will not laugh when I wear an Alabama-themed dress to church,” and “You will not talk to me about football if we actually lost the game”)…perhaps that’s an article for another day.

(This article originally appeared in Alabama Gameday.)

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