Subourbon Mom


Football Funerals
September 18, 2013, 1:36 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor, Posts, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m a Redskin Fan, and have been since I was barely a two-glasses-of-bourbon suggestion one night. That makes me an eternal optimist (what fan of a losing team isn’t?).

We’ve had our moments in the sun–who could forget John Riggins calling Sandra Day O’Connor ‘Sandy Baby?’ Or watching the super-fan in the stands waving his tomahawk and head dress in a touchdown celebration? Or laughing as the Hogettes paraded through the parking lots in dresses and pig noses? Or watching Gus Ferotte slam himself into the end zone and give himself a concussion? Ah…the Glory Days!

The Hogettes, photo courtesy of ESPN.com

For years, these types of things were the highlights of my Sunday afternoons.  We spent hours agonizing over bad calls, yelling at the television, and listening to the scratchy sounds of Sonny and Sam slur their way through the broadcasts.  Beers were drunk and spaghetti was gobbled off of t.v. trays.

When the Redskins won, we viewed our entire week through burgundy and gold colored glasses, riding around with flags on our cars, and wearing our Redskins hats, sweatshirts and jerseys everywhere. When the Skins lost, we listlessly slogged our way through work and school until the next possibility of glory…six long days away.

Now, there is no week of second-hand glory.

There is no mourning period.

We are no longer allowed to grieve–and this is going to do damage to the football fan psyche.

In 1970, Pete Rozelle wanted to have a football game broadcasted on a weeknight, in an effort to create more exposure and popularity for the newly-merged NFL. ABC was the only taker.  Forty years later, Pete Rozelle should be thrilled–we have football on Thursday nights, all day Sunday, Monday nights, and sometimes on Saturdays. For some, this is like scoring a touchdown on 4th and 1 in OT.

But I miss the grieving process.

I’m a football junkie. I’ve played different versions of fantasy football for years.  I even love the idea of the NFL Sunday Ticket, especially since I lived overseas for a while—it was the only way I could watch my team.  And football is better than melatonin for putting me to sleep on the couch three nights a week.

But by the time I’ve finished watching Monday night’s game, I have to turn around on Tuesday and start figuring out who I’m starting where in my Fantasy pool. I have to look at all of the games coming up, read the injury reports, and determine which games are important enough for me to watch. With only three days between weeks, time is of the essence. The pressure is more intense.

images-2But more importantly, what’s going through my head when we lose, especially when we lose HUGE, like we did against Philly, never gets dealt with (puh—leeeease…the only thing worse would have been to lose like that against Dallas!).

These days, when the Redskins lose, there are only three days to let the anger I have at my own daily life safely filter into the venting I do about my team.  There used to be six.

Monday through Wednesday, I rage at the Redskins and how much I hate Michael Vick, and argue that Tony Romo is a less than mediocre quarterback—and no one realizes how close to the edge I am, or how angry I got at something someone said or did to me. But if something sets me off on Thursday, everybody better just step off. On Thursdays, I’ve been forced to start thinking about the next set of games instead of working through the last ones. I have no safety valve to let off steam since I’ve been forced to move on—so I start taking it out on real people, like Hubby (see https://subourbonmom.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/fishing-frenzy/).

Just imagine how high the crime rate would be if everybody was like me, and needed the grieving process of the non-football days like I do.  Thankfully, most people seem to have other outlets for their frustrations.

Like sexting, getting caught, and doing it some more, all the while running for Mayor of New York.

Or something like that.

So please, Mr. Goodell, please let us grieve.  Give us our Thursday nights back. The world might be a safer place.



Super Bowl Porn

You know you’re getting old when you realize the half-time show and commercials during the Super Bowl are clearly not aimed at you. And yes, People-Who-Knew-Me-Back-In-The-Day, I am aware of the HUGE hypocrisy I’m about to sling, like Flacco to Anquan Boldin.

So there I sat with twenty people in my living room, excited to see what new heights of comedy the advertising community could come up with. Within five minutes, I was glancing back and forth between my 75-year-old mom and my 13-year-old daughter, trying to take their mental temperatures as I watched a larger than life make-out session on tv. Yep, nothing better than watching slimy tongues do their thing as surround sound speakers amplify the lip-smacking, sucking noises, coming from the couple on the screen. At least porn has cheesy music to cover up what no one wants to hear (so I’ve been told). My mom was pursing her lips in disapproval—no surprise there. But Daughter #2 had actually glanced up from her phone, a look of fascinated horror on her face, as if she had caught me (again) watching another episode of The Vampire Diaries.

The Half-time show was the usual spectacular light and dance extravaganza, with the same strange group of kids screaming madly at the bottom of the stage (Who are they, anyway? Professional seat fillers?). All was as expected, except that Beyonce, a beautiful girl and phenomenal singer, was wearing…a teddy? Maybe this is the reason the Grammys have put limits on the “puffy skin” exposure. But I give Beyonce full credit—she can dance and move her body in ways I never could, even at parties with way too many beers and AC/DC pounding “You Shook Me All Night Long” on the stereo. She’s amazing. Ten years ago, I probably would have been fine with it, but these days, when I’m having weekly discussions with my teenage daughters about what’s appropriate to wear, I found myself wincing with every glimpse of black lace.

Thanks for backing me up, NFL.

I could have overlooked all of that because I really enjoy the Super Bowl commercials, and all the western gluttony that they portray. And a few of them were great—the traditional Clydesdale and “God made a farmer” commercials come to mind–but the creepy, dark Budweiser commercials that tried to make a bunch of Twenty-Somethings look mysterious and sophisticated missed the mark. Chances are, those post-Twi-Hards in the ads are probably broke, still living at home, and have college degrees that are useless. And I don’t care what color you name the beer (Sapphire, Black Crown, etc.), or what sophisticated-looking label you slap on the bottle, it’s still Budweiser…the same Bud our dads drank when they were working on the car, mowing the grass or fishing.

You may ask, “Are you banning the Super Bowl?” Hell no. I’m just going to turn down the sound at half-time, put on some cheesey porn tunes (can you buy those on iTunes?), and see if I can tell the difference. I’ll still judge the commercials.



Bumper Stickers Picker

Being the parent of teens who can’t drive yet, I spend approximately half of my day in my car, driving to and from sleepovers, sporting events and subsequent visits to the orthopedist. I have become an expert at iPhone games, deciphering vanity license plates (if it takes more than 5 seconds you need to pick another one), and reading bumper stickers. It’s the bumper stickers I want to talk about.

Bumper stickers came into popularity after WWII, in the form of flags attached with wire to car bumpers, according to that bastion of nebulous truth, Wikipedia (Since I’m in my car right now I don’t have a way to verify this). Magnets have been around even longer. So why has it taken us 70 years to figure out how to make flat magnet stickers that don’t ruin your paint job?

As if FaceBook, Instagram, and SnapChat aren’t enough, we have bumper stickers/magnets for everything, announcing to the motorized world our political affiliations, accomplishments, beliefs, and travel habits. There are stickers for Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, and someone named Ron Paul who I still haven’t Googled; there are pro-life, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-term limits, pro-America, anti-war, anti-Israel, anti-Islamist, anti-Christian, anti-Wall Street, and anti-gun stickers, to mention a few.

Please explain to me how, if I can watch an entire debate and still not know who I’m voting for, why you think a bumper sticker is going to make up my mind? Same thing for the religious bumper stickers–if I’ve been going to church my whole life, have read books on various world religions, and I’m still searching, do you really think that criss-cross fish thing is going to make me Born-Again?

There are Soccer Moms, Baseball Dads, Football Fanatics, and entire families made of stick figures on every mini-van and SUV. My favorite of these was one that has a parent stick figure missing, and hand-written in marker were the words “Position Vacant.” Maybe they could add stick figure step-parents by having them on a staircase; or, half-brother and –sisters by cutting the stick figures in half. The modern family defies stick figure decals.

And let’s not forget the rampant joggers and runners who brag about their marathons, half-marathons and 10k races with stickers. If I put a running sticker on my car, it would say .1K—Car to Bar Relay.

Last year I finally bought a bumper sticker. It said, “Don’t use your turn signal –keep me in suspense”—a HUGE pet-peeve of mine. Turn signals are NOT optional. I was excited to put it on until I realized no one across an intersection would be able to see it if I put it on the front of my car. So, there it sits on my kitchen counter, taunting me with the knowledge I will have to keep my snarky comments inside my car instead of telling the world how I feel. Perhaps it’s just as well. Very few people would understand a sticker that says, “1 frozen chipmunk =3 car accidents—I dare you.”



Playoff Warm-Ups…Taunting a Mall Cop
January 11, 2013, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Can I just say again that I love football? Even though my team lost on Sunday, and RG3 is hurt way worse than anyone dares to even whisper, there is something about the game that brings out the inner wolf in me that stalks its prey and joins in the gory gluttony after the kill. It makes my mouth open and emit visceral screams that have no meaning, but sound something like “DeeeeeeeeeeFeeeeeense!”

It also makes me sink to a pre-game aggressiveness that puts me only slightly higher than tripping a blind man with a cane—taunting mall cops.

That’s right—I taunted a mall cop as a Playoff warm-up.

As if his job wasn’t bad enough, sitting in that Fisher Price pick-up with the not-quite-a-cop yellow lights flashing in the (now) HH Gregg parking lot.

For over a decade, my family has met in the Circuit City parking lot near the stadium to coalesce into one window-flag-waving, magnet-bearing metal container of Redskin enthusiasm. This Sunday, Hubby and I met Big Brother to continue the tradition. As usual, we waited for His Greatness, The Lateness, fretting over the possibility of losing a good parking space because of the delay, and texting our impatience in a steady stream (never mind that Big Brother had bought and assembled a new fire pit and remembered to bring wood, a lighter and newspaper—thanks, man!).

When he finally arrived, we leapt out of the car and rapidly began unloading our gear into his truck. As we did, I noticed Paul Blart, Mall Cop, sitting across the lot, watching us through his C.H.I.P.S. shades and scowling.

“Dude, I think he’s watching us,” I reported, as my status of Little Sis, a.k.a. Lookout, required.

“So?” Hubby replied. “We’ll just park somewhere else.”

After a brief discussion of where to leave our car (while I gave Mall Cop the stink-eye the whole time), we agreed to meet a couple of blocks away. As we began to pull out of our space, Mall Cop began to follow us, just to make sure we were not leaving one of our cars. I could practically see is hands twitching, ready to punch in the tow truck number.

“We should drive around a while,” Hubby said, grinning and looking in the rearview mirror.

I looked at my watch. Precious tailgating minutes were passing by, but sometimes in life, there are moments just require a sacrifice.

So off we went, Hubby and I, a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, cruising through the HH Gregg parking lot. Mall Cop followed us at a crawl, lights flashing. We circled the lot, meandering between rows, carefully looking as suspicious as we could.

Finally, Mall Cop got wise and stopped. We stopped, too. He waited at the end of a row for our next move.

We paused for a moment, hoping he would move and we could follow him around the lot for a while, but time was short. Dan Sneider would probably have noticed that one space in the stadium lot was still empty, and sold it.

Disappointed, we left Mall Cop stewing and met Big Brother far away from Mall Cop’s prying eyes. We piled into Big Brother’s truck and proceeded to the game. It was a great day, no matter what the end result was. The Skins had done better than anyone ever expected, the tailgate food was delicious, the fans were upbeat (even after the game), and we were home by 11:00pm.

But there was one, small cloud left hanging around—I taunted a mall cop, who was probably a fan, and got stuck working on Playoff day. So for that, I’m just a wee bit sorry…but if he’s there next season, I’m putting on my Eric Estrada sunglasses, tan leggings, and boots, and following him.



NFL Gladiators
December 5, 2012, 12:19 pm
Filed under: Sports | Tags: , , , , , ,

I love football. I was at the Giants/Redskins game on Monday night, and I loved every minute of it—and not just because I’m a Redskins fan (but how awesome was that? RG3 is being hailed as the Second Coming).

I love watching men grunt and throw each other to the ground. I love the superior athleticism on display as they launch themselves into the air, or chase the quarterback to the ground like lions after a wildebeest. I love the rhythm of the game, as the fan noise swells and crests, only to fall again as a play disintegrates. I even love the referees’ shrieking whistles and drunken bellows from the crowd. I’ve learned a lot of new insults over the years, especially sitting in the cheap seats.

But most of all, I love the visceral, instinctive reaction within myself that makes my stomach clench and my fist pump in the air as I scream at my flat screen. As much as I’m ashamed to admit it, I can’t turn away when a player gets hurt—the worse the better. Inside, I feel terrible that this man’s career is probably over, and his wife and family will have to help him find a new career, or even spend months in rehab with him, but I still watch the replays and cringe when a leg or arm snaps like a twig.
Watching football is probably about as close as today’s polite society will ever come to feeling like a Roman citizen watching the Gladiators battle to the death in the Coliseum.

The similarities to our Roman ancestors are interesting (and a little disturbing):

• The players are giants among men, trained and fed for one purpose: to defeat their opponents in violent contact while fans watch;

• Players have sponsors and backers, although their rewards are money and adulation, not just favors to make their meager lives as prisoners and slaves more bearable;

• Fans can be roused from sitting quietly with beers cradled in their hands to raging heart-attacks-waiting-to-happen with spittle flying from their lips within a matter of seconds;

• 80,000 fans chant the names of their favorite players, much like the fans of old chanted the name of their Ceasar. Did anyone hear the fans cheering for RG3? There is something eerie about hearing so much humanity calling one name—it gets into your blood until you find yourself chanting right along with them, even though you know it’s only a game, and the guy isn’t saving the world, just your playoff hopes.

• Calls for blood still ring out from the stands;

• Even our stadiums still resemble the old Coliseum—tiered seats, the arrival of the combatants from beneath the stadium, and beer and food hawked from the stands, and the elite still watch from a polite distance in their box seats; the peasants peer at the show form the nosebleed seats;

• But most disturbing of all is that we haven’t changed. We still love a good fight—UFC, boxing, football, even tennis (have you heard the constipated grunting? What is that?). We love a good fight.

None of this changes my Sunday routine—church (how hypocritical is that?), snacks and football until my eyes bleed. Maybe it’s a good thing, this blood-letting may even absorb some primal energy we have, preventing some violence further down the road. Why yell at your kids when you can safely yell at your tv?

Tomorrow night is Thursday, the new Sunday in the NFL—Are you ready for some football???




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