I have this theory that faking an interest in sports has helped me be a better parent. My first boyfriend was a corner for his Catholic high school varsity team. So then I had to learn what a cornerback is and does. It’s quite boring, really. It’s part of the defense. But I really wanted this guy to like me, so that’s what we did on lazy Sunday afternoons after he washed his parents’ car: we’d watch the Seattle Seahawks and I pretended to want to know about football. I called the uniforms “costumes” and the locker rooms “dressing rooms,” because I thought it made me sound cute. I preferred Astroturf to natural grass because I thought it had a “slimming effect on the players.”
This was back when the Seahawks were in the AFC. Becoming a Seahawks fan meant that I had to hate the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders, even though that was the year Bo Jackson was a rookie and Bo Jackson was awesome. Seattle had just spent trazillions on a rookie defensive end from Oklahoma—“the Boz.” My boyfriend looked a little like Brian Bosworth, even though my boyfriend was much, much, smaller. My boyfriend was tickled by the similarity, but he pretended not to care.
I was on tour in Minneapolis when the Raiders played the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. On the last play of the first half, Bo Jackson totally deeked the Boz—although I’m pretty sure they didn’t say “deeked” back then. The Boz fell on his ass and Bo Jackson ran the ball back for something crazy like 70 yards. And when he ran into the endzone, he didn’t stop. He kept running through the tunnel into the dressing rooms—er, uh, locker rooms. It was the ultimate humiliation for the Boz, who had been talking smack about Bo Jackson for eight days, even without Twitter as a communication channel.
I yelled at the T.V. and I think I even threw something soft toward it, after all, I was rooting for the home team. But secretly, I was took great pride in watching that touchdown run, even though I had nothing to do with it. It’s a victory for all mankind to see a human do amazing things, even if that human is jacked up on steroids and deteriorates so quickly that he needs double hip replacements by the time he turns forty.