Super Bowl Sunday

It’s Only Weird If It Doesn’t Work

walkers Do I have any Walking Dead fans in the house?

When someone gets “infected,” they are said to have “turned.”  They “turn” into walkers, the living dead.  They either have been dead by different causes or bitten by a walker themselves in order to turn.
I have turned myself, you know.  I can pinpoint exactly when this has happened.  It’s not a sickness, not a virus, nor is it a disease.

It was a turn for a life altering experience.

It happened in Seattle, Sunday, November 11, 2012.  I talked about it here.

When I travel to follow my teams around to other stadiums, I know there is a 50 / 50 shot they may lose.  This game was no different.  Except something changed in me, and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I was leaving that day, so I thought maybe I was just eager to get home, and therefore, antsy.  But I was changed, and there was definitely a point of no return for me.  I just didn’t know what it was.


My husband is a creature of habit.  He wakes up at the same time every day, wears essentially the same “uniform” (t-shirt, black shorts, white socks, black sneakers).  He has a strict schedule and adheres to it.  He loves trains, only because they are on a strict time table.  Anything he can set a watch to, he’s all for.

To say he’s superstitious would be a gross understatement.  He won’t eat until the Mets take a lead, he acts much like Robert Deniro’s character in Silver Linings Playbook.  Everything has a place.  A place for everything.

However, his superstitions rival those in the Bud Light “It’s Only Weird If It Doesn’t Work.”  We don’t listen to Paula Cole songs ad nauseum.  But this is what we do on Seahawks game days:

  • watch from home (abysmal record watching games at bars and such)
  • he sits on the couch, I sit on the bed
  • we talk to each other via Twitter
  • he shaves (seriously – it takes a lot for him to do that)
  • we have some sort of alcohol beverage of choice
  • we order from Domino’s

Yes, I know that last part is sacrilegious for a Jersey girl and current city dweller.  However, Ed does not eat pizza.  Ordering “real” pizza is a waste of time for me these days.  And I like their cheesy bread.  His food of choice is pasta in the bread bowl.  Because there are no such things as too many carbs.

The losses outside of the home were enough to give us pause to continue watching games from the couch.  Even so when presented with an opportunity to attend the Super Bowl right across the river with a once in a lifetime chance to see his lifelong team, we didn’t jump at it.

Because it’s only weird if it doesn’t work.


I was 10 years old when the Mets last won the World Series, in 1986.  Shortly after that, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl.  I remember earlier in 1986, when the Chicago Bears were all over the place, with their Super Bowl Shuffle.  A few months later, the Mets came out with their Lets Go Mets Go! song.  I guess I was used to dominance, but clearly I didn’t know as much about the Mets’ history as I do now, and having come to terms with the fact that the 1980s dominance was a once in a lifetime type of thing.

So when the Giants were all over the place then, I asked my dad (my touchstone for learning about what teams to root for) if he was a Giants fan.  He said no, he was a Jets fan.  So I went along with it because I did what Dad told me to do.

We weren’t the type of family that sat around and watched football on a Sunday afternoon.  In fact, I didn’t go to my first live football game till 2002, and my dad only went to his first Jets game in 2010.  When I asked if he ever went to a game at Shea Stadium, he told me, “No.  At least, I don’t think I have.”

I didn’t speak football.  I spoke baseball and hockey.  To me, those sports were fun, and I understood them.  I didn’t get much out of football, because I didn’t get it.  Baseball and hockey I understood.  Football to me was an ADD sport.  Meaning, it was for short attention spans.

Football is only 16 games of a regular season, less than a handful more in the playoffs.  Commitment phobes can enjoy with minimal risk.  Baseball is 162 games a year, hockey is 82.  Let’s not even go there with potential additions of postseason.  I could weave story lines from those sports.  Football, eh, whatever, not so much.  You didn’t need to pay a ton of attention at schedules.  You had one day a week to devote, maybe two if you followed rivals playing on Monday.  (And now, Thursdays too).

I think it was in 2008 though that I started to rebel.  The Giants had won their third championship in my lifetime.  I couldn’t care less about the Giants, though I have lots of friends who were fans.  I just felt nothing towards the team, as much as I hated the Patriots.  I could never understand how a person could claim to be a “Jets and Giants fan.”  To me, it was the ultimate cop out.  We all know the Jets are horribly mismanaged and put the fun in dysfunctional.  Rooting for the Giants as well as the Jets was a way to have your cake and eat it too (yes, I get it – what’s the fucking point of cake if you can’t eat it??  But you get the idea).  The Jets won’t ever win, but the Giants have won a bunch of championships in my lifetime.  I could only be happy that the Patriots lost the last two Super Bowl wins for the G-men.  But I could not in good conscience root for them, ever. Plus their fans cannot stand Jets fans. The reverse relationship reminds me of the people who are Mets fans but “root for the Yankees” too. There’s a lot of angst in that relationship. I’ve found it’s tenfold with Giants fans who actively dislike Jets fans.

Getting back to the rebelling part.  I started to get mad about the penance I’ve paid as a sports fan.  While I know many fans of the teams I root for cannot boast of remembering a championship year, I have those memories, even vivid and fond memories.  So in 2008, my dad and I went to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood.  It was a few days after the Giants beat the Patriots.

“Dad, it’s bad enough you made me a Mets and a Rangers fan.  But a Jets fan?????”

The only team I technically rebelled against was the Knicks.  I am not a huge basketball fan, but I did like John Stockton and coined myself a Utah Jazz fan.  Remember, in the ’90s, everyone and their cousin was a Chicago Bulls fan.  They were a one man team.  The Jazz seemed to be the only team that could have the potential to beat them.

It didn’t happen.  Yet, when I met Ed, I found out that he too became a Utah Jazz fan because of the Stockton and Karl Malone.  He still follows them; after Stockton retired, I lost interest.

I went to a live Knicks game in 2007.  I was so bored, I thought I was watching paint dry.

Basketball wasn’t my sport, after all.


Don’t mind this stream of consciousness.  This is new territory for me.   Being a Mets fan, I was raised with the notion that you stick with your team.  The day I turn coat the Mets is the day you can officially check me into Bellevue for psychiatric observation.

I know personally several people who turncoated the Rangers by making them wait too long for a championship by becoming a Devils fan. To me, there’s nothing dirtier.  Would you believe I know someone who had broken his arm in a fight at the old Garden, defending the Rangers honor, only to become a Devils fan a decade later?

I gave up on hockey, once, but you’d never see me do that.  Give up on the Rangers.  They drive me crazy.  My teams do, at some base level.  They wouldn’t be my teams if they didn’t.

But that day in 2012, in Seattle, I had a life altering experience.  I was a visiting fan.  But I turned that day.  I turned into a 12th Man.  And it was the last thing I expected to ever happen to me.

mark_hey_markAnd that was the play that made it happen.

I was born to be a Mets fan, and I was made to be a Rangers fan.

And I never thought I’d leave a team.

It was more than just the win (and contrary to popular belief, the Seahawks started to turn that day – they were 5-4 prior to that game.  The Jets at least helped propel them to the playoffs that year).  It was the vibe.  It was fucking Seattle.  I can’t even pinpoint what it was about the city.  Perhaps it was the picturesque views.  I can’t pinpoint that we had a great time at any one place.  It was the Hawks nest, the 12th man that pushed me over the edge.

If you’ve never experienced the 12th Man, well, you just have to be there. It’s not just the Seahawks that make that city great, sports-wise.  The city has managed to put Major League Soccer on the map with their crazy Sounders fan base.

When I told people I had gone to CenturyLink amongst diehard football fans, it gave me automatic street cred.  What was more was that I found I wanted to be a part of it.


So I went to the source, a 12th Man who might understand my plight.  Shortly after the Super Bowl last year, I had asked my husband how he felt about me becoming a 12th Man.  He’d feel less alone, I said.  Plus I really loved Seattle.  I wanted to root for a team there.

His answer was short, but sweet: No.

His reasoning was simple: my dad would be too mad at me if I jumped ship.  He said I could be happy for him if the Seahawks did well.  But I, myself, said I could never root for two teams.

This was different, I said.  I wasn’t meant to be a Jets fan.  Trust me, no one struggled with changing teams more than I did.

Then he went there.  Actually, he more alluded to the fact that I didn’t have great luck with my teams.

Waaaaaait a goddamn minute here.

This was coming from a guy who didn’t have more than me, sportswise.  We didn’t root for world beaters or dynasties. Shit, at least I had a good season with my hockey team.  Twenty years ago, but still.

So I proved to him that I could actively root for his team.  But something else happened.  I became a football fan.  I finally got it.  I finally understood it.  And I bought into the silly superstition that we had to watch the games at home. And order Domino’s.

I also found out I looked really cute in Seahawks colors.

DSCN8891  DSCN8900

Then they made it to the big game.  Then they won a championship.

Seahawks cupcakes

He offered me a Seahawks cupcake, and said, “I’d like to invite you to be a 12th man.”

I guess I paid my dues.  It was worth it.


Those who know me know that outside of New York City, I’d live in San Francisco.  But after visiting Seattle, all I could talk about was Seattle this, Seattle that.  Can’t wait to go back to Seattle.  Et cetera, et cetera.


I talk about San Francisco less and less.  I talk about Seattle more and more.

What’s more is that I will probably never see another city like Seattle in support of their sports teams.  I don’t see anything like it here when we have a team pulling for a championship.  Sure, we have our fans.  But really, there is a disconnect with so many people and so many teams.  I have a friend who moved out to Seattle, was a die hard New York everything, and got caught up in the 12.


DSCN8879One theme you’ll hear me talk about is finding a place to belong.  Sure, we’re born to stand out, but all we want to do is find people like us.  To let us know that it is okay…to be different.  But like-minded.

I found that on places like Twitter and other forms of social media.  I met my husband as a result of it, and many of my best friends.

It was exciting to be a part of this, from beginning to end.  I want to thank the 12s who have welcomed me into their fold, and it’s nice to see that some of them will even send newspapers to this coast, like I would do when something good happened to the Mets!

Now in addition to going to baseball trips, we’ll now be traveling 12s, at least for one game a season.

coopedhawk  seahawkscelebrate

See, when we went to CenturyLink last time, the Seahawks won.  So my husband can allow that.

Remember folks, it’s only weird if it doesn’t work.


And trust me, we know from weird.

When Did We Become Such Cold Weather Crybabies?

I think it started during the football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Green Bay is not exactly known for its balmy weather and tropical beaches. It’s the midwest.  It’s frickin cold out there.  Even fans of the Packers joke about how many layers they need to wear.  I wish I could find it, but the point has been moot for me, there was an article in the New York Times a few years back about a fan who wore several layers in preparation for late seasons and playoffs games.  It’s a ritual, and something accepted amongst football fans in cold weather climates.  Think: Buffalo, Green Bay, Chicago.

Prior to their playoff game on January 5th, everyone was beside themselves.  OOOOOH, it’s gonna be freezing…in Wisconsin…in January.

I was surprised.  I mean, isn’t it a given that it’s an occupational not to mention a spectator “hazard” that if you work or watch an outdoor sport, unless you are in a dome, you’re going to be exposed to the elements?  I mean, shit, football doesn’t even have postponements or delays related to rain (unless, of course, there is lightning).  You play through that shit.

The beginning of 2014 hasn’t exactly been boastful of an unseasonably warm climate, especially in the northeast, where we’ve had the phrase Polar Vortex become an essential part of our lexicon.  It’s snowed quite a few times, and I’ve even joked around with my friends about how the cold isn’t so bad, but factor in wind and snow elements, I’m over it.

We chat about the weather with total strangers.  We joke about not wanting to be outside in the elements.  People buy dog booties for their dog walks.  We get bundled up to walk to the corner store or even to drive somewhere.  It goes with the territory.

But I draw the line at people complaining about it being cold at a voluntary outdoor sporting event.  Really?  I mean, REALLY, guys?  It’s January, and it’s in the northeast.


I will give fans who attended the game credit: I didn’t see many people complaining on that end about the Stadium Series on Sunday.  Most of the folks there are die hard.  They do get the fact that one needs to bundle up to enjoy the game.  Yet, I see tweets like this that get my blood boiling.

Every single person in that stadium yesterday was there voluntarily.  Each person presumably bought a ticket, and attended on their own free will.

The players, however, get paid a very handsome salary to play these games.  The night before, a game was played in Los Angeles, not exactly a hotbed (pun not intended) of perfect outdoor ice hockey activity.  We didn’t hear one problem with the “ice.”  But in the Bronx in January by the goddamn Harlem River, Devils goalie Martin Brodeur blames the ice on his poor performance (The Rangers scored 6 goals against him before he was taken out of the game…mind you the Devils also scored 3 goals in the first period…no one had a problem with the ice before then??)

Oh, but there’s more.  This week, Super Bowl XLVIII will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.  Now, all the cold weather crybabies are reporting on the nonstory that “WAHHH! It’s gonna be COLD and elemental in New Jersey IN JANUARY. WAHHHHHHHHH!”

Bite me.

This time around, it’s not Uncle Daddy or any of the players crying about the weather or potential hazard of it.  It’s mostly the sportswriters who all of a sudden have a sympathy for the players who get paid millions of dollars to play on the big stage…in the snow, rain, or sleet.  Shit, I’ve seen frickin beautiful days here with low temps.  Has anyone considered that the Super Bowl could be played in something like THAT??!

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks kind of corner the market on playing in the elements.  Denver gets snow.  Seattle gets rain.  The only people I see “inconvenienced” with the weather are people who have to sit in the stands (who are paying around $2,000 for an upper bowl seat) and the writers who are subscribing to some of the laziest journalism I have ever borne witness.

Their headlines are akin to chatting about the weather.  Is this the state of sports writing today?

I just have a tough time believing that when New York/New Jersey was chosen as the Super Bowl venue, that no one considered weather factors.

It’s January in the Northeast.  Guess what?

It’s cold here.

Little Miss Sunshine: Super Bowl 46

So there you have it, folks.  Another football season is complete, with the Super Bowl ending just around 10 pm EST yesterday.

As a Jets fan, I was joking around for the past two weeks that I was rooting for a meteor or an epicenter to form in Indianapolis.  The reality is, though, while watching the game, my hatred for the New England Patriots kind of surpassed anything that I’d ever felt.  I can’t say I was rooting for them to lose, but I felt I snickered more at their misery and mistakes more than anything else.   When the game was official, I knew that the Schadenfreude delight was now complete.

I had a Stan Marsh moment too at one point: I learned something on Super Bowl Sunday.

I learned that I was a football fan.  I watched the game, and I enjoyed it.  I’ve always said that football is the sport I care the least about, but I found the Super Bowl fun and entertaining, and I was able to eat bad carbs and get away with it.

This is the first Super Bowl that I’ve covered here at Gal For All Seasons, since I’ve only been writing since basically the beginning of football season in 2011.  So maybe I’ll incorporate this every year into the Super Bowl recap.

In the movie Little Miss Sunshine, Olive’s father, played by Greg Kinnear, is a pseudo-motivational speaker.  His philosophy is coined on taking the steps of being a “Winner.”  He starts off the movie by saying, “There are two people in this world: winners and losers.”  The same could be said about sports, obviously, and the Super Bowl is a one-and-done game.  So I’m channeling my inner Little Miss Sunshine today.  Some of the winners and losers may be obvious, but I’m going to have fun with it, as only Coop can do.

WINNER:  Tom Coughlin.

At the beginning of the game, I mentioned to the group I was watching with, that he looked like he aged about 30 years this season.  Talk about a year of ups and downs.  Now he’ll be enshrined in Giants history as one of the best there ever was.

WINNER:  Eli Manning.

This was a no-brainer.  I’ve said all along that I’ve felt that Manning is overrated.  I’ll probably get killed for this, but I still do (you can thank the chemistry of his offensive line for the win last night…not to discount his performance, as he came through when the team needed him most which is more than we can say for the other team).  That said, he’s finally gotten out of the shadow of Peyton…literally.  During this first matchup in 2008, all that was shown was Peyton watching his little brother.  They were in his HOME FIELD…and everyone mentioned that Peyton wasn’t shown once on the broadcast.

Manning may be overrated.  But he’s an overrated QB with two rings.  And will get the respect he deserves, singularly.

WINNER:  Victor Cruz.

I love this guy!  How can one not have fun watching him play?

LOSER:  Bill Belichick.

Cheaters NEVER win, Bill.  I also reacted to Belichick’s vision on screen the way Bluto did to seeing Kent Dorfman’s face on the screen in Animal House.  “AGGGHHHHHHH!”

WINNER: Wes Welker.

Welker has gotten a lot of heat for dropping a crucial pass that could have sealed the fate of the Pats.  He took the criticism, and the blame for it.  He took the high road.  He didn’t need to.  The reality is, it was a poor throw from Brady.  Skip Bayless argued that Brady is one of the most accurate passers of his generation…but it was Brady who made a poor throw to Welker.

At the end of the day, I go back to my original argument.  That this game was the Patriots to lose.  The Giants had absolutely no pressure on them.  And look what happened: they made a somewhat blah game exciting at the end, and they won.

LOSER:  Tom Brady.


Okay.  I’m done.


No seriously.  I’m done now.

LOSER:  Gisele Bündchen.


I’m not a religious person.  But I really dislike when people use their power of prayer for trivialities in life, when there is legitimate suffering in the world.  Especially rich people who have everything.  And don’t get me started on Tim Tebow.  But Gisele’s email heard ’round the world: “Please pray for my Tommy.”  Could you get any more insincere than that?  Here are two people, each independently wealthy in their own right, “praying” for a Super Bowl win?  Get bent.

But it gets better.  Apparently, Gisele had some choice words for her Tommy’s teammates after the loss.  “My husband cannot [expletive deleted] throw the ball and catch the [expletive deleted] ball at the same time.”  I know Brady is one of the best there is, but come on…like he hasn’t choked the same exact fucking game away twice?

Gisele, you seem like an intelligent business woman.  But please keep your mouth shut about your husband’s profession.  It makes all women look bad.

LOSER:  This broad.

Speaking of making all women look bad, Stacey Tavor Merwin has set the feminist movement back at least 45 years by emasculating her husband to the extent that when they got married last year, her husband (who makes a livelihood of sports photography) mentioned that there will be a chance that the Super Bowl might fall on their anniversary.  So what does she do?  Create a hubbub reminiscent of Bridezillas.  And insist they go out on one of the biggest sports nights of the year…and writes about the wifely sacrifices SHE needs to make.  Like walking the dog.  Big fucking whoop.  It’s like the old Chris Rock bit that used to say, “I take care of my kids.”  Yeah, you want a cookie?  YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDS.  And you’re supposed to take the dog out on walks. And if your husband wants to watch the Super Bowl, you could compromise and go out to dinner the night before…or have some kind of special weekend away. I know from being married, it’s about the other 364 days a year, not just that one day of the year.

Women like her need to get over themselves.

Read Kristine Reese’s post on that in The Green Room from Sunday.  Her take on it is better than anything I could ever say.

WINNER:  Womankind.

I was in a house watching the game with a ratio of 3 women: 1 man.  Take that, Ms. Merwin. (And her husband could have totally joined us)

WINNER:  Kelly Clarkson.

Clarkson nailed the Star Spangled Banner.  Some singers make the National Anthem more about “them” and their vocal styles, as opposed to making Francis Scott Key proud, with the way it’s supposed to be sung.

LOSER:  The vicious media.

Kelly Clarkson is a healthy role model for women everywhere.  Because she doesn’t weight 75 lbs is cause for vicious attacks on her body.  She’s healthy.  She looks phenomenal.  Leave it alone, the criticism gets old.

LOSER:  The Half-time Show.

I am a child of the ’80s.  I like dating myself to the extent that I can tell people, “I remember music BEFORE Madonna.”  Like her or not, Madonna helped change the face of music, she changed fashion, she changed the face of pop culture and she changed the face of women and sexual notions.  I was cautiously optimistic about her half-time show, as I’ve heard her shows are very detailed.

She started out strong, got bored in the middle and it ended okay.  But I felt like that episode of The Simpsons, where Homer was watching Bachman Turner Overdrive play and he kept yelling, “TAKIN’ CARE OF BUSINESS!! TAKIN’ CARE OF BUSINESS!!”  To which they said, well, that’s all the crowd wants to hear anyway…so they break into TCB, to which Homer yells out, “GET TO THE GOOD PART!!”

Yeah.  That was how I felt watching that.  While I know Madonna has evolved over the course of her career, let’s be fair: people want to hear the ’80s shit.  If she had stuck to that, I think it would have been a lot better.

LOSERS: Sore winners.

I am a Jets fan.  I probably weighed the pros and cons of this Super Bowl a few times.  I wasn’t going to root for anything, but the Patriots losing did make me smile a little.  The Jets had nothing to do with the games.  They haven’t even friggin played since New Year’s Day.  But sore winners still make it a point to bring up the Jets’ faults.  Again, what the fuck does that have to do with anything?  And most Jets fans were happy about how it turned out last night.  Those who feel the need to bring that up don’t deserve to be happy about their team’s win.  Fuck them and the white horse they rode in on.

WINNER: New York

My mom once pointed out to me that I have an unnatural hate towards all things Boston.  That’s not true.  I don’t dislike the Red Sox.  You know, that whole “enemy of my enemy is my friend” BS.  In 2004, I was pleased as punch when Boston knocked out the Yankees and then went on to win the World Series (mostly as a baseball historian).  But I never liked the town of Boston.  It aggravates me to the point that I just trash it when I’m there.  My mom tells me I have a New York City complex.  While that may be true, the reality is, Boston doesn’t make it any better by contributing to the whole “inferiority complex” thing.  Like Philly. I also have an unnatural hate towards all things New England.  Not lobster.  Or New England clam chowda.  But Connecticut: HATE.  Massachusetts:  Hate hate hate.  I’m sure if I visited Vermont or New Hampshire, I’d find a reason to hate them too.

So New England – Fuck you!  Take a cue from what it’s like to be from a REAL metropolis.