My son’s fate was sealed at birth. His uncle is a SuperBooster for the University of Central Florida, and from Boychild’s first Christmas (a month after he was born) he began receiving UCF Knights-themed presents. Shirts, jammies, booties, footballs…I don’t remember a black-and-gold pacifier, but if one had been available SuperUncle would have provided it.
The die was cast. He would be a UCF Knight–in spite of the fact that, among us, we’ve got the state of Florida covered, college-wise. His Highness and I got our undergrad degrees at USF in Tampa. My dad went to law school at the University of Florida. My mother went to Florida State back when it was Florida State College for Women, and Girlchild followed in her footsteps. Plus, we lived for years in Miami, which has to count for something with the University of Miami, right?
We couldn’t compete. SuperUncle maintained an impressive, unbeatable campaign for eighteen unbroken years–and won. Long after getting his undergrad degree at UCF, Boychild still owns a treasure trove of Knights paraphernalia. The shirts, the tailgating tent, the tailgating chairs, the decals, the pennants, the pacifier. No, wait…there never was a pacifier.
So you can imagine what it’s like when football season starts, as it did this past week. Boychild has several season tickets…thanks to guess who? But friends and family clamor to be invited, so there’s always a group in front of the TV at our house, too, for every Knights or Seminole game.
Unless I get very, very unlucky, I’m in the home group. No offense to the teams, but Florida Septembers are unbearably hot and muggy. I like my air conditioning, my mute button, and the joy of a bathroom that isn’t four staircases away.
Plus, at home I can enjoy football my way—100% biased, and 100% sappy.
By “biased,” I mean screaming “Pass interference!” every time our receiver drops the ball. (True pass interference is not required.)
By “sappy,” I mean falling for every human-interest story the commentators serve me. I cry more at TV sports than probably is normal. Sometimes, when the cameras zoom in on the losers, I have to cover my eyes.
This week, watching FSU’s new quarterback, Jameis Winston, was the emotional thrill. The kid was touched by magic, and when I saw him tiny-dancing with sheer happiness on the sidelines….Yep. I teared up, and my night was complete!
How about you? Does your family get football fever? Who’s your team? Do you like to be there, or do you prefer watching at home?