Hoping to enjoy the game with the guys this year, I read the rules in advance and developed what I thought was a pretty good working knowledge of football before the game started. It didn’t help. Understanding in the abstract what was supposed to be going on did not help to discern where the ball was or who was in possession of the play at any given moment. All I can ever see is a blooming, buzzing confusion of bodies. I can’t tell who has the ball until the play has ended.
After five years of trying (granted, not trying too hard), I have come to the conclusion that the excitement of football is permanently opaque to anyone who didn’t grow up with it. I was as confused at the end of the game as I was at the beginning, despite the bottomless patience of friends. Still, it’s a good opportunity to eat hot dogs and guac and enjoy good company. If I could only grok why it is they whoot! when they do. I’d just love to be able to relate to my father-in-law on this count.