Draft Day Movie Review

MV5BMjAyOTMxMjA3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTMwNjQ4MDE@._V1_SX214_Now I get it. Now it all makes sense. Draft Day explains it all. The excitement of Draft Day and the intrigue behind the scenes of one of the biggest days in football; the day the college kids get drafted to play for the NFL big boys. Best of all is that Ali, played in her usual feminine, strong-without-cutting-off-his-balls style by our favorite Girl Next Door, Jennifer Garner, is not sacrificed in any way by being made into a sex object, needing a man to get something done, or dumbing herself down to make him look better. She is everything you want to be—attractive but not in a way that demeans her. Smart, but not in a way that looks anything but effortless. In love, but not in a desperate way that makes her behave like a crazy person. Oh yes, finally a girl gets to be the way we all want to be in a macho guy film. The times they are a-changing.

And Costner? He’s okay. God, he’s attractive in that “I’m too sexy for myself” kind of way. Elusive. Engaged. Intense. Fair. But he’s really not a great actor, and throughout the film—especially in the beginning—he mistimes his lines. His pants are too tight. He delivers some of his lines in a way that says he’s delivering the lines, and you know he’s acting. At the same time, I love him in the role. Same guy as Message in a Bottle. Same guy as Waterworld, Dances with Wolves, and especially For Love of the Game, (one of my personal favorites) in which he even delivers one of the same lines from this film: “What do you want?”

So, Draft Day is all about the NFL and it is an entertaining two hours. It is. But I was disquieted when I left and couldn’t figure out why.

I went to the University of Nebraska in the early seventies, when Johnny Rogers won the Heisman. I had two football players in my speech class who never once gave a speech all semester … and who told me that they’d gotten B’s in the class when I ran into them the next semester. These players were abusive to women on campus, and no one cared. No one cared when Johnny Rogers robbed a gas station – with a gun.  Forty-three years later, in November of 2013, he received a pardon from the state of Nebraska for that crime. He said, ” I feel like the weight for that particular incident is off my shoulders.” I couldn’t help but wonder that a pardon takes the weight off his shoulders, makes it like he didn’t do it … when actually, he did do it. And he was arrested in 1987 for attacking a cable man who was disconnecting his cable. In other words, he was and is a loser. We all know the drill with football players. The Johnny Rogers story is played out across America on most college ball teams, and it’s the reason I left football behind after leaving Nebraska. There is no reason to belabor the point, because it is what it is, but it also affects the way I viewed this film.

I wanted to start rooting for the Cleveland Browns after watching Draft Day. You will too. The troubled players in the film were really good guys. We can see that. We are rooting for their second chances. We excuse their breaking the rules because the tug-at-your-heartstrings way they’re presented invites us to do just that—give them our hearts. And like lambs being led to the slaughter, we do. Just like in real life football. I left the movie thinking I might start watching football again. Then I got a grip on myself after looking up Johnny Rogers in order to write this review and remembered that if an alien came down from outer space and watched what we call entertainment on the football fields across America, said alien would think that not much had changed since the days when Romans sacrificed gladiators while the crowds roared. The Hunger Games? Not out of the realm of possibility.

Football is only popular in America. The rest of the world finds it too violent. Guns too. So, while I loved the two hours I was on the edge of my seat watching this film, I wished I hadn’t found it so compelling.


Politics Sports

Lance Armstrong is not Tiger Woods, or Pete Rose.

We are a nation that loves to forgive. We do. You do us wrong, and we can look the other way as long as you make us think that you feel badly for lying, cheating, betraying, or even stealing from us. I like that about my fellow country people. I like that we allow others the opportunity to start over again. Yep, works for me. In Lance Armstrong’s case, however, we are talking about something all together different.

I heard someone on NPR talking about some of the other athletes who have abused their gifts and eventually come clean, and been forgiven by their fans. Pete Rose. Tiger Woods. (Ok, as long as we are coming clean, I really saw it on the CBS Morning Show, but you will think me more intelligent if I say NPR. I know, I know, but at least I told you.)

Lance is different than a Rose or a Woods. Lance Armstrong didn’t just use drugs to win. He decimated anyone who wouldn’t go along with it. He ruined the lives of those who told the truth. He personally threatened people. Over and over again, he attacked the truth sayers with a vengeance that speaks of a sick mind. A very sick mind. Watch some of his attack ads for Nike. Scary stuff.

Tiger Woods fooled around. Pete Rose bet on his own games. These are men who did not ruin the lives of others.

I sit here confident today that Lance can never recover from this. I removed my bracelet. I don’t want to ‘Live Strong.’ I want to ‘Live Real.’ “He is done,” I said to myself lying in bed with the flu yesterday, and not only that, I might not even watch his interview on Oprah because I don’t wish to waste another moment of my precious time on his sorry ass.

But there was something gnawing at the back of my mind. Then it hit me. Bill Clinton is in a league with Lance Armstrong. He decimated lives. Lots of them. His vehement, “I did not have sex with that woman,” haunts me still. That young girl’s life was ruined. And, his? He moved on and is now beloved by us all, including me. I loved him at the convention this year for saving the day. He is one of the reasons Romney is not president today, and I’m part of the grateful nation.

So, where does that leave us? If Clinton can come back, can Lance? I guess it really depends on what he does with the next years of his life. I guess it depends on what he brings to the table of his people moving forward. But, I am not as sure as I was yesterday that his days as a leader in this country are over.

One more thing. I have heard from my friend EJ, the cyclist extraordinaire, that Lance is a really talented cyclist. I can’t help but wonder what he could have done on the up and up? Would he be a second rate cyclist today? Do you think he asks himself the same question? What if…


Speed Golf. Seriously?

We are a country that moves faster and faster with each passing day, except of course when we are driving during rush hour. Then we move slower and slower with each passing minute. While I was crawling through Boston on my way to meet a client, I heard some conversation on the radio about Speed Golf. “Wow, that’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one,” I chuckled to myself. I am one of those Midwest people who lost her father most Saturdays to the game of golf. Tee-off time would be around 8:00 or 9:00 AM. He’d be home around 5:00, and then go out to dinner with my mother shortly thereafter. I eventually came to realize that golf was just the first stop. There was also lunch, Gin Rummy, and a drink before coming home, but I only knew he was off to play golf.

So here is the deal: It seems that in an effort to shorten the duration of each round, they have developed something called Speed Golf. Yep, sports fans. Speed Golf. The goal is to shoot the lowest score in the shortest amount of time. Not sure how they figure out the math, but to be honest, I’ll never need to know because I will never play it. I can’t imagine why anyone would play it.

One of the best female players of this new sport says, “It’s great. You can shoot a round of golf in forty-three minutes, hurry home, and then take it easy for the rest of the afternoon.” Oh my. I always thought the point of golf was to take it easy, to enjoy your time outside. To notice the trees and the fairways and the views. To ride in a cart with a friend for five hours, catching up about this and that between shots… and to have a little extra time to get into their head, if you are truly competitive.

This is the ultimate multi-tasking sport. Run and hit. Run and hit. Watch the video and ask yourself where the pleasure is? Does one play it alone? I guess so. We already do so much more alone than ever before. We eat alone and text or watch T.V. while we eat. We text and watch the debates. We talk on the phone while we drive places. Our social life is so solitary now that I sometimes find it odd to actually sit across from someone.

Do not change golf into a sport that’s all about the math at the end of the day. I’m so tired of math. Watching the video, I found it exhausting to watch the speed golfers running, hitting, and carrying their bags.” Savor the shot you turkeys. Ooh and ahh over your fellow golfer’s shots. Walk around the ball. Throw some grass in the air and pretend you know what it means to your club choice. Seriously, golf is so much more than the score or the time in which you can run around the course. Morons.

One last thing. Please God, do not let the Scots or the Irish get wind of this. It will start World War III.

Sports World

Olympic Perspective

Gabby’s hair? You can’t be serious. The girl flings herself up off the uneven bars with no fear; she flips backwards on the balance beam with her arms gently limp at her side, muscles bulging in a perfect line. And you want to talk about her hair? Who are you people? Besides, it’s not like it was hanging in dirty clumps or anything. The truth is, I never noticed her hair and neither should you. It’s her toned body you should notice, which she has worked for years (years, I tell you) to make it perform perfectly. And it’s her clear eyes and extraordinary mental focus. I lose focus in a movie theater when someone ten rows behind me reaches into their popcorn box. Listen, American Idiots, we need a little perspective here. Get it together.

Then we need to talk about Michael Phelps, who was called a loser when he came in fourth on his first time in the water at these games. Seriously, the man had something like tfifteen gold medals at that point (and a bunch of other colors too); he comes in fourth at the Olympics, and you are all disappointed? Don’t be absurd.

Then there is a poll this morning on one web site to vote for the “best” Olympian at these games? It’s not enough that they are the best in their respective sports―which is why they are there in the first place―now you want them to compete with each other? Are you high? What, a week into watching the best athletes from all over the world compete in sports that take a lifetime to master, you want to create another layer of competition? Shame on you.

Think of the North Koreans for God’s sake. Supposedly, if they come home without having done well, they are sent off to labor camps. Then there is the endorsement pressure. One hundredth of a point and you lose that Corn Flakes ad (seriously?), which means you will never be financially secure after spending upwards of twenty years working seven days a week, ten hours a day to achieve a gold medal and a little bungalow in the Valley. Then there are the commentators talking about how Great Britain hasn’t won any gold medals, as if hosting the Olympics means you are obligated to rise above your potential.

I’m done complaining, but seriously? Back to basics, people. Just becoming good enough to compete is an accomplishment beyond 99% of the world’s abilities, and winning a medal―any medal―is the moon. Congrats to you all, and just remember that those talking about these ridiculous things have never won anything. Oh, and Team USA? Wow. Wow. And, thank you. I’m so very proud to share the same citizenship, even if that’s all we have in common. You inspire me.


Boys, Sex & Sports. Not in that Order.

I have said for years that modern sporting events were inspired by the sexual yearnings of male folk who were looking for yet another way to score. After talking about it with a co-worker in the car the other day, I decided to step outside my normal “make no waves” approach to Freesia Lane’s musings.

My name is Christine and I think sports is all about sex and men. Or most sports, anyway.

Take a long stick—a very long stick—and hit the ball as hard as you can with the goal of getting the ball into the hole with as few strokes as possible. There are traps along the way to make it harder. The person who gets the ball in fastest—with the fewest strokes—wins. Alrighty then.

The ball shoots out between the legs of the Center, and the goal it to get it through to the end zone as quickly as possible, with as few plays as possible. All the men are there to protect the ball. Hmmm.

Take a long stick (but not as long as in golf), swing it as hard as you can, and get that ball to go as far as you can. The other guys are there to stop you from getting the ball to go as far as you can, and let’s face it, second base means more to a ninth-grade boy in the back seat of a car then it does to the team on the field. They even brought it out of the closet and related the bases to sexual foreplay—that is, getting to the final score with a person of the female persuasion.

It seems that it’s always about getting the ball in the hole, goal, or end zone as quickly as possible, with the least effort possible. Please don’t tell me you don’t see the correlation. And the other side or guy always wants to do it faster, more times, or with less effort. Or, they want to kill off the other guy. Sounds like cave man days to me.

It’s the sports invented in the past few hundred years that seem to have this issue. Tennis, for example, doesn’t seem to revolve around the sex drive. Today’s sports do not seem to resemble the Lion-versus-Gladiator events of old. I saw Gladiator, and it was about power and love, not sex. But football, baseball, hockey, basketball? It can’t be denied.

There I said it. I think it. I really do. Sue me.

History Sports World

Olympic Opening Ceremony

I love the Olympics. Not surprising, considering how much I love my country. I consider my birth here to be one of the greatest gifts the luck of the draw has given me.

I always love the opening ceremonies, and I was totally enthralled with the London Opening Ceremony. My friend Samantha lives on the West Coast and shares my love of the Olympics. She texted me about two hours into the replay on the east coast, an hour before it started to play in LA.

“How is it?”
“Oh my God, Samantha, the best ever! Just wait!”
“Can’t wait.”

I told her to text me and let me know what she liked best.

I awoke Saturday morning to see the following on her Facebook.

“I am just shocked! My anticipation for the Opening Ceremonies was such a letdown. 42 million on what?! Danny Boyle made a hefty chunk of change. Event producers have to do more at a movie premiere than that. Lol! Sorry folks that loved it. I don’t need an ambien tonight. Hahaha. Let’s go USA!!!!!! On to the Olympic Games!” 

Did I mention Samantha does movie premieres?

I haven’t spoken to her since she posted it. Our friendship is on the rocks for sure.

Here it is in a nutshell people.

The Opening Ceremony in Beijing was a parade of colorful precision. It was like watching the Chinese Army in colorful clothing. Okay, the waving of flags and the train of dragons made it stunning, but I don’t think it touched the London Ceremony, and I certainly didn’t learn anything about their history. Tiananmen Square was no where to be seen. No show of factories filled with small children. I’m just saying.

I hear you all now. There is no place for that at the Olympics. Well, I beg to differ. That’s exactly the place for it. Give me truth and give me competition, and I’m a better person inside and out. Boyle walked us through English History  and Culture—good and bad. I loved that he showed the dark side of the Industrial Revolution. I had no idea that so many children’s literary masterpieces were spawned in England. (101 Dalmatians? really? I so thought that Cruella DeVille was from New York City for sure!) I was especially surprised and spellbound by the use of real nurses and doctors to celebrate England’s amazing health care system. I loved the humor and musical history of the Chariots of Fire number, and what better entrance for the Queen than a fake one with James Bond? (Ok, she could have smiled just once! But overall, I liked the show of British humor.)

And come on. When those rings of fire floating around the darkened sky came together as the Olympic Rings, you had to feel something! No?

The truth is that I fell asleep before it was over, but that’s only because I work too hard and get up too early. It had nothing to do with the quality of the show.

We Americans must learn the nuances of storytelling, and we must realize that storytelling is not always filled with color and parades. I know more about England’s strengths and weaknesses than I did before, and I like her better than I did before.  Thanks Danny Boyle, for a little bit of history, some smiles, and Paul McCartney, and I hope that your health care system comes our way really soon. Best of luck in the Olympics.

Let the games begin. As for Samantha—love you, girlfriend.


History Sports

Borg & McEnroe

Did anyone watch the one-hour special on HBO revisiting the Borg/McEnroe rivalry?

The rivalry between McEnroe and Borg was something that most tennis enthusiasts embraced in the early eighties. I was hooked. I saw many of the matches that went to five sets, and it really, really mattered to me who won. Funny, I have never felt that way about any sporting event or team rivalry since. It was about more than rooting for the winning side. It was about rooting for a point of view, a way of life. Their styles, their motivation, their ethics were black and white, and we all took sides.

I was a Borg and Chrissie Evert girl. I wore only Fila & Ellesse clothing when I played, and I embraced the Chrissie Evert, Bjorn Borg way of staying in the back of the court and throwing out my left hand to balance the huge back swing and planted feet that ensured solid ground and strong placement of the ball just out of my opponent’s reach. I believed that grace, strength and intelligence were more important than flaring rage and fleeting motions that had no more than a fifty-fifty chance of being a brilliant winning shot. I believed that waiting for my opponent to err was the way to win the match. And it worked for me in my tennis club matches, which in my head, were really Wimbledon finals.

Watching the special, however, I realized that there was more to it than the tennis game. I disliked McEnroe. I disliked his antics, which I felt were the only thing that allowed him to rise above mediocrity, often at the expense of the honor of the game. I felt that his behavior was disrespectful to the game and opponent, and I felt it was an indicator that he wasn’t as good an athlete as people said he was. He often lost when he couldn’t reach down inside and find that fire, which was usually fed by his rage at some perceived line injustice.

I’m older now—more than thirty years older—and I know better now. I know that sometimes anger motivates me more than the pure desire to get it right. I understand John better after watching his life unfold and hearing him discuss those days in the special. I see that Borg burned out at age twenty-five because he never had the fire to win. It’s the classic question of the carrot or the stick; which is more motivating? The carrot—the Wimbledon trophy—or the stick: “To hell with everyone, I will show you and win Wimbledon!”

What I learned from watching this fabulous documentary is that I need to find the right combination of fire and ice, carrot and stick. The drive that burns within and the drive that looks through the window to see what can be attained.

Are you a Borg fan or a McEnroe? It’s important to know which, so you can feed it, and contain it, and own it, and most of all control it. And, I think trying to find a bit of both might just be a winning ticket. I thank both of them now for a rivalry that moved me so many years ago, and I thank HBO for the trip down Memory Lane that reminded me of it.


No Place to Hide

So, when I woke up this morning and saw that Syracuse University’s basketball coach and assistant coach seem to have the same issues that we just heard about with Penn State’s Paterno and company, I felt this gnawing feeling in the back of my mind. Then I started to think about the internal workings of the Catholic Church, which allowed (and still allow, in my humble opinion) the institution of a pedophile’s version of Girls Gone Wild. Then I put two and two together, and here is what I got.

Is it possible that men like these—priests, coaches, etc.—find a safe haven in the men’s clubs that both the Catholic Church and College sports provide? Look, there is a camaraderie that prevails in these organizations, a “we will protect you” type of environment that wouldn’t exist if women were part of the club. A woman in the Penn State debacle might not have been willing to look the other way. And let’s face it, the evil that lurks within those men might not have been quite as comfortable in the presence of a mixed crowd of men and women. College men’s sports and the Catholic Church have one thing in common: no women in their midst.

Now, I understand that this comparison may be far-fetched, and I may lose Freesia Lane‘s few male readers, but I have to put it out there anyway. Plain sight has always been a good place to hide, and the old boys’ networks in both the college sports arena and the Catholic Church have served these perverts well for many years.

I remember in high school we had two female PE teachers. One taught swimming and the other taught gym. One night after a field hockey game (I wish I still played), I forgot something and went back to the locker room. In the office I saw the swimming teacher sitting on the PE instructor’s lap in a way that made me uncomfortable. They looked up. I looked at them. They looked terrified. I looked away and ran out of the locker room. This was 1970, and I assure you I didn’t think about being gay, or about them being gay, because that kind of thing wasn’t on my radar screen. But I knew something was off about it, and that I should never tell anyone. I didn’t play any more sports after school, and I think I had my period for the next year and a half every time I was supposed to swim and no one said a word to me about it. So I know the feeling of disquiet you get when you know something—and I also know I didn’t tell.

Then, in my early twenties, a pedophile member of my extended family brought a young boy to a family gathering. My boyfriend at the time told me we were leaving, and said he was never coming back to my family’s house. I look back on my lack of action at that time as one of my greatest failures in life. I just didn’t say anything to anyone. I didn’t rock the boat, and I’m sorry. Since it wasn’t blood family, I haven’t seen the perpetrator in more than twenty years (he’s actually on the lam, if the truth be known, and for something totally unrelated to his sexual predilections). But I know I was a party to what he did back then, and I apologize for it now. Oprah is right—you are only as sick as your darkest secret, and that is certainly one of mine. I think if it were to happen now I would not just stand by, but rather stand up. Times they are a-changing, and I’m grateful.

Upon further reflection I realized that all of us who are screaming, “I would never have hidden it or looked away,” need to regroup too. I went and saw Midnight in Paris even though I had sworn off Woody when he went after his common-law wife’s underage child. Is Woody Allen a pedophile? Oh yeah. And don’t talk to me about Roman Polanski and his latest movie. The truth is, we are fickle people who don’t see our own forest through the trees. And I, for one, intend to change.

Here is a message to all pedophiles: Let the bells toll far and wide. There is no safe haven for you people any longer. You will be found. You will be prosecuted, and henceforth you will not be allowed to pick a career in which you might feel safe in the evil that you do. End of story. And if there are other industries providing safe haven for child molesters, let us figure it out now and sweep clean that which has been unswept for far too long.

History Movies & TV Sports

Movie Review: Moneyball

I love this movie. I’m going to go see it again, and then maybe one more time. It’s a chick flick with no romantic interest. Go figure. That alone makes it unique. It’s the story of David and Goliath, only they are baseball teams. It’s the story of a broken family. It’s a story of dreams unfulfilled. It’s a story about working together. It’s a story about believing you are right when there is no precedent for your ideas. So many stories, so little time—and yet they all unfold in a seemingly unhurried way with no loose ends. No easy task.

First, and I must confess to not following baseball, I had no idea that something big happened in baseball in 2002. I think it should have been bigger news. I can see you shaking your male heads in amazement that I missed it, but something as big as changing the way the game is played should have risen above the sports pages, and I don’t think it did. I remember asking my ex-boyfriend Kenny Newman why he loved baseball so much, and he said, “because it’s a perfect numbers game.”

The screenplay—written by my all-time favorite movie and TV writer, Aaron Sorkin—is the reason Moneyball may be one of the best films of the year. The script is perfect. Every line, every look exchanged between the characters (which is a form of dialogue, isn’t it?) is just right. I have not seen such perfect communication since Silence of the Lambs.  I should have known. Thank you once again Aaron, for understanding that words matter, and that the best delivery in the world doesn’t matter if the words are not brilliantly written in the first place. A Few Good MenThe West Wingand Moneyball: the perfect writer’s trilogy.

The real Peter Brand, Paul Depodesta, just doesn’t seem to be the guy I loved in the movie.

Every character in Moneyball was a starring role for me. Jonah Hill (Knocked Up), plays Peter Brand, the Yale Brainiac who puts together the numbers that change the face of baseball. The movie is perfectly cast, perfectly set up, and rich in content. Hill plays Brand with perfect lip quivering and eye contact that pierced my soul. His performance made me wish I had been nicer to Peter Hein, my long-ago boyfriend for five minutes who was just like the Peter in the film—a brilliant, shy person of substance, a keeper. I did a little more research, and it turns out there is no Peter Brand, and the real brilliant Assistant GM was in fact Paul DePodesta, who is a fabulously fit, handsome personage with no resemblance to the Peter Brand I fell in love with for two hours. Oh, well.

Sweet-singing Kerris Dorsey, who plays Pitt’s daughter, has been in twenty-two films and TV shows, and I have never seen her. No matter. She is as talented and mesmerizing as Dakota Fanning. And boy, she can sing!

Philip Seymour Hoffman lives up to his reputation yet again as the naysayer who turns out to be a fool. He plays the role in a subdued, simmering-with-anger sort of way that can’t be challenged. Great work. Everyone is great.

Ok, I know, I know. I haven’t mentioned Brad Pitt. Everyone seems to think  Pitt will get an Academy Award nomination for Moneyball. I don’t think so. His beautiful face can’t quite sell us the cut-throat, I-will-follow-my-own-drummer-no-matter-what-anyone-thinks sort of person he needs to be as Billy Beane. He’s not horrible, but he is miscast. Trust me on this. It’s only the genius of the dialogue and the story that allows him to almost get it right. Mark my words: not this time Brad.

You have to appreciate true stories that prove it’s not always about the amount of money spent. Sometimes it’s about other things, and that’s an important lesson—especially in America, where baseball is king.


Oregon Versus Auburn

I loved football in college. I went to the University of Nebraska; there was no choice. You would be expelled if you didn’t love football. But to be honest, I stopped following it in the early eighties when it came to my attention that domestic violence calls escalate substantially during the games, peaking during the Super Bowl. Some are challenging that notion now, but in the mid-eighties, it was widely believed.

Our company does a lot of work with the Super Bowl, and I sent the Dallas team an e-mail about our social media options, saying, “Give me some data on the Super Bowl that we can provide our clients, not related to us, but to the Super Bowl, like where to get tickets, parking, parties, and the two teams that were chosen to play, so we can provide some real content.”

So the General Manager of Dallas took it to the VP of Sales and said, “What do I do with this? She doesn’t know the teams haven’t been decided yet and she thinks they ‘choose’ them?” Being the sensitive type, she looked at him, picked up the phone and called me. “Merser, it’s me. Are you stupid? They don’t choose the teams, they win a spot in playoffs and that hasn’t been decided yet.” I was on speaker phone and felt the need to regroup quickly. “Well, that doesn’t work for me. How do they expect us to market the damn thing? Call the NFL and tell them to get on it.” Then I hung up. I regrouped, man. I showed my firm grasp of the situation and how agile I am when I need to change my marketing approach.

Last night was the college football finals.  So, being the kind of person who recognizes weaknesses in herself, and always wanting to improve, I went across the street to watch it with some peeps from the office including the VP of Sales.

Well, surprise, surprise. I have a few comments.

1. What’s with the shoes? Are you serious? Aside from being anything but gold (which is the team color they were supposed to be mirroring), they left no room on the field for seeing anything else. Ok, so I get the Nike connection (apparently the CEO of Nike went to Oregon and has given millions to the team and they wear Nike stuff, often new each game). Well as someone who works in marketing, that’s a nightmare. Do you know how many calls their VP of Marketing gets from other teams? Hellloooo. But secondly, I thought college football was not supposed to go there with corporations. Whatever.

2. Tell the GD Tiger to stop with the bobbing head. It was driving me crazy. What happened to simple costumes?

3. The announcers are way overdressed. No one wears a three-piece suit to a football game. Get over yourself.

Now, on to the game, which I must admit, was very exciting. It really was, and I had forgotten how much more I like college football than professional football.

We did laugh a lot.

When we walked into the male-dominated Q’s on Wilshire Boulevard to watch the game, the guys at the next table asked us which team we were rooting for. Since I had no idea which teams were playing, and I was the one he was looking at, I answered, “Which team do you want us to root for? We are a versatile group.” Oregon it was—which was fine by me because they were, in fact, the underdogs.

When a guy got hurt on the first play, one of us said that the guy’s mother was yelling from the stands, “Get up! You are fine. I didn’t come all the way here to watch you get knocked out on the first play of the game. Suck it up!”

Here’s the thing. I had a great time. We placed side bets on where the next play was headed, up the middle, running it, long to the left, etc. We laughed. We texted others, and I’m in.

Now, regarding the Super Bowl. I still think they need to give me more time to market the teams. Plus, people need to book flights early and get good rates. I’m still going to write the NFL, but I’m also going to pick a team next year to make my own, buy a shirt and start watching. Biggest Loser or Monday Night Football. Hmm.