Monday, December 27, 2010

Career Change! I Am Going to Be an NFL Announcer.

I am not really a football person, which I blame on my father for not really being a Sports Dad*, but I am reasonably entertained by it despite never really being 100% sure about what's going on. It's a little bit like going to a really weird art "happening" where there are a lot of armless baby dolls hanging from the ceiling and one bicycle in the corner and then some guy runs into the room naked and starts shrieking, and you're there like "WTF" but everyone else seems to be in a really good mood and that kind of puts you in a good mood because it's nice to see people so happy In Times Like These and you walk out and your friends are like "so how was it" and you can't help but say it was really fun. Football is mostly like that for me, but it helps that I do enjoy sports where huge men in barely adequate padding collide violently in the name of shoving an object around. The problem with this corollary however is that I try to apply hockey logic to what I'm looking at in football, and let me tell you that this is an exercise in futility.

I'm also reasonably convinced that Rich is some kind of wizard, because he's always saying things like "they're going to send that guy over there and then this other guy is going to throw it to this other guy and then they will hand it off and then run it around that dude on the other team and then they will get a down" and it happens which is really exciting for me in the way children are excited by the Quarter In Your Ear trick. He also got me the Football for Dummies book which was probably pretty informative but was unfortunately written by Howie Long, who seemed to be operating on a "this is a girl book, and girls are mildly retarded and don't understand sports" theory, so I kind of made some disparaging comments about that stupid-ass haircut he has and mailed the book via BookMooch to some chick in Germany who wanted to learn about American football for some reason**. That gesture was very sweet but ultimately a failure, so I was kind of freaking out because I was like "I have to learn to enjoy football or I will spend every Sunday-Monday wanting to kill myself out of sheer boredom." The New England Surge swooped in to my rescue. Arena football is basically all red-zone play, so I got an up close crash course (literally; we had front row season tickets and caught a couple players) in football, after which the Surge promptly failed to pay their bills in somewhat spectacular fashion and folded. Oops. But I had the knowledge. Ever since then I've been filling in the blanks, and now I know what's going on a good 80% of the time and have even moved on to random trivia like how Hines Ward has a smile like fucking Pacman and Brett Favre is kind of an enormous doucheface***.

So anyway, I've been watching more football than usual this season, and I've decided that I should totally be an NFL announcer. This whole academia thing is kind of a Thank You Sir May I Have Another situation (I actually mispelled that as "Thank You Sire" which adds a whole other level of grovelling to the scene and I think makes it more accurate) and I'm basically going to make like four dollars every year until I die because I am too bossy to write irritating tripe like Fareed "Here Are a Bunch of Well-Researched Facts and No Conclusions" Zakaria pumps out and thus will have book royalties of about fourteen cents to back up that extravagant professorial salary. If I go into announcing, I won't have to go broke getting myself a Ph.D**** and I will be able to make a seriously awesome living by eating a massive plate of beans before gametime and pointing my ass at a microphone.

See, I've observed that these people do not actually do a lot of talking about what is going on and that when they do, it's the most ridiculous irrelevant drivel ever sent out on the airwaves. Said drivel seems to fall into one of two categories - babbling about the play that just happened, or openly jacking it over the player of the moment. A particular favorite of mine was the other day during the Packers/Giants game when a fumble resulted in some pretty great hot potato recovery action. There was a ref literally right on the sideline with such a great view that he directly blocked the camera angle from one direction. The call was made - ball stayed in - and the announcers immediately started talking about how they would accept the ref's decision.


Guys, no shit you're going to accept his goddamn decision. He's the ref. You are retired players who managed to avoid concussing yourself into illiteracy. You are not in this. How about talking about the Packers' and Giants' fumble recovery rates? How about talking about receiver stats? How about QB picks? No? Seriously, what is even the point of you?

So I'm going to be an NFL announcer, not only because I am charming and attractive but also because my scant handful of what I will now be calling "color commentary factoids" about Troy Polamalu's hair and Manning's Manningface. I believe this will also help the lucky network that gets me corner the market on "female sports fans" who they tend to regard in much the same way they do unicorns. I plan to capture this market by being a female talking about sports without asking people about their fucking feelings on the damn field and also by reminding the programming people that women do in fact like sports and don't just fantasize about spraying the goddamn Febreze around after their husbands' filthy, filthy football parties*****, so maybe we should get some ads that don't treat women like vapid cleaning devices to be hauled out after the game. I would also start a campaign against the scourge that is pink team gear, because pink team gear is stupid, that's why. Want to support your team? Wear their goddamn colors. You don't see me supporting my country by wearing a pink tee shirt with the Presidential seal in darker pink and white on it, do you? No, I wear a fucking obnoxious extravaganza of red, white and blue with a taxidermied bald eagle hat like a true patriot.

Then, if I ran out of factoids, I could just start talking about whatever came to mind. I'd probably go with talking smack about the fans, because who doesn't like mocking fans? Weirdos, that's who. Have you seen the shit people show up to these games in? It's a judger's dream. And all of this would STILL be more interesting than the dreck currently airing.

The big question, of course, is whether I'd be able to make the transition to the pre- and postgame shows, and I think the answer is OBVIOUSLY yes. My secret weapon would be wardrobe critique. My theory is that all of these guys are being dressed by someone else, and thus cannot possibly be 100% confident that they are wearing the Right Outfit. There are two reasons I believe this. First of all, anyone who spends as much time as these ex-players and coaches spend in team-wear, be it a jersey or other gear, finds their wardrobe gradually consumed by teamlogonalia, all socially acceptable clothing being slowly devoured by tee shirts. Secondly, I refuse to believe that a man who once had the sheer balls to wear a sweater that said "BEARS" across it in public, repeatedly, would ever be able to assemble the relatively natty outfits Ditka sports on air. Once you go to a sweater that self-righteously tacky, you never go back. In any case, I plan to leap with bared fangs on this weakness the second someone disagrees with me. "I disagree, Jimmy the Shark is not now nor has he ever been a member of the Minnesota Vikings." "Yeah, well you look like you cut your hair with a Flowbee and your pocket square is a fucking mess." There is no counter argument for that shit. They would simply have to admit that I was right and let me win forever.

And then I will punch Frank Caliendo in the face.

* Though he made up for it in many ways, including teaching me how to change the oil in my car, being willing to light expired road flares with me for no reason during family holiday gatherings and reading a frankly absurd number of Nancy Drew books with me when I was a kid.

** I don't think Germans will ever not confuse me.

*** Not sure I actually needed football knowledge for that. If Brette Favre's vocal cords exploded in a gory, Sawesque extravaganza of chaos, I'm not sure I could even muster human sympathy at this point. See also: Lebron James, Curt Schilling.

**** Downside: no crazy robes and ridiculous hat. This is significant.

***** I pride myself on being filthier than my husband.

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