I’m a geeky figure skating nut and I have no problem admitting it. A couple of weeks ago I was flipping through the channels and found an Olympics pre-show on TV and got immediately sucked in—the costumes, the music, the toe loops and axels. In my excited anticipation for the 2010 Vancouver Games, I called my mom, who shares this love, to be sure she was tuned in. Instead, she was watching the NFL playoffs. Now this is funny because all through my growing up, my mother hated watching sports—except for our soccer games course. Having no boys in the house and a dad from Europe who never cared much for such American pastimes, games were never showing on our TV set. It wasn’t until the 1995 NBA Finals when the Orlando Magic played, that things changed. My mother might go down in history as having once been Shaquille O’Neal’s biggest fan. Honest. I remember being in my bedroom trying to fall asleep with her yelling at the television, cheering so loud she’d keep us awake.
So basketball was where it began, but these days, it’s all sports—baseball, golf, hockey, tennis, and yes football. And it’s not just the teams. She knows the players, the coaches, the standings, the trades. It’s nuts.
So anyway…back to our phone call…
“Mom!” I said to her, shocked that figure skating was getting the back burner.
“Honey,” she replied. “It’s so exciting.”
“If you so say,” I said back, trying to see her side of it. “So are you watching the Jets?” (I at least knew that they were in the playoffs.)
“No, that game’s already over,” she replied in a tone as if to say, ‘Wake up, where have you been?’
“Did they win?” I asked, prepared that if they had, I would gear up and support my New York team for the Super Bowl.
“No, they lost. I guess you weren’t watching.”
“I’m not really into it Mom.”
“You know, you should get into it,” she replied. “Guys really like it.”
So weeks go by and everywhere, I am hearing talk of Super Bowl parties and how to combat packing on pounds over Super Bowl weekend and all I could think was, gosh I am probably the only person in America who isn’t planning on watching. And in a weird way, I felt like I was boycotting a holiday. So as game day drew nearer, I thought I might just bite the bullet and watch. The idea of it got easier when I heard from my best friend that her commercial might be running during the game. So I decided I would have to watch, to at least catch all of the ads. The game started and I soon realized that commercial breaks during the Super Bowl are quite frequent. So it was pointless to be doing something else while the game was on, as every three minutes I’d have to run back to the TV to pay attention to the commercials again. So I just decided to watch it all. And what do you know, I started getting really into it. New Orleans has a special place in my heart because my older sis went to school there, and for years we would visit as a family. So, I had a team to root for even though I knew nothing about them, and to boot, they were the underdogs, and I love the underdogs.
I ended up having so much fun. Not at a party, not eating chicken wings and seven layer bean dips, but at home solo, cheering for the Saints, thrilled at the action, cringing at the contact, and yes, drooling over the cute butts. My friend’s commercial didn’t make it into the lineup and out of the ones that did, there weren’t many I cared much for…except one—the CBS Cares beating heart ad. Hmm, I thought watching. Who is this gorgeous guy with the cute crooked lip and why does he care so much about our hearts? After the game I Googled the commercial and found a link to this ad featuring Mark Sanchez and his beating heart. I watched it again and thought, Who….is Mark Sanchez???! Lo and behold he is one of our very own! The New York Jets Quarterback. Had I only known! Well Mark, on my mother’s advice, and after seeing your adorable face, I will get into football next year. And I shall be a Jets fan– perhaps your biggest fan.
So thank you Mom. And thank you Mark.