I made a joke in an episode of Spoiler Warning last week about how I didn’t know anything about (American) football. That’s only 95% true. Very occasionally, I have paid attention to the game in the past. Understand that it was very, very hard to grow up this close to Pittsburgh in the 1970’s and not have some of the football fandom rub off on you. My brother is a zealous Pittsburgh sports fan, and keeps the rest of the family abreast of which celebrity athletes are overrated preening hacks and which rule changes are bringing the pastime to ruin. Talking to him always reminds me of how vast other fields of knowledge can get, an ersatz version of a total perspective vortex.
Yesterday was a family gathering at my parents, and so when I sat down with Patrick I decided to find out how much I didn’t know this week.
HEATHER, MOM, and ANGELA are standing at the counter, having a pleasant conversation. PATRICK and SHAMUS are at the table wolfing down a bowl of pretzel chips like children. Aging, hairy, overweight, graying children.
So, how are the Steelers doing this year?
The conversation STOPS. Everyone looks towards the table.
Dude, are you messing with me?
Patrick! He’s pulling your leg!
No. (Laughs.) I mean, I guess they’re doing good, right? I mean, I know they’re doing good. I was just asking…
Did you not notice the decorations?
SHAMUS looks around the room. Black and gold towels are hung over the backs of chairs. A CAKE is decorated with black and gold frosting, and beside it is a large plate of black and gold SMILEY COOKIES. MOM and PATRICK are both wearing black and gold. ANGELA has black and gold fingernail polish.
Yeah. That’s… Oh wow. You guys really went all out this year. Is that because they made the playoffs?
(Deadpan.) The Superbowl is tomorrow.
Yeah. Is it? And the Steelers are playing?
(Deadpan.) The Steelers are playing.
(Long, awkward pause.)
Yay! Go Steelers!
I had a plugin for running polls installed at one point, but I either uninstalled it or it went out-of-date. So we’ll do a manual poll, which is sometimes called a conversation. So do you care about American Football? Do you have a favorite for today’s game?
EDIT: Like I said, I don’t have proper poll software installed, but allow me to simulate this incredible chart of the poll results:
|Green Bay Packers:||.|
|Complete and all-encompassing apathy:||_____________________________________|
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