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No I'm not ready for some football
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Football players do not wear “man capri pants.” And, if the skintight “not capri pants” happen to be white, those certainly are not “panty lines” you see encircling the players’ backsides. Or so I recently was told by my football fanatic husband, who tried — in vein — to teach me the rules of the game.
As we sat down to an ESPN “classic” (which is really just an old game the network replays when they can’t think of anything better to air), my husband, Noell, asked if I had any specific questions before he began the lesson. As an unwilling participant and someone who has never cared much for football — or any sport — I racked my brain for a pertinent question, but came up empty.
“OK,” Noell said, “now the team in white —”
“Ohhh,” I interjected, “I like their capri pants!” I paused for a moment then continued. “But I thought football was supposed to be macho. Why would the players agree to wear capri pants?”
My husband bristled, “Those are not capri pants! They’re uniform pants.”
“Well, call them whatever you want,” I told him, “but if I went to the Gap, picked out a pair of pants that same exact length and asked a sales associate what they were called, she’d say, ‘capri pants.’”
I was about to let Noell speak when I again glanced at the TV and noticed several of the men racing up and down the field in their “not capris” had committed another fashion faux pas.
“Oh, and they need to get the right kind of underwear,” I said. “I can see their panty lines right through those tight capris!”
My husband shook his head in frustration, but couldn’t stifle a laugh. “They are not wearing panties,” he exclaimed. “They’re wearing, ummm, athletic support … uh, you know what, never mind. Let me tell you about the positions. That guy is the quarterback …” He pointed to the screen and I watched some guy scurry around and chase some other guy … or maybe he was being chased … I don’t really remember — or care. I spent the rest of my “lesson” trying to determine what flavor Gatorade the players were drinking based on the color of the liquid in their cups. Yeah, if you just assume orange Gatorade is orange-flavored, you’re wrong — it could be Mango Electrico.
That’s when it hit me: I cared — and knew more about — Gatorade flavors than football. However, I certainly don’t mind that my husband loves it. He can watch football morning, noon and night — and he does. He can eat, sleep and breathe football! He could crush it up and snort … well, you get the idea. I’m not the kind of wife who guilt trips her husband for enjoying the sport. Hey, if you want to watch dudes wearing see-through capri pants prance up and down a giant hopscotch court for hours on end, be my guest. Just please leave me out of it.
That’s right — I won’t annoy my husband about his football habit if he doesn’t annoy me about my lack of interest. I don’t want to know who plays what or why the ball should be passed here or there. But this stance is unacceptable to Noell, who insists on talking football at me like 24/7 these days.
I understand the season is upon us, and that’s exciting to someone like my husband, who, as a sports reporter, writes about football for a living, watches and reads about football in his spare time, thinks about football constantly and even plays fantasy football as if his life depended on it. But I’m so over it.
This season, however, I have my own game plan. There are things I’m passionate about — things I love just as much as Noell loves football, such as cooking. In fact, I’m currently trying to perfect my own recipe for a homemade low-fat latte. (Take that, Starbucks!) So, I’ve decided to make my coffee quest into a type of fantasy game — much like fantasy football. I’m excited to introduce Noell to my key players, describe their strengths and weaknesses, fret endlessly about who will get the job done best and test out a few strategies.
Without further adieu, meet the latte lineup:
Caramel syrup
Vanilla syrup
My players are eager to hit the ground running, and I know I can count on a few to lead the team. Some players, however, will be riding the bench. For example, I’ll likely only need one syrup to anchor the beverage and increase flavor depth. Whether caramel or vanilla will come out ahead is anyone’s guess. And ice … well, let’s talk for a minute about ice. His position is not versatile. He’s pretty much cold all the time. And some days, I’m going to forego the iced latte for a piping hot version. On those occasions, I’m sorry to say, ice will be sidelined. Hey, just having your name on the roster does not guarantee playing time.
I’m going to talk to my husband a lot about my team. I’m going to agonize over all the possible “player” combinations and experiment with temperatures until I finally create the perfect latte — the latte that will beat all my friends’ lattes each week in fictional games. And when my latte is the champ, I will brag about my accomplishment. I will post my latte team’s photo on Facebook, and I will commission a trophy that will sit on a shelf in my garage.
What, you have a better idea? Well, it’s either this or fantasy Gatorade flavors, which would be pointless because everyone knows Mango Electrico wins every time.

Barnidge is editor of the Coastal Courier in Hinesville and an occasional columnist for The News.
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