My husband, when he's like being really funny, will say to me, "How 'bout them Dawgs?"
This is a reference to the Georgia Bulldogs. This is what my husband and his male friends say to each other. This is football.
I hate football.
Today, I understand, there is a football game on. The Rams versus the 49ers. The Rams are from Los Angeles, although they play in Anaheim, and the 49ers are from San Francisco.
The winner of this game goes to the Super Bowl, so this is a big deal. For some people, that is. Mostly men.
I imagine that you can see where this is going. I am not a man. I do not enjoy watching people in heavy equipment beat the hell out of each other on a football field. I am sensitive and intelligent.
Men, on the other hand, take great pleasure in watching people beat the hell out of each other on a football field. To them this is raw excitement, male bonding at its primordial best.
When I think about these men, sensitivity and intelligence are not attributes that immediately spring to mind.
But I am open-minded, after all, not to mention practical. I'm thinking about this game today. If the local boys win, football is all we're going to be hearing about. I may be called upon, in otherwise polite company, to talk about football.
"How 'bout them Rams?" I might have to say.
So with that in mind, I went to see Lynda Miller, a budding entrepreneur and sports nutritionist from Huntington Beach, who sent me a letter about something she and her sister call "The Pink Side of Sports."
Normally, I would have paid no attention to a venture called "The Pink Side of Sports"--would you? --but the countdown to the Super Bowl is no normal time.
The Pink has produced three videos--on football, basketball and baseball--explaining who's on first and why in the world anybody, especially women, should care.
Lynda and her sister have this theory, see. They say the reason women don't like professional sports is because we don't understand them. The sisters say that once women, and even a few wimpy men, learn how the games are played, they will love them--or at least tolerate them. That way couples can be together.
OK, so I walk up to Lynda's house, the one with the potted flowers lining the driveway and the satellite dish on the roof.
Quite frankly, I'm expecting the worst, although I figure the really frilly, pink kind of stuff--maybe Lynda greeting her husband at the door wearing only a football helmet--will come after I'm long gone.
But Lynda throws me for a loop. She's a tall, striking brunette who bears no resemblance whatsoever to Marabel Morgan (she of "The Total Woman"), although she is holding a fluffy white poodle in her arms. She's very nice, really quite charming.
But I decide to get right to it, hit her with a verbal tackle that will knock the wind out of her. I tell Lynda I loathe football.
Lynda smiles, sweetly, effectively faking me out just as I was about to steamroll her. She says she can understand where I'm coming from. Bottom line, she's banking on women like me.
Lynda tells me a story about another female journalist--we're all alike--only this one's from the East Coast.
This journalist told Lynda that the women in the office were offended by the name "The Pink Side of Sports." They found the whole notion of indiscriminately standing by your man (i.e. during televised or live sports events) to be degrading and personally repugnant.
But, lo and behold, Lynda goes on, the journalist's boyfriend is a hockey freak, so, in the interests of togetherness, this woman asked a few questions about the game and found out it wasn't so barbaric after all.
"Sports, especially for men, is such a major part of life," Lynda says. "And we couldn't find anything out there that really explains it to women. That's why we produced the videos. We thought, 'Jeepers, if a woman wants to spend more time with her guy, what better way?' These videos are meant for people who want to spend more quality time together."
Well, all right. To each his own. That's why Lynda and her husband, an airline pilot, got the satellite dish, to spend all that quality time together in front of the tube.
And Lynda, a former high school cheerleader, stresses that she loves her husband and sports, his and hers, but especially his and especially football.
"The deterioration of the family in relationships has made me ill," she goes on. "To have a good relationship takes a lot of work. It takes giving and taking. And if you go to the games with him, he'll go to the opera with you!"
So Linda hands me one of her videos, on football, with former Rams linebacker Carl Ekern narrating. I'm thinking that in the interests of open-mindedness, I'm going to watch this thing at home.
But, then, what can I say? Later on, my practical side took over.
If, and only if, the Rams win today, will I force myself to watch anything connected with football.