Rah, rah, rah-rah-rah

picture from here

Today is Thursday. Do you know what that means? 48 hours till BYU Football begins.

In honor of that, do you want to hear a good story?

I've loved football (BYU Football, specifically) ever since I was about 8. My brothers took me to the games and patiently explained what was going on until I understood it, and they taught me other important things, like singing the fight song, not leaving early, and saying "I have MINE, but not yours!" when asked "Do you have our tickets?" I don't think I've missed a home game since then---and I've either watched on TV or listened to all the away games on the radio. I go to the Cougar Sports message boards. I read the media guide cover-to-cover. I want to use "Cougar" for one of our kids' middle names (vetoed by Sam so far, but he's weakening). I think Bronco Mendenhall is as good as a General Authority. And so forth.

(That's not the story, it's just background.)

So I'm a real fan, not just someone who goes to the games to socialize or who (gasp!) only follows the team if they're doing well. I'm not really an expert on football; there's a lot of technical stuff I don't know, but I do love it.

Now. When I started dating Sam, I soon discovered he was practically perfect in every way. Handsome, smart, funny, humble, talented, interesting. Except! He didn't watch football!! He had sworn off it after his mission. This was not because he was a wussy pretty-boy, but for the noblest of purposes: he didn't want to be one of those swearing, couch-sittin', wife-beater-wearin', football-obsessed lunatics. (I flatter myself that I am not one of those either, but I could be wrong.) He figured (understandably) that his (future) wife would appreciate this abstinence from sportsdom as a rare and unparalleled manly sacrifice.

Unfortunately, he was dating the one woman who thought it was a cryin' shame and possibly evidence of some mental deficiency.

However. Sam was a good enough guy that I would have married him anyway. Even if I had to give up football for him. But instead, for my sake, he underwent a drastic transformation. He started watching and listening to all the games with me. He became conversant in football jargon to the point where he could correct the TV Commentators. He began reading the football message boards. His football-loving soul, long dormant, awakened and began to flower! I think he started trying to get re-interested in the game just for my sake, but luckily he started liking it on its own merits as well. Now, whenever I want to know who the best new recruits are, I am the one asking Sam. When I'm not sure about a rule, he can enlighten me. When Game Day dawns and I bounce out of bed at 6 a.m. in excitement, he's already up wearing his "Y" shirt.

And I'm so proud and happy and grateful! Every time we're sitting at the games together, or listening to the post-game show, or having a conversation about what our expectations are for the Defensive Line this year, or discussing the merits of running the 3-3-5, I just think to myself, "What did I ever do to deserve this guy??!!"

He is the best.


  1. Personally, now I like the 3-4 better than the 3-3-5. It's pretty impressive that Bronco has made the team so effective at the new system.

    Also, I don't know if you can say my football soul flowered. I don't think football souls are allowed to do that. I think they usually burst through a banner into a roaring stadium filled with dancing cheerleaders and blasting confetti cannons.

  2. He IS the best. Marilyn, you are so lucky. Not that you two are BYU superfans, but that you both genuinely enjoy a shared hobby. Most couples don't have in common hobbies and spend their time together putting up with each other's hobby for the sake of the relationship. What a great way to commune.
    Now I need to think of what hobby Joel and I share, like you guys, before I start to get really depressed about our shallow relationship.

  3. Sam, you and I have gone through the same transformation! I was very dissapointed that Seth was such a BYU football fan and I would sit and sulk in the bedroom while he watched with his dad and brothers. But I decided to sacrifice for his sake, and now I love it too! :) And in return, he'll put up with a good Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice, just to pay me back.

  4. Okay, exept you're probably wondering why I'm posting this in the middle of the first BYU game. It's because blasted Dish Network doesn't carry the Mountain, so Seth had to go to the gym to watch the game, and I'm too worn out to join him. I know, shame on me. But I'll watch it tonight when they replay it, unless I'm in labor.

  5. Sam's comment about "flowering" was top rate.

    I've always thought it would be more fun if people used the verb "blossom" in reference to young boys rather than young girls.

    As in: "Look at that Ronald. He's blossoming into such a lovely young gentleman."


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