go my favorite sports team, score a goal unit!

Faith Hill and I have one thing in common - a love of American football.

Okay, that's a lie, I don't love football.  I just thought that would make a great opening line for this blog post about football. 

The truth is that I grew up a basketball fan.  I accompanied my father to University of Evansville basketball games, watched Bobby Knight's Hoosiers win championships, and decorated my room with Reggie Miller posters.  I knew nothing about football except that the Superbowl provided an excuse for parties, high budget commercials, and "wardrobe malfunctions."  In high school, I was on the dance team and we were obligated to attend all the home football games, but I spent more time socializing than watching what was going on on the field.   (Nope, I didn't even notice our star Cornerback prancing around out there!(1)) Football was totally lame, I thought.

Then I started dating Timothy Bernard Felton.  I was quickly indoctrinated into the world of touchdowns and quarterbacks.  Tim's dad grew up in Johnstown, PA, and got his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame.  So Tim inherited his allegiences to the Steelers and the Fighting Irish (Remember Rudy?).  I soon realized that if I wanted my relationship with Tim to work, I had to start watching football.  You know what?  It's not so bad. 

This year, I reached a milestone in my repertoire of football experience.  I attended my very first Notre Dame game.  I was amazed by how much a game can impact an entire University.  The campus was crawling with fans, mostly alumni, touring the Cathedral and reminiscing in front of their old dorms.  Students took advantage of the crowds and sold burgers and brats out on the lawn.  The Notre Dame Marching Band performed its traditional concert on the steps before leading the march into the stadium.  I now have a better understanding of why Notre Dame fans are so loyal and avid (and so might say, obnoxious).  Walking around before the game, I sensed the tradition and energy that emanated from the South Bend soil.  Here is a picture of Tim and me with "Touchdown Jesus."

In college, I took a class on Catholicism in early America.  I remember my professor explaining that Notre Dame football was an invaluable symbol of Catholicism at a time when Catholics faced fierce discrimination.  Entire parishes and neighborhoods would seriously pray for the players to win because Notre Dame football was more than a game, it was a part of their Catholic identity.  Knowing a little about this rich heritage helped me to better appreciate all the traditions involved in game day.  Even though Notre Dame lost to Navy, it was a really enjoyable day and I am glad that I went.

However, the following week I got to attend an even more important football game.  On Nov. 14th, Tim participated in the Turkey Bowl V, an annual pick-up football game in Bloomington.  The Turkey Bowl originated in the Feltons' backyard in Newburgh when the Felton brothers and their friends were home for Thanksgiving.  Tim brought this tradition to Bloomington and it has become a Young Life leader tradition, although anyone is invited to play.  Tim insists on playing each year, though he inevitably gets injured.  This year I strongly suggested that he consider sitting out, but there was no stopping him.
Here is a picture of Tim after this year's game:

In addition to the broken nose, he also messed up something in his left shoulder, and scraped a chunk of flesh from his right elbow. 

In conclusion, although I never liked football when I was a kid, I now have a fondness for the sport.  While I may never become a superfan, I will always love having an excuse to invite friends over and eat fun sports-themed snacks (2).

That's all for now.



(1) Tim played Cornerback for our high school.  Seriously.  Need proof?  Click here.

(2) Like this:


  1. I was just telling Claire tonight that I have come to really enjoy watching football. Maybe some day we can watch a game together? Next years Old Oaken Bucket game???

  2. American football is a whole institution. We have to understand that this is a massive activity we do really enjoy as a unique group.

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