A Football Wife

Hey there, sports fans.

Today is Día de la Independencia in Mexico. There’s a band playing in the eventos right below our development. There will probably be a band playing there almost every night from now until Christmas Day.

I call it Fiesta Season. Bands. Cerveza. Music. Más cerveza. Singing. Tequila. Fireworks. It’s basically a four month party. I don’t mind the loud music. Most of the time I think it’s really cool, and it adds to the charm of our retirement lives.

I am not a fan of the fireworks. Mexican fireworks are essentially sky rockets made out of sticks of dynamite. That first one always catches me by surprise, and I always have to check if I shit my pants. After I crawl out from under the bed.

The following explosions aren’t as traumatic. You tend to get used to them. Or you leave.

* * * *

And, another American football season is underway. It’s basically a five month roller coaster ride for most football fans. My lovely supermodel wife is starting to believe it’s true for her. I don’t usually brag about myself much, but I won the Grand Slam of Marriage when I married Lea. Spooky-smart, beautiful, great cook, and she loves football.

I’ve been a Vikings fan since I was a kid. Lea has been a Vikings fan since she married me. She didn’t know anything about football when we got married.

“I wanted to know something about the game, but my dad and my ex-husband wouldn’t explain it to me. They said it was too complicated and I wouldn’t understand.”

Yeah, right.

I didn’t have any problems explaining it to her. Football isn’t that complicated.  It’s not like cricket, which makes no goddamn sense whatsoever. Even people who understand it can’t explain it. Lea has a very good grasp of football. She can hold her own with any guy on the planet when it comes to talking about her team. She can break down a game with the best of them.

Somewhat oddly, I think I become a little less of a fan as each year goes by and my team fails to win the Super Bowl. Again. Plus, I’ve just about had it with the NFL. Between the rule changes and the controversy over the national anthem, I’d give up on the game entirely. Except it’s football, and there’s nothing else like it.

Equally oddly, I think Lea becomes a little more of a fanatic each year. Somehow, balance is maintained, and that’s always a good thing.

Last year the Vikings made it all the way to the NFC Championship game. Some people think they’ll go all the way this year. They have a good team, but making it to the Super Bowl requires far more than just a good team. In every football season there are at least ten good teams, or more, that don’t play in the Super Bowl.

The Vikings had the best defense in the NFL last year. I don’t know what happened over the off season, but there appears to have been a dramatic drop off in their performance from what I’ve seen so far this year.

I have one theory about this, and I’ll get to it a little later.

To enhance their chances of winning it all this year, the Vikings added some key players through free agency and the draft, most notably, Kirk Cousins at quarterback. He might be the missing piece of their championship puzzle.

The Vikings thought they were missing just one puzzle piece before. In the end, they didn’t win the Super Bowl, but the trade they made allowed the Dogass Cowboys to win three of them.

There are a few NFL teams I don’t like. The Patriots. The Steelers. The Eagles. But I hate only one team. If Dallas never won another game, I’d be okay with that.

Elite quarterbacks in the NFL make a ridiculous amount of money. Kirk Cousins signed a three year contract with the Vikings worth $84 million US dollars. That’s something like unto a ga-zillion Mexican pesos.

But football is the ultimate team sport. One guy probably isn’t going to make your team great. I wasn’t convinced this was a personnel move that the Vikings needed to make. Until today. The Vikings played the Green Bay Packers and almost won a game they absolutely should have lost. And the reason they almost won was Kirk Cousins. He completed 35 of 48 pass attempts for 425 yards and four touchdowns.

One of the reasons the Vikings almost lost was because of a guy named Laquon Treadwell. He’s a wide receiver. He was the Vikings number one draft choice in 2016, and signed a four year contract worth almost $10 million. In two years, he’s caught 21 passes for less than 300 yards, and he scored his first NFL touchdown today.

That comes to roughly $476,000 per catch. In football terms, he’s been an absolute bust so far. In football fan terms, he totally sucks. He might have caught his first TD pass today, but he dropped at least four passes and deflected one pass directly to one of the Packers’ defenders for an interception that almost cost his team the game.

I think Lea stopped breathing when that happened. I have never been a fan of Laquon Treadwell, and I’ve been wondering why he’s still on the team for two years.

It was at this precise moment that I kind of fell in love with Kirk Cousins. Laquon looked like he was ready to kill himself, and Kirk came up to him and said, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get ’em next time.”

That was a class move, and was probably worth $10 million all by itself. If Laquon Treadwell ever becomes a decent NFL receiver, he’ll probably owe it to Kirk Cousins.

As it turned out, the final score was a tie. 29-29. And the reason it ended that way was another personnel change. The Vikings released their veteran place kicker and signed a kid from Auburn named Dan Carlson. In football terms, he has a monster leg, and signed a contract worth $728,000 for this year.

Dan missed three field goals today. One attempt was 35 yards, a distance a guy with a monster leg ought to be able to hit even if he only had one leg. Two of his misses were in the overtime period. My lovely and fanatical supermodel wife didn’t take that well.

“You have one fucking job! ONE!!” she screamed at the TV three times today. I don’t think Lea likes any kicker, and she sure as hell doesn’t like Dan Carlson right now. She is just too cute for words as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve come to realize that everyone has a bad day, and this was clearly the worst day of young Mr. Carlson’s life. I’m sure the Vikings will him a chance to redeem himself, but he should realize that NFL stands for Not For Long if you’re a field goal kicker that can’t kick a field goal.

* * * *

Will the Vikings win the Super Bowl this year? Based on what I’ve seen thus far, I don’t think so. On paper, the Vikings have a great defense. But this game isn’t played on paper, and the defense I’ve seen has had moments of greatness, but they have not been consistently great.

Part of this is an attitude thing. The Vikings seem to think their opponents should fear their greatness. If they looked at the tape of the games, they should be able to see that none of their opponents have feared them yet, and they aren’t going to find many teams that do.

Not the way they’re playing right now. So it’s probably a very good thing that the Vikings spent a couple of truckloads of money for a guy who can throw a lots of touchdowns.

My lovely supermodel head coach wife agrees with me on this issue. She is far more anxious about how this year’s team is going to perform than I am, but I have a twenty year head start on her when it comes to being disappointed by the Vikings.

This year’s roller coaster ride is going to be a whole lots worse than last year. I better stock up on my blood pressure medication because I think I’m going to need to double my dose on Sundays.