I hate football. OK, that’s a little dramatic, so let’s make that “I hate watching football with my husband” — specifically, any game that features the University of Texas.
Good Lord, it’s like experiencing the five stages of grief during four quarters.
I thought I had seen the worst of it when Kansas beat Texas last year for the first time since 1938, but that had nothing on the Thanksgiving weekend loss against Texas Tech. It got so bad I left the family room and went upstairs to do my daughter’s FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that all the colleges make you complete before they’ll offer up any scholarship bounty).
That’s right people, I would rather fill out an invasive, pain-in-the-butt government form that tells you your password is incorrect when you know for a fact that it is not because you took a screen shot of your password five minutes earlier, than endure another agonizing second of my husband moaning about the Longhorns.
It starts out with denial.
My husband, who has watched his alma mater lose for, I don’t know, a decade, is always stunned when they’re losing — again. It starts with the lowly whimper: How can a team that has the financial backing and clout of the University of Texas be this bad? How can they not recruit better? Why are all the best players at Oklahoma? And on and on.
This is followed by anger, usually directed at Mack Brown.
Apparently, all roads lead back to the former coach leaving the “cupboard bare” before he left in 2013. Never mind that that was almost five years, an entire team and two coaches ago. It’s still Brown’s fault or, as of last week, the current offensive coordinator.
Next, we enter the blame phrase or, as I like to call it, crazy town.
How can a grown man think that the reason his team is losing is predicated on the fact that I accidentally threw away — I’m going with misplaced — his “good luck” Longhorn stuffed animal?
The worst is when the depression sets in and my husband begins his vow that he’s “done with UT football forever.”
This is when I roll my eyes while muttering, “Yeah, until next week.”
Last week, I was so over all the angst that I felt duty bound to play the role of Mary Sunshine by announcing, “Sure, the Longhorns lost to Tech at home, but let’s think of the positive. Before the game, there was speculation that the Tech coach (dreamy Kliff Kingsbury) might lose his job. The win over Texas will probably keep him employed for another year. In the grand scheme of things that’s a W.”
I’ll admit that cheery outlook was not taken well, but I was just trying to offer up some perspective.
Many times, as I have sat in the stands or on the couch watching my husband watch the Longhorns, I have pondered what it must feel like to care so deeply about a sports team. I just don’t get it. I want to get it, but I don’t.
My football philosophy is “I came for the snacks and stayed for the halftime show.”
If I have any ultimate football devotion, it’s for the brisket nachos that I ate one fine fall day seven years ago outside the University of Texas football stadium. They were my everything — spicy and sweet with a hint of heat and, unlike the Longhorn football team, they didn’t disappoint.
The good news for my husband is that Texas, which finished the season 6-6 might get some random bowl bid. The bad news is I’ll have to endure it.
Reach Sherry Kuehl at snarkyinthesuburbs@ gmail.com, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.