I tried to find out who said "I don't know much about football, but I know a tight end when I see one." I think I read it in a "Sylvia" comic strip. I Googled the quote and "Sylvia" and ended up at a post on one of my own blogs.
And I don't really know a lot about football, but I do enjoy watching the NFL. Looking back, I remember attending games in high school, less so in college (my college's football team sucked), and then what? I think my son got me hooked. And football provided us at least one safe topic of conversation while navigating those perilous teen years. (His, not mine.)
What is it about football that draws me? Well, those hunky guys are not too hard to look at. Tennis players have great thighs, basketball players cut shoulders, baseball players ropey forearms. But the overall, top to bottom, best physiques belong to football players. At least the ones not suffering from Dunlap Disease (der bellies dun-lap over der belts).
And then there is the sheer athleticism. The players jump high, run fast, execute impossible moves. Just don't watch certain quarterbacks when they try to run. Our own Peyton Manning is one of them. It looks like his brain is so far from his feet the signal to move is delayed. Oh, but that arm!
Add in the testosterone-driven drama. The game faces. The friends. The feuds. The raw emotion. Sometimes big boys do cry.
Plus the poetry of some of the names. Houshmandzadeh. Plaxico Burress. Kiwanuka. Keiaho. Umenyiora. The law firm of BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Nearly spoiling all this are some of the announcers and their wacky statistics. John Madden is football, though. I saw him once, fresh off his bus (he's afraid to fly), plodding through the lobby of a downtown Indianapolis hotel, generating a storm of awed whispers. It's John Madden!
I follow the Colts because I live in Indiana. I'm interested in da Bears because I grew up near Chicago. I keep an eye on the Giants and Peyton's baby brother. A co-worker is a Bengals fan, so I give him a hard time. I'm curious to see how Green Bay does sans Favre, and how the Jets do avec Favre. Most of my immediate family lives in New England and supports the Patriots WHO LOST TO THE COLTS JUST YESTERDAY.
Being reasonably conversant in football also helped me when I worked in nearly all male environments, allowing me to be just one of the guys. I even won a football pool once.
(The only reason I keep going on and on about football is I can't figure out how to end this piece! This is what I get for trying to work on this at work. It's all disjointed. And I'm tired. So I'm just going to stop. Now.)