Well, Widows, here we are at week 14. The season is winding down and teams are beginning to clinch their playoff spots. The New England Patriots were the first to definitively win their division title, which brought great joy to the Rat’s Lair. As I watched another week of the football season, I found another term to add to the Widow’s Glossary.
Breaking the Plane- The “plane” refers to an invisible wall that extends upward from the goal line into the heavens. For a player to score a touchdown, any part of the ball has to cross the line before the player’s knee, forearm, elbow, or buttocks touch the ground, or before the player steps out of bounds. When there is a question as to whether the player from your fan’s favorite team “broke the plane” and therefore scored, you will typically hear “he broke the plane!” being yelled in the general direction of your television. Don’t worry. Nothing is really broken and you will not need to vacuum anything up, with the exception of the stray nacho chip after the game ends. A word to the wise: WAIT until the game ends to clean the game snack shrapnel. You’ll thank me later, as will your football fan.
I would like to introduce you to another class of individuals that are impacted by the NFL season similarly to football widows. These brave boys and girls are the Football Orphans, children of football fans. How would you know one if you met one? Their closets contain team apparel and their rooms have football lamps, posters, pennants, clocks, and other NFL-related items. They can be found wandering around their homes aimlessly for 3 hours at a time on Sundays during the season, with potato chip crumbs and salsa stains on their shirts from their game day snacks. They answer to names like “Shhhhhhh!” and “Not now, the game is on!” Their vocabularies include most of the words from our Widow’s Glossary, because, unlike us, they learned to talk under these circumstances whereas we joined the fray much later. I’m not going to say that our children learn profanity solely from listening to their fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and family friends watch football, but they certainly witness some creative uses of the words.
This week, I need to give credit where credit is due for my picks. I called upon the daughter of Ghost Rat, whom I have dubbed Rat’s Orphan, to choose winners, which she did by rolling dice. She also granted me an exclusive interview to let us into the secret life of the child of a football fanatic. Rat’s Orphan describes being able to hear the screams and the clapping from the opposite end of the house even when she can’t see him watching the game. She gave a very convincing impression of her father watching in game day mode that went something like this: “YES!!! YES!!!!! NO! NO! NO! TOUCHDOWN!! YES! NO!!!!” In order to approximate the volume of his clapping, she had to bang on a hard surface. While she and her younger brother and sister are accustomed to this scene, Ghost Rat’s step-children are new here. I think that it is safe to say that they are often startled by the outbursts of Patriot spirit, preferring to hide in another area of our home. This week, my hat is off to the five children who live at my house, as well as the countless others who were born into the life of Football Orphanhood.
Widows Note: My comments on the likely outcome of the game follow her picks, although I stand by her choices.
Week 14 Picks
Broncos over Raiders (yes)
Ravens over Redskins (maybe)
Browns over Chiefs (Yes, Fat Jesus. This says “Browns”)
Chargers over Steelers (probably not)
Titans over Colts (probably not)
Jaguars over Jets (yes since Sanchez is starting)
Vikings over Bears (possible)
Falcons over Panthers (likely)
Eagles over Buccaneers (will check Eagles for snot kicked out of them after the game)
Rams over Bills (sure)
Cowboys over Bengals (possible)
Dolphins over 49ers (nope)
Giants over Saints (why not?)
Cardinals over Seahawks (maybe)
Packers over Lions (yup)
Patriots over Texans (she didn’t even cheat…)