I feel badly about it, but I do my part to fulfill gender stereotypes. I am hopelessly bad at math, I stare blankly at people when they give me directions that use words like “east” or “south,” and my running form looks like the first half of this maxi pad ad, before everyone gets empowered. And of course, growing up, I could not have cared less about football.
Two things changed that. One was that I met and married a man who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, which meant that for five months out of the year, if I talked about anything except football he would claim I was speaking into his “bad ear” and that he hadn’t noticed I was home for the last three weeks. The other is that I started playing fantasy football, which meant I had personal stakes in the game that motivated me to actually care about who these giant freaks of nature were and what they did.
But this year I didn’t care enough. Or I cared too much. Whatever happened, it was not the perfect formula for caring and I didn’t make the playoffs in either league. But, shockingly, the Browns were still in the hunt (and still technically are, but in order to make it, Johnny Manziel must stand naked in the light of the full moon and drink a potion of Bernie Kosar’s blood and Drew Carey’s melted glasses), which means that I still have to watch football in an attempt to “share interests with my spouse.”
So this past Sunday, we created a game that made football a lot more interesting for me and distracted him from the fact that the Browns were down by 20 points and were definitely not listening to his perfect coaching through the TV. And that game is: What Would This NFL Player Be If He Wasn’t in the NFL?