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Football and fantasies never seem to go away

Fried RiceHeidi RiceGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“It’s DONE and it’s OVER!” I yelled out victoriously to husband-head with my arms raised over my head as I spun around in a circle as fast as I could. “I survived another one yet again! Whoo-HOO!”Husband-head looked a little surprised at my outburst.”Ummm, honey, you’re going to get dizzy and fall down,” he warned. “And I had no idea you were so excited by the new year – for Pete’s sake, all we did was watch the ball drop in New York on TV at 9 p.m. and go to bed.”I stopped spinning and stared at him.”I’m not celebrating the new year, silly man,” I said shaking my head. “I’m celebrating the fact that football season is OVER! No more endless Sundays or Monday nights in front of the TV. No more annoying phone calls from your football friends. No more fantasy football … no more FOOTBALL at all!”I started in with another jig.”Football is now over and American Idol is about to start,” I said smugly. “This is when the new year truly begins.”With that, I began twirling around again while husband-head looked on in amusement.”Oh, but you’re so wrong, toots,” he said with a smile while wagging his finger. “The regular football season may be over, but there’s still a lot more to come.”I stopped in mid-jig.”For starters, the wildcard rounds are this weekend and then the playoffs are next weekend,” he said, looking like a man who just woke up from a naughty dream. “Oh, and the Packers are in the playoffs, just so you know.”His almighty Green Bay Packers.”And then, of course, there is the Super Bowl in a few weeks,” he continued with a faraway fantasy look on his face.”Yeah, but speaking of fantasy, at least that’s over,” I huffed, crossing my arms over my chest. “Fantasy football is a complete waste of time and money.”Husband-head grinned again.”First of all, I happen to have won some money playing fantasy football,” he defended. “And secondly … it’s not over, EITHER! There is now postseason fantasy football with NFL.com’s Playoff Challenge!”He rejoiced with his own little jig.I wasn’t sure whether to be madder about the football season lingering on or the fact that he won some money at fantasy football and hadn’t told me about it before.And he wasn’t done yet.”The festivities continue with an online vote to decide which NFL player’s story should make it as a Super Bowl ad,” he chirped. “The voters then qualify for the drawing of Super Bowl tickets.”Husband-head looked as if he were about to drool all over himself.Since the advertisements and entertainment are probably the most interesting part of the big game to me, I decided to check out the NFL.com site and cast a vote.Matt Hasselbeck, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, relayed a story about how he finally received his first NFL fan letter, which for once, was not from his mother, but instead asked if he could get Brett Favre’s autograph for the letter writer.Ephraim Salaam, a tackle for the Houston Texans, recalled meeting a big guy who was working at the Ralph’s grocery store in San Diego.”I think he was going to a performing arts school and playing the oboe,” Salaam said.The guy turned out to be Chester Pitts who now also plays for the Texans.Willie Colon, a tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, remembered waiting for a call during the draft, only to find that his phone wasn’t working and he missed a call from the Cowboys wanting to sign him.But the next day, Colon did get a call from the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers asking him to play.”I broke down and cried,” he said. “Oh my God, I made it.”While the stories were all very heart-wrenching, I didn’t bother to vote, because I was more interested in the fact that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were going to be featured in the halftime entertainment of Super Bowl XLII.”But THEN it’s over,” I stressed to husband-head. “You will watch American Idol and you will pretend to like it.”Husband-head’s eyes got real big.”But it’s not over,” he protested. “NFL Europa starts next and did I tell you I’m a huge Amsterdam Admirals fan?”Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com.


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