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Mourning the passage of MNF

Fried RiceHeidi Rice

“You are so done and it is so over!” I announced, standing in front of husband-head and making a slicing gesture with my finger across my throat. “And you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this moment.”Husband-head looked as if he was losing his best friend.”I think I’m gonna cry,” he admitted pitifully, holding his head in his hands.But I wasn’t sad at all. I was psyched that Monday Night at the Football, as my mother calls it, was done for the season.I did a little happy dance in the middle of the room.”Don’t get too excited there, toots,” husband-head warned, regaining his composure. “It’s not over yet – we still have the playoffs to go this month … then the Super Bowl in the beginning of February … then the Pro Bowl in mid-February … “His eyes glazed over in anticipation and I watched as a bit of drool slid out the side of his mouth.”Then there’s NFL Europe that starts in April and runs until the World Bowl in June,” he continued, as I fetched a paper towel from the kitchen and wiped his face. “And then the pre-season games will start again in August. So you see, football is NEVER really over!”He then did his funny clapping thing where he mashes both palms of his hands together.”YES!” he cried out with glee. “And the Packers are now in the playoffs!”Now it was my turn to be devastated. For the past 17 weeks, I have endured the loss of marital companionship due to the NFL, and I was excited that there was an end in sight now that Monday Night at the Football was over.”We can make little cucumber finger sandwiches on Monday nights and cuddle up on the couch with a glass of wine and watch ‘Lifetime – Television for Women’ movies!” I gushed with excitement.Husband-head looked as if he was going to barf.”Pass,” was all he said.It’s not that I begrudge husband-head his football games, but it’s not something we can share together. For the life of me, I’ve never been able to understand the game, although I swear I’ve tried.Husband-head has patiently tried to explain it to me again and again, but I just don’t get it. It doesn’t click.”Nothing could be finer, than to kiss a 49er!” is my input when he is watching a game.This of course, doesn’t go over well with husband-head – being a devout Green Bay Packers fan and all – but there isn’t much that rhymes with “Packers.”One time I got lucky and yelled “PASS INTERFERENCE” – parroting what I’d heard on TV as I walked through the room. And to my surprise, it WAS a pass interference. Husband-head and his friends were just as shocked at my call as I was.But in the end, I’ve pretty much given up on the whole football thing, just like I did on algebra I in high school, when I had to take it three times just to get a “D” grade to pass. Actually, I think the teacher just got sick of seeing me in his class year after year.My best friend Marianne, on the other hand, is completely into football and can sit and hoot and holler at a game with all the boys.”Wow, you should have seen that pass!” she called me to say during a commercial one Sunday afternoon. “I thought he was going to go all the way!”It sounded to me like she was describing a date.”I’m jiggy with that,” I offered feebly, not knowing what else to say.”You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?” she said knowingly.No, honey, I don’t.Nevertheless, I am counting down the days until the official end of the football season when I can recover my relationship with my beloved husband-head.But for right now, I guess I’ll be satisfied with having Monday nights back and I told husband-head so.”Monday, Monday … can’t trust that day,” he sang to the old Mamas and the Papas tune. “Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way!”I’m glad Monday Night at the Football is over, but dear God, please don’t let the Packers go to the Super Bowl …Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent to the Post Independent. Her column appears every Friday. Please visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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