Plain Vanilla goes out for a pass.
Many of my readers have asked me to explain the game of football to them. I'm more than happy to oblige.
Please see the above photo. (click for a bigger view) In my hand I am holding a football. My two wonderful nephews helped in the staging of this photograph. Sweet Ruben (I love that kid) manually put me in the proper football stance and showed me how to hold a football, because when I first got into a pose that I thought was the right pose, he fell to the ground in fits of laughter. "Auntie Norma, that's NOT the way you hold a football." Dylan was the photographer extraordinaire. (How many 12- and 13-year-old young men do YOU know who would do this for their auntie?)
Since the time of the photo shoot, though, I have really studied up, and I feel eminently qualified to give you an authoritative rundown on the game.
**This all-American game begins with the entrance of referees, people with striped shirts who enforce the rules. Occasionally, someone with a striped shirt and a long stick may appear and wander aimlessly. He is a lost golfer, and must be removed. Golfers sometimes wear very cool socks, but nowadays they are very rarely handknitted. They used to wear argyles and sweater vests in the old days. That was very cool.
Next in football come the cheerleaders, who bounce onto the field, often wearing skimpy uniforms and bare midriffs. They wave their massive pompoms to excite the crowd. There was a day when cheerleaders wore knitted sweaters, but they have been displaced by lycra bra-tops, belly-button rings, and boob jobs. Cheerleaders feel no cold. Or if they do, it will be very apparent through the bra-tops.
In the crowd are often large-bellied men with bare midriffs and letters written on their bellies in greasepaint. They wear backwards caps, have greasy hair, and they shout obscenities. They hold giant hot dogs with mustard and humongous plastic cups of beer that they spill all over innocent children sitting in front of them. They don't wear anything knitted, but they should. Maybe not, actually. They'd give knitters a bad name.
Next comes the team mascot, often an animal or a human dressed like one. The mascot claps with his hands over his head and wiggles his butt a lot, quite a bit like the cheerleaders. Mascot uniforms are sometimes very silly and usually not knitted.
Two teams then enter the field wearing two different colors. These top-heavy giants wear tights that have big bulges in the knees and other parts of the body. They apparently wear thong underwear, because it appears that the only thing between us and their butt-cheeks is the skin-tight lycra. They wear little slippers with no socks. They have ENORMOUS, oddly-shaped shoulders, and they walk funny. They are shaped like upside-down V's and have big numbers on their shirts. They also wear helmets to hide their identities from the opponents they'll tackle later, as well as from the crowd. It's possible that these are not humans at all, but robots.
For the next 720 hours, each team tries to go from one end of the field to the other, but neither one goes anywhere. They fall down in the mud a lot, use their heads to bang into each other, and pile on top of each other like beached whales. Once down, they look like upside-down beetles and cannot get up for a long time. When they get up, they pat each other on their butts.
Every once in a while the men in the striped shirts come out on the field with a stick with a string on it. One of them blows a whistle, makes hand signals like The Village People (YMCA?), and puts the stick with the string on it on the ground near the football. They have large handkerchiefs sticking out of their pants that they sometimes throw on the ground. I don't know if these are knitted or not.
A minute in football lasts 24 hours. A second lasts another three hours. It is essential that the weather be really horrible for a football game. There must be lots of mud, sleet, snow, and rain. It's possible one could get a lot of knitting done during a football game except for the above weather and beer-cup conditions.
Men at home watching a football game on TV eat pizza and Buffalo chicken wings and drink beer. They get very exercised and shout and jump out of their La-Z-Boys, especially when the beer is gone. If they are very lucky, they will be wearing socks that their loved ones knit for them.
That's pretty much it. I hope that clears up all the questions.
When the game is over, Plain Vanilla dons a pretty scarf, sunglasses, and a very chic bag, and goes out on the town with the girls. Or maybe to Rhinebeck. Very versatile and sophisticated, Dahling.
The specs: Pattern: Knitting Pure & Simple's Neckdown Pullover, Size Small
Yarn: 100% Rambouillet wool, worsted weight, from Roclans Farm; I think I used 13 balls (I sort of lost track)
Verdict: I'm never taking it off. Ever. Next-to-the-skin soft like cotton batting.
**The germ of the idea for this post came from, and was adapted with permission from, a piece called "Poor Rix's Almanac" by Rix Quinn in The Islander newspaper, South Hero, VT, 9/21/04. Thank you, Rix!