Tonight I gave a test to me. The test was to watch the FSU v. Miami football game.
Why is this a test? My father. Football is not just football. It is entangled in the memories of my father. Football reminds me of Dad in so many ways.
It's practicing being linemen in the galley kitchen on linoleum flooring with Dad wearing socks so Maverick and I would have some advantage.
It's sitting next to him at the high school games instead of my friends to learn more. It's the drive to the away games when we discussed the day and the weekend to come.
It's Sundays while we rested and watched the Saints, the Cowboys, and the Steelers. It was learning time. We knew the positions, the plays, the strategies. We didn't just watch football with Dad; we discussed it. My dad did this with his daughters.
It's waiting for the phone call from my parents that they were pulling into the parking lot at FSU for a pregame tailgate. It was home brought to us briefly for a Saturday.
It was a road trip as an alumna with my family in rain, heat, and sometimes a chill. It was quality family time sharing the pagentry of college football at FSU.
It was a reason to arrange to meet Dad in North Carolina for a drive to Clemson in South Carolina. We used football as a way to connect to each other. All four of us--Dad even got Mom watching and caring and worrying.
How did I do?
I'm watching, but not really. I've been changing channels, going back and forth between anything else. I'm really just checking on the progress. I don't really care about the outcome, yet. I will eventually. As one of my sorority sisters said in June, "You were the only one who went to the game to actually watch it."
I do like football. Right now it just makes my heart hurt.