This is a long football-related post
(written by a girl that has zero background in sports-journalism.)
My husband and I were born and raised deep in the mountains of West Virginia. We are Marshall Alumni. Therefore, we are Randy Moss fans (please hear me out.)
I learned early on that my husband was a player fan - he follows Mr. Moss wherever Mr. Moss goes. I also learned early on that I had to love Mr. Moss and follow him wherever he went, too - it was either that, or be miserable!
Nearly a decade ago, when my husband and I were young college love-birds, he religiously watched Minnesota Vikings Football and sported the purple Moss jersey on the weekends. Oh, he had the alternate color jersey in Golden yellow, too - and the white one. Purple, White, and Gold #84 Vikings Jerseys. Vikings hats. Vikings sweatshirts, even a Vikings inflatable chair. All things Randy Moss, all the time. I then started paying attention to the NFL - only to witness Randy's mooning incident at Green Bay, and the "straight cash homey" interview that followed. I learned about his run-in with the traffic cop, squirting the ref in the face with a water bottle, walking off the field and away from his fellow Vikings early in a game, the ever so popular quote, "I play when I wanna play",and the HBO sports interview where Randy proclaimed that he smoked pot "once in a blue moon". "What is up with this guy?," I often wondered. Over the course of my four years at Marshall, I learned what was up with Randy Moss. I learned that he was from a small town in West Virginia, an amazing athlete with rare athletic ability and God-given talent, a poor kid with a big dream that became a reality. I learned about all of his successes on the field, then started hearing about his successes off the field. His work with charities. The countless number of visits back to his home state, to help kids and families in need. Eventually, I fell in love with the man, the myth, the legend... and following him and all of his sort of disturbing yet some how charismatic antics became easy.
Soon after my husband asked for my hand in marriage, things went sour in Viking Land and Randy became an Oakland Raider. OUT with the Minnesota gear, in with the Raiders. Our whole apartment changed colors and themes. Todd bought new home, away, and alternate color Raiders Moss jerseys. "This is kinda fun", I thought... change is good, after all.
Fast forward through two years of unfortunate events and an unhappy Randy in Oakland, and all of a sudden, my husband and I, finally married, are... Patriot fans?
Randy became a Patriot. My husband cried tears of joy when the trade was made in 2007. On that day, we raced to the nearest mall and bought all the Patriot gear we could manage to find, which in Bengal/Brown country is a little hard to do. I purged the raiders junk, and I ordered Patriot stuff. More stuff. More and more stuff. Because now, not only could I cheer on Randy, I could also cheer on that beautiful quarterback I had been hearing so much about... Tom Brady!
I fell for the Patriots - HARD. Loved them. I loved everything they did, everything they said, everything about the coach, everything about the organization - ran like an army, the Patriots were an intimidating group of classy, talented men who liked to win. Tedi Bruschi became a huge inspiration to me, and I bought his jersey. Todd bought the home, away, and alternate color Moss jerseys (and Troy Brown's, too - because he used to play for the Marshall Thundering Herd, as well.) Both of us had the "Coach Belichick" NFL Equipment hoodies, throws, pennants, even Christmas Ornaments and an effing toolbox. All Randy, all the time became All Patriots, all the time. I learned the game of football by watching the Patriots, and for some reason wished I lived in New England (which is exactly where a West Virginia girl belongs, right?)
Flash forward to this past Tuesday night. My husband had been on "Moss Watch", because he knew his favorite athlete of all time was feeling grumpy in New England based on numerous quote-worthy interviews with the press. At 11:37pm, I check my twitter feed one last time before closing my eyes. THERE IT IS. MOSS TRADE.
Out with the Patriots... in with the Vikings - AGAIN?!? And I do WHAT with all of this Patriots stuff? My husband's jersey collection has once again become obsolete, and I'm nearly in tears because just two months ago, I bought half of the Victoria's Secret NFL loves PINK line. Patriot panties. Who would want those besides me and thousands of women in New England? Within a half a second, my husband is already transformed over. "_ _ck the Patriots!", my soon-to-be-college-English-professor husband proudly proclaimed, because he follows Randy where Randy goes. I, on the other hand, stood in a daze.
Because I still love Tom. and I still love Tedy Bruschi - retired, but still. Watching the Patriots for three years was like attending "football college" for me - I learned how to love the game, look forward to the game, appreciate the talent... I felt like someone stole my football degree off the wall!
Today, I'm still a little confused. I am slowly coming to terms with my role as a wife, and my role as a Randy Moss fan, and here's what I've decided. I will secretly check Patriots scores and continue to google Tom Brady images behind my husband's back, I will keep my newest Victoria's Secret Patriots pajamas out to wear on the days when NFL isn't on, and I will purchase a Vikings Moss jersey as soon as the women's sizes are available for pre-order, in addition to learning all about Brett Favre. As for my husband? He already has his Christmas list made. Moss Vikings Jersey - one in purple, one in white, one in Golden yellow. He's kicking himself (and I am pretend-kicking him in the genital area, too) for not keeping any of his Moss jerseys from previous Viking days. But seriously, who knew?
All I hope is that Moss finally gets a Superbowl Ring. And THEN, if it's possible, we'll buy a replica of one of those!