November 25, 2011

Filling the Void

Those who have been around for a while may have noticed an important seasonal post that was missing this year. The beginning of football season. Normally, I show a picture of the twins showing their team spirit the opening weekend of college football. Frequently, college football is a topic of posts throughout the fall. But this fall, I haven't been able to bring myself to write a single post. Because this football season has been a

Let's start at the beginning. Lucas and I always knew that our love and devotion for different college football teams (especially ones unfortunately linked by the sharing of a controversial national title) could be an obstacle in our marriage. But we were young, and naive, and figured it would be okay since they almost never play each other. Then came the Bowl Game of 2005. It was a trying time in our marriage, but we made it through and were thankful that it would be a long time before we had to experience that again. Then Nebraska decided to join the Big 10 Conference for the 2011 season (and every one after that). I know that I posted last year that everything would be okay, but its not. Because although our household is only divided once a season (and some seasons never, thank God!), so many of the other teams in the conference are connected to dear friends and family...and while I love them all dearly, I want my team to beat them mercilessly. It's really making things difficult...
Before the game...which is why we are all smiling!
A few months ago, my brother followed in my footsteps by similarly joining himself to another Wolverine. One with an even deeper love for the team and culture since she grew up (and her family still lives) just blocks from the Big House. So we decided - rather than allow cause a deeper divide - to celebrate together on the big game day. Her parents invited us to tailgate before and after the game, and we all attended to cheer on our respective teams.
Our seats were technically good...although the game rarely came to our end zone...and I'm pretty sure Nebraska turned over the ball just seconds after I took this picture...
If you watched the game, you know it was bad. We were destroyed. Michigan played one of their best games in recent history, and Nebraska played their worst. I discovered that the thrill of attending my first ever Nebraska game was quickly squashed by the humiliation of being surrounded by thousands of opposing fans. While being in the Big House was a fun experience (it is truly the only stadium, aside from Memorial, where I would ever really desire to attend a game), I think I would prefer to go when I can cheer with the crowd against the other team (Ohio State maybe?) What was more, we kept hearing things like, "is that really a mixed couple? Nebraska and Michigan together? How can you survive? You're just dating right? You're married?! It's gonna be rough when you have kids. You have kids?! You have 2?! What do you dress them in?!"
Judging by the smiles, you would think this was before the game got started, but we didn't take this picture until the last few minutes. I had clearly been resigned to our fate for a while...
The defeat was crushing. Of all the games we played this season, there were only 2 that I REALLY wanted to win. Michigan State (which we WON - haha, Logan!), and this one. If Nebraska had to join this Conference and selfishly jeopardize my marriage, couldn't they at least make it a game?). But, never a fair-weather fan, I am not crushed. We can't win every game (okay, we could, but not with this team...not yet...hopefully someday). There is always next year. At least one of our teams won. Our marriage survived another encounter...let's hope it's strong enough to survive the many seasons to come!
Note: My apologies for not including the twins. They spent the day at a friends (pictures of that day to come in another thankful post). To satiate curiosity, there had been some discussion about how to fairly divide the kids this particular game day. I decided the most fair way was to let them choose. Early in the week, Allie chose to wear "Go Big Blue" and Ryan chose "Go Big Red." I was relieved. The day of, Allie changed her mind. She was incredibly forceful, so I let her wear her Huskers outfit. Wanting to be fair, I talked Ryan into wearing Michigan clothing. So they were evenly divided in their clothing...although perhaps not in their hearts - Go Big Red!!!


Anonymous said...

Go Big Blue :)

Lauren and Jeff said...

It's so nice that you all were able to share the day! You are correct that you are now thrust into the middle of A LOT of football drama that you mostly could avoid previously. Welcome to the BIG TEN! GO GREEN!