Thursday, September 14, 2006


There’s something about watching a Ravens game on TV. I don’t know what it is but I lose my mind when the game is on the tube. I just don’t get it. I can be at Lager’s Pub or Della Rose’s or in my living room or someone else’s living room watching the game and with each play that doesn’t go exactly perfect, I can feel my body contort. The angst and the trauma of a failed play grip my body like a fully tightened vice and I get nuts. I’m a freakin’ Prince song and to the uninformed observer not familiar with my transformation into Mr. Hyde, I must be a raving lunatic.

“Why did you run the football on first down? The entire stadium knew you were running and hello, didn’t those 10 defenders in the box clue you in on the fact that they knew we were going to run? My God now it’s second and 10 and here comes the blitz! Why not quick kick now? Here we go, it’s 2004 and 2005 all over again!”

And that’s on the very first play of the season.

Now when I’m at The Vault, there’s more civility in my viewing displeasure. Maybe that’s because the bowling alley words and the destruction of furniture isn’t as tolerated by S.A.F.E. Management as it is by the Lombardi Family. But then again, I wasn’t invited to my family reunion because it was on a Sunday during the Fall but that’s another story.

This past week, the family just laughed at me because things went well from the start. And when they did, of course everyone had to stay exactly where they were until I felt it was safe to move. Why screw up a good mojo, right?

“Don’t touch those tortilla chips. Did you have one during that good drive?” “No thanks, I don’t want anything. I wasn’t having anything during that first drive and if I do, bad things might happen to the Ravens.”

After that initial touchdown, I jumped from my chair, punched the air and burst out with my best WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!

They all laughed but boy did I feel good.

Just before Chris McAlister grabbed his Pick 6, my nephew said, “I feel an interception coming.” Man do I love that kid! As McAlister crossed the goal line, I ran over to my nephew and planted a wet one on him. “Tell me more Mike, tell me more!”

“Hey, where are you going”, I shouted at my son. “You can’t move now, it’s 14-0!”

“I’m going to the bathroom”, he said.

“Well, ok. But don’t go anywhere else.”

Something is wrong with me. Something is seriously wrong with me.

I’m not alone though. My buddy suffers with this same affliction – this football Tourette’s as my fiancé refers to it. He once took his portable TV into the bathroom and locked the doors to get away from his family. He figured that he and his family would be safer that way.

His wife called me the next day, explained all of his acts of lunacy in graphic detail and then said to me very seriously, “Tony, I think something’s wrong with him!”

Frankly, I see him as a pretty normal guy.

How about you?