The Time Ashley Taught Me About Football

I really did want to go to a professional football game before I turned 30, but then I looked up how much tickets to those things cost, had a heart attack, and decided that learning about football in a sports bar in Las Vegas with my best friend Ashley sounded fine by me. More money for beer!

And we watched college football instead of professional football because it was Saturday and also because it was some big important game called the SEC or something. Hey, I said I learned about football, not about the divisions and structure and whatnot.

We were at the bar with a pitcher, and there were TVs all over the place with all sorts of football stuff going on. At this point, I knew there was something called a down, and it might be ten yards long. Seriously people, I was a football dunce.

Ash was an awesome teacher. We got a take-out box and turned it upside down to make our ‘field.’ Then we couldn’t find a pen, so we used lipstick to diagram. We are very resourceful girls, after all. She explained to me about the four chances to move the ball ten yards closer to your goal, and I asked why the quarterback didn’t just throw the ball down the field, then thanks to our lipstick players on our take-out field, I answered my own question — because then the other team would catch it and gain possession. Ok, that makes sense.

We eventually found a pen.

Whenever there was a big play in the game, Ash would (very patiently — I love you Ashley!!) take the time to explain what just happened. We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of strong offense or strong defense. I remembered Leif telling me one time that there’s a version of football where the same players play both offense and defense for their team. I asked her about that and she said, “Rugby. That’s called rugby.” (Later Leif told us it’s called ironman … I think that’s right.)

At one point they moved the sticks, and I was understanding what was going on, and asked what else there was to know about how to play the game. Ash told me that I got it. I mean, of course there are tons of plays, nuances of players on the field, coaching styles, etc., but as far as the how-to-play-the-game-of-football part of it was concerned, I got it.

“Are you telling me that this entire game consists of guys in tight pants chasing a ball up and down the field in 10 yard increments?” I asked incredulously. How come no one had ever told me that before?

“Yup. God bless America.” Bless it indeed.

“How come no one ever explained it to me rationally like that?”

“Because you’ve probably been taught by men, and they always make things more complicated than they are.”

That’s a fact.

And now I might even watch the Superbowl for more than the commercials.

P.S. I’m sure all eight boys that read my blog are wanting to explain to me right now that it’s much more complicated. Chillax, guys. I watched football and I didn’t hate it. Be proud of me. 

The Time I Argued with a Libertarian in a Bar in Vegas and Got Free Aerosmith Tickets.

New York New York is totally the same as NYC, right?

Even though there are still weeks until Christmas, the likelihood of actually getting myself to New York City to do the whole Rockettes thing is slim to none. I didn’t end up winning that lottery, and since I try to be responsible with my money, NYC is out.

So I did the next best thing and went to Vegas with Ashley.

We had planned to run the Rock and Roll half marathon like we did last year, but she had foot problems and I had campaign problems, so training was out the wayside for us. Instead, we just went for a fun weekend of girlfriend time.

There was plenty of food, fun, wine (there was much wine), and lots of laughing (because we are hilarious and also probably because the wine), and not even a little bit of running.

It’s time for a cool story and a lesson in why it sometimes pays off to argue with libertarians in bars in Vegas at 2 a.m. On Friday night, Ash and I headed to bed relatively early, but after chilling out for a bit, I wanted to go back down to the scene. Ashley was asleep (we’ll blame the time difference for that).

Cocktail dresses and plastic seats ... concert time!

I went down to the bar and ordered a Grey Goose and soda, because that’s my go-to drink, and I fiddled around on my iphone. A couple dudes made sloppy passes at me and I totally brushed them off (because gross), but I actually got to chatting with this coherent guy named Rocky.

We did the whole “what do you do” song and dance, and I admitted that I just got off the Romney campaign … and he admitted that he likes Ron Paul. Nooooooooo! Say it ain’t so, Rocky! So we talked about validity of ending the fed, what national security means to us, etc, and I told him he was wrong. Chemtrails did not come up. Thankfully.

Guess what Rocky does? He works for Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick was opening for Aerosmith on Saturday. Rocky asked me if I wanted tickets. Um, yes please. I wrote my name and number down on a napkin with no expectation of ever hearing from him, especially when he bolted fairly abruptly soon after that.

Steven Tyler still rocks for being approximately 108 years old.

The next day, I was at a sports bar learning about football when my phone buzzed. It was Rocky. I had two tickets at will call. I told Ashley, who immediately did a happy dance before going stone cold sober and asking, “We’re not going to have to have sex with him, are we?”

“I don’t think so…” (Don’t worry Leif, I wouldn’t have)

We went to the concert. Great seats. We were next to the stage with other “friends of the band” and one of the things I love about Vegas is that when I met Doug who was sitting behind me, he said that “built this place,” referring to MGM Grand, and I honestly don’t know if that means he’s a major investor, or he swung a hammer.

We didn’t get to meet up with Rocky again, because by the time Aerosmith with done playing (AMAZING, in case you were wondering), he was already on the road to the next show. But it was a really nice thing to do for the argumentative Republican chick in the bar.

Thanks, Rocky!