i’d rather die than be one of those people who wears a sports jersey in public

In ALL, FAMILY MATTERS by Stephanie Klein1 Comment

Or anywhere, for that matter. Just, ew. Yet.

Oh, yes, there is a yet, a yet with a proof.

New York Jetsons in Texas

Yesterday we all dressed in JETS clothing for “the game.” Mind you we weren’t going to any game, nor did I have anything approaching a clue as to what game it was when people spoke in vague questions of “the game.” It’s like saying, “the city.” Well, which city? Which game? Apparently it was the New York Jets (is it even NY or is it NJ?) vs. the Steelers from some other city, Philadelphia, perhaps. Or was it Detroit? Does it even matter? A quick Google tells me it was Pittsburgh. All I knew was that I was handed a Jets shirt, donning the number 6, with a player’s last name marked on my back. “Sanchez.”

“Oh, like as in a Dirty Sanchez.” At least it was something I could get behind (oh, that pun was badass). And I’ll say this, as a redhead, at least the Jets have a good color palette. I am not in the practice of wearing hats, but I like saying that I’m the type of girl who can throw on a baseball cap and go. I like the idea of it. But here’s what I liked more:

I liked being part of something, a matching family with t-shirts, and a bigger family, where strangers talk to you, pumping a knowing fist in the air to signify their solidarity.

“We’ll slaughter ’em.” Some freckled boy said to me in passing.

That’s why people wear sports jerseys in public! Because it starts a conversation, because it makes you feel less alone. I couldn’t give a flying pig skin about football, but at least now I’m beginning to “get it.”

I’ve matriculated from a high school as big as my pinky, sans football team. Then an ivy league college where Columbia football was (eek, sorry, a sad joke). I’ve never known school pride or felt a connection to anything organized. But yesterday, for at least a few hours, I felt a glimmering of all the sports glory.

This is going to sound strange, but if it took me this long to become a Jets fan, if or when I leave Austin, I’m willing to bet that I’ll finally become a Longhorns fan. But ain’t no way I’ll be rockin’ the burnt orange. I had that bit of orange trauma when I was forced to play a conceited, spandex clad, cat in the drama school musical. Never, ever, again.


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