My wife, Mina, is not a football fan. She’s a graduate of the University of Miami, but has never had the urge to see her alma mater play football. Even when Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jim Kelly and Vinnie Testerverde wore the Orange and Aqua. This afternoon, she’d rather curl up with a glass of wine and watch a movie on Lifetime in our warm, cozy basement this afternoon. Instead, she will attend her first home Ravens game this afternoon.
A few years back, I persuaded her, her sister and my brother-in-law to see a game at Fenway Park. Just my luck. It started to rain in the second inning and by the fifth, the sisters from Miami looked at each other as if to say, “What in the world are we doing here?” My non-baseball fan brother-in-law seemed to concur. Against my wishes, we left in the seventh.
Two years ago, on her birthday, Mina agreed to travel to Chicago on one of Nestor’s trips. Despite a head-cold, she sat through the first half in Soldier Field as a punishing rain blew off the lake. Some birthday present.
This year, we traveled to San Francisco and saw the Ravens bumble their way to victory under beautifully blue California skies.
But, she has never seen a Raven’s home game. This problem goes back about five years ago. My best friend owned the PSL next to mine in Section 513. He said he was giving up his seat and asked if I wanted to buy it. I didn’t want my best friend to sell his seat. I figured if I wouldn’t buy it, he would have trouble getting rid of a single PSL.
So, I glibly refused his offer and expected him to sit next to me at games until one of us dies of old age in 2032. I didn’t count on the fact that another childhood buddy sits on the other side of my best friend. He arranged the sale of the seat to his uncle. So for the last five years I’ve been an island. The people on each side of me have their own list of friends waiting to be asked to come to the game when an extra ticket becomes available.
Last month I worked out a deal with the uncle. He would trade me his Cleveland ticket for my New England. Those night games take it out of me anyway. I get up at five in the morning and have to be at work by seven.
This brings me back to today. How will Mina respond to my behavior? When the Ravens are on defense, I take a deep breath with 18 seconds left on the play clock and then exhale a scream at 15 seconds. Will she tug at my jersey and say “Stop making so much noise.” What if there’s an obnoxious Brown’s fan. Will I be able to resist the temptation of joining with the others and putting him in his place or will I act my mature 48 years and refrain from any taunting? I won’t even mention the possibilities of an idiot official making a bad call.
We’re scheduled to renew our vows at a big church ceremony on December 29. We’ve already sent out invitations, rented the Marriott and talked to a couple of DJ’s. We committed about a $1000 already. You think Mina will change her mind tonight after the game?