I don’t make fun of things because I think I’m better than those things. I don’t make fun of things because I’m mean. (I am mean, but that’s still not why.) I make fun of things because they are ridiculous. I make fun of things because the absurdities of life are part of what make it so fun to live. I make fun of things because it’s funny. And I like to laugh.
Take last Saturday night for example. Super Bowl week in Indianapolis. My husband is downtown most of the week bumping into famous people and getting interviews with players and living the dream which is literally a dream for him since he would have daydreamed its awesomeness when he was 14 but now it’s mostly just exhausting. I am home most of the week making healthy snacks and cleaning up pee and fighting off a cold and living the reality which I never dreamed about when I was 14 but somehow manages to be mostly awesome anyway. I think I lost my train of thought there.
So anyway, last Saturday night. The Professional Football Writers Association has their annual Super Bowl Dinner at the NCAA headquarters Hall of Champions. Members only. I know. Pretty grown up and impressive sounding, right? And we were going. Because my husband is a member of the PFWA. Now, I’m not dumb. I know that professional football writers are not exactly the pinnacle of cool or anything. I’m aware that there are at least 30 more exciting parties in town that same night. But still. We get dressed up. Not TOO dressed up because, as I said, these are professional football writers, but still dressed up. We leave the kids at Gaga and Grandpa’s. We drive through crazy traffic. We go into the Hall of Champions, check our coats, get tickets for free drinks, and head to the bar set up in the Hall of Champions. “I’ve always wanted to come here,” says Nate. “I’ve just never had the chance.” Armed with a rum and coke, we begin to mingle and look around at the display of NCAA glory.
You guys. The NCAA is lacking in glory. I mean, here’s a charter statement to really inspire you:
The NCAA: count on us to keep you from dying. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely think it’s important to make sporting competitions safe. It’s just not particularly thrilling. I mean, does OSHA have a Hall of Champions?
But of course, there are the athletes. There are some amazing stories out there, and the NCAA went out of its way to showcase them.
But here’s why I started this all out with a defense of sarcasm. Because we got to this thing 1/2 hour late and it was still about 45 minutes of wandering around a surprisingly small “Hall of Champions” among people we didn’t know, but the NCAA furnished us with so much to laugh at that we actually had a great time. Here was Nate’s favorite:
Apparently if you are from Indiana and know that there was a Keith Smart who did something or other really famous in basketball, then you also will think it hilarious that they were highlighting Keeth Smart, the championship fencer.
So we wandered and laughed and tried not to be too obvious about taking pictures while laughing. And just when I was running out of things to make fun of Nate grabbed my elbow and very seriously said, “This way! I’m stalking those kebobs.”
And then we were ushered into dinner where we sat at a table by ourselves and made jokes about how awkward it all was until we were joined by the president of the PFWA and his wife, three writers at the height of their careers, a retired writer covering his 45th Super Bowl, and another blogger, and somehow it turned out to not be awkward at all. And don’t think I didn’t silently mock myself a little right then. Sitting there with people who travel and interview famous people for a living, wearing clothes I picked up at thrift stores and offering up football opinions I borrowed from my husband. I get it. I’m ridiculous, too. Isn’t it awesome?
And though I think the Heisman trophy is actually pretty sweet, we mocked this a bit, too. Because it was a replica. Thanks, NCAA. We had a great time.