Ten years ago, if you wanted to find me on a Sunday, I’d be at O’Briens Irish Pub in Santa Monica, California. I’d ride my bike there from Marina Del Rey, wearing my Randall Cunningham jersey, donning a foam Philadelphia Eagles helmet.
I could do that. I was in neutral territory. LA doesn’t have a football team, so you could wear whatever jersey you wanted.
Occasionally I’d get a ‘thumbs up’ and a ‘GO IGGLES’ yell by passersby, but I also had the rogue Cowboys or Giants fans slow down, give me the finger and throw their coffee at me, trying to knock me off my bike in the process. No big deal, it’s all good. That’s what we do. Nothing but love for ya, baby.
I used to wait for ‘Tim’, the pub bartender to open the place up. On the west coast, games started at 10am and I knew that he worked until 3am the night before. Sometimes we had to call him (yes, we had the bartenders phone number) so we didn’t miss kick-off. Me and the Philly crew would get there to establish which game was on ‘the big TV’ and warm up our bar stools for the next few hours.
After Eagles touchdowns, you’d find me on a tabletop, flapping my wings, making loud and obnoxious screeching noises as the Jagermeister shots were passed out amongst the crowd.
But again, that was ten LONG years ago. Here I am now.
I’ve relocated back to the east coast and while I occasionally get the opportunity to go and see a game, I have two toddlers and another baby on the way, so I normally try to schedule naps (selfishly) around Sunday 1pm kick-offs, so I can try and enjoy the first half… horizontal… in silence.
The second half never goes so well anymore.
I dance along the sidelines (of my living room) yelling at the coach (the TV), telling him to ‘put me in the game’. But anymore, I’m a bench-warmer and a human fixture to attach post-its to. Perhaps I’m the new half-time show. I don’t have profound nipples like Janet Jackson and can’t sing like Justin Timberlake, but I’m there, I’m here, I’m ready to be involved as much or little as I can be.
I hate to bitch about 4 hours within a week, but as a full-time stay-at-home dad (and writer on the side), I look forward to it, I pray for it, I long for it, I NEED IT.
I’m going to start embracing the fact that my daughter might actually enjoy watching the game with me.
Will I ever feel comfortable listening to her root for a ‘tight end’ or use the word ‘scoring’ in any context? Probably not, but I can work at this.
I can try, right?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrian Kulp is a blogger, author, TV producer and full-time stay-at-home dad. His first book for Penguin Publishing, a comedic parenting memoir, debuted in May of 2013. He currently writes Dad or Alive, as well as for The Huffington Post. He’s a member of Target’s Inner Circle and a contributor to Kids in the House. He most recently produced ‘Modern Dads’ for A&E.