photo courtesy of MarthaStewart.com
by Lisa Horne
The Football Bowl Subdivision's college football season kicks off on August 27 when Georgia State hosts Abilene Christian. It's not a Big Boy game per se, but for football fans who have waited almost eight months for a live FBS game, this Wednesday will be the best day ever.
It's Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Mawlid al-Nabi all rolled up into one glorious August day. It's that first swig from a cold beer. That last bite of Grandma's apple pie.
But hold up, buttercup. Before you settle into that La-Z-Boy chair and start pounding those brats, fried cheese curds and pizza rolls, keep in mind that not everyone gets your obssession.
For those too swept up in the pagentry to warn their families about their pending odd behavior, these House Rules will have to suffice. As always, early education and preventative measures are key to minimizing collateral damage from an epidemic of college football fever.
The 2014 Edition of The House Rules
Hey kids, want chocolate cake for breakfast? Here's your chance. I'm good with any breakfast that has eggs and milk in it. Frankly, I'm good with anything that has Bill Cosby's stamp of approval on it.
This is your chance to ask for whatever you want and get my glowing, oblivious approval because Lee Corso is about to don a mascot head—leave me be.
"Hey mom, can I have [insert unreasonable request here]?" will get a cursory nod of the head or a dismissive wave of the hand while I am watching football. You always wanted the coolest mom in the neighborhood—here I am.
Mommy isn't ill. She's in a catatonic state due to sensory overload. If you feel you must wipe the drool from her mouth, please do so without blocking her view of the television.
Rapid pulse, clammy skin and unintelligible remarks are not cause for alarm while a game is on. Bed head, unbrushed hair and teeth, glazed eyes and wrinkled pajamas are not a sign of impending illness. These are symptomatic of a 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday football television viewing habit. This too shall pass.
Stooping or crouching while passing in front of the television set will now be required for all residents and guests of the household. This also applies to the family pet unless the top of the pet's back is not higher than the bottom of the 65-inch wide screen.
The crouch has been taught, practiced and preached. Walking in an erect position or showing off your new twerking move in front of the television set will result in said violator being forced to watch a replay of the 2008 Mississippi State v Auburn game (hint: Auburn won 3-2) in super slow motion.
Texas State v Idaho may not interest you, but I think it is the greatest game ever if that is the only game on television.
Any snide comment about the lack of [insert "offense", "defense" or "special teams" here] being played in a game while mommy is transfixed by the sheer awesomeness of Sun Belt football will be met with a dinner plate of boiled sweetbreads and Brussels sprouts served by the Pillsbury "toaster strudel" boy.
Unless loss of limb or blood is evident—and I will need substantial visual proof here, kids—slap a Band-aid on that boo-boo. Or rub some dirt on it.
The dog running loose through the neighborhood does not constitute an emergency. Neither does a missing cell phone, a sibling who refuses to stop repeating what the other sibling said, a 5.0 (or less) earthquake nor a shirt that has to be ironed.
True emergencies: a non-functioning router or cable modem, no beer, no wine, no remote (more on that later) or loss of electrical power.
Go ahead. Hide that remote from me.
Remember, I still drive you kids to school. I have no problem dropping you off at the front of your school with curlers in my hair and then yelling as I drive away, "I packed a few bananas in your lunch to keep you more regular."
You have met your match, kiddies. Do not mess with the remote.
I'm a sports addict. College football is my heroin and as such, any friend who invites me to her wedding held between late August and early January will get a harshly worded regret.
Unless it's football related, I don't do much of anything on fall Saturdays including, but not limited to: weddings, bar mitzvahs, bar mitzvahs, anniversary parties, birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, funerals, memorials, divorce parties, girls' night out, retirement parties, Bunko parties, tea parties (are you kidding me?), cosmetic or jewelry parties, engagement parties, early graduation parties, baptisms, first holy communions, brit milahs, teacher appreciation days, hospital visitations, girl scout cookie drives, Tupperware parties or marriage workshops.
Yup, I'm pathetic. But if you need someone to bring a killer guacamole to your football party, call me. My guac will bring you to your knees.
To put this delicately, the early bird gets the worm. As in, before College GameDay starts. I'm all yours six days a week. Saturdays could get a little dicey if you decide to make a move. Be careful there, cowboy.
Any plans of DVR recordings on Saturday will have to get prior approval from me. To avoid any confusion, here is my answer: "no."
My reasoning is simple. Kentucky v Louisville is more important than Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. Michigan State v Oregon is more important than Girl Meets World. Steve Spurrier's postgame presser is more important than, well… pretty much anything.
Six days a week I make dinners from scratch. I make my own marinara sauce—I don’t open a jar. For the next 15 or so Saturdays, I am taking a break.
Whole Foods is making my crab cakes, In-N-Out is cooking those burgers (seriously, you are complaining?) and Chipotle will be put building that awesome burrito.
The closest thing to a homemade meal you'll ever see on a fall Saturday consists of a Boboli pizza shell, sliced pepperoni and a tube of tomato paste. If this is unacceptable to you, I will be more than happy to boil some cabbage over the stove (sans lid).
Note- Any likeness to a real college football fan in this article is strictly coincidental. No husband, children, friends or animals were hurt during previous college football seasons. These House Rules do not condone any violence, mistreatment or bad nutrition.