Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lucky Thirteen

"So when did you hitch a ride on the Cardinals bandwagon?" That was his idea of an introduction, in reference to my sweat-stained Arizona hat. "Or are you just a big fan of our state bird?" He smirked, pleased with himself.

I re-racked my weights and sighed deeply, which is my way of saying "Kindly eat a bowl of dicks."

It's a question I've been asked several times in the past few weeks, ever since the Cards made the playoffs--the Super Bowl, even--and people realized that Arizona was good at something that didn't involve bolo ties.*

Am I a long-suffering 'Zona fan? No. I don't have a Neil Lomax throwback or a homemade tattoo of their less-pissed looking logo.** My loyalties toward the Perching Birds of Arizona didn't begin until My Beloved Kurt Warner™ started taking the snaps every Sunday. I've actually been a Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams fan since I was a kid and Kurt was the QB who led 'em to their first and only Lombardi Trophy. You never, ever forget your first, not even things like:

First Attempt at a Tongue Kiss: January 11, 1989, behind the Shinobi video game at the Aladdin's Castle arcade
First Time I Realized That Other Cultures Are Stupid: July 20, 1986, after getting salmonella from the poorly refrigerated Sri Lankan offerings at the YMCA International Dinner, leading to the subsequent "First and Only Time I Ate International Cuisine Served in the Middle of a Basketball Court".
First Time I Laughed Until I Peed In A Movie Theatre: Ghostbusters II, when the rich woman's fur coat turned into actual live minks and raced down the sidewalk. This was less because of the scene and more because of my friend Brenda's suggestion that if it had been carrying Shoney's takeout, it would've been my grandmother.

Anyway.

My love for the Rams dates back to their El Lay days, Eric Dickerson fogging up his rec specs as he raced around the field like Mario on a blinking star bender. Our house still had wood paneling and metallic wallpaper on the Christmas I got my #29 Dickerson jersey, a garment that I wore to school every day until one of the Homeroom Mothers called my parents and suggested that maybe I could wear something that didn't have a 27-year-old man's name stitched on the back.

When E-Dick bolted for the Colts, Jim Everett, my second string fave, started to see playing time in my heart. He threw the Rams to back-to-back playoffs in the late '80s, including a 1989 throttling by the San Fran 49ers. My parents used to have a pic of me, tear-streaked and slumped in front of the floor model TV--devastating 30-3 score on the screen--my spiral perm-and-teased bangs combo the only thing more embarrassing than LA's defense.

For the next ten years, the Rams and I endured serious droughts. They moved to St. Louis, I moved to combination skin and both of us saw very little scoring till the late '90s.

Enter My Beloved Kurt Warner™, the Bible-powered, spiral throwing, touchdown machine with perma-stubble and an arm that wouldn't quit. In 1999, the Rams finished with a 13-3 record and I was actually asked out for a second date WITH THE SAME PERSON. The Rams won the Super Bowl. I may or may not have purchased a box of condoms. Just in case.***

That was the season that started my love affair with MBKW™ and it has endured ever since. I had his poster on my wall, a bobblehead on my dresser, and a sense of vindication after swaddling myself in blue and gold for fifteen years.**** The official Hallmark Christmas ornament soon followed, as did the McFarlane figurine, and the ditching of my Econ final to go watch him play his Duckheads off in a charity golf tournament.

And then he was gone.

A sucktastic '03 season meant MBKW™ was shelved for the unfortunately named Marc Bulger, then traded to the Giants to mentor Eli Manning, back when Tiny E was still the Ashlee Simpson to Peyton's Jessica. I was devastated, occasionally turning my commemorative box of Kurt Warner Crunchtime Cereal to face the wall. You know, BECAUSE IT HURT TO STARE INTO HIS LIGHTLY FROSTED EYES.
He lasted sixteen games at the Meadowlands before getting bounced to Arizona where he was supposed to stand on the sidelines, eating Boniva for his brittle bones and holding a clipboard for such gridiron luminaries as Josh McCown (now with the Carolina Panthers, serving no purpose) and Matt Leinart (still with the Cardinals, having never served a purpose) but over the past two seasons, MBKW™ has somehow been better than ever. He's not bigger--his comically oversized jersey makes him look like Fievel Mousekewitz--or stronger but he's proven to be unstoppable, like Michael Myers or parts of what used to be Dick Clark or ironic trucker hats.

Thanks to him, the Cards are playing football in February for the first time, I'm wearing an Arizona hat, and I couldn't be happier.

You never forget your first.

* The bolo tie is the "official state neckwear" of Arizona and the Official Fossil is Petrified Wood, which I assume is some kind of reference to the state's per capita Cialis consumption.
** If I did have a throwback jersey, it would be for late kicker Pat Harder because that's not only a name, but also an imperative sentence.
*** I probably have at least eight of them left.
**** Nothing made my dorm room more suitable for romance than having a bed under the watchful eye of Kurt Warner, a supremely religious man who credits Mister Jesus with every victory and didn't remove his penis from its original wrappings until his wedding night.

19 comments:

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

So, if I had to turn to anyone and explain why I rooted for the Jets this season, you would understand my pain the most, right? Right???

zlionsfan said...

It must be nice to root for a winning team.

P.S. The verification "word" was oveyy. Move that last y around a bit and you've got it.

Sharon, The Queen Blogger said...

I'm leaving you a pitty comment because so far there are only 2 comments! I think its because most of us are football 'tards.

But I still enjoyed reading you. "Mr. Jesus" Did you get that from Borat?

Craig said...

You know, the Lions just must have picked the wrong ultrapious retread quarterback. Warner or Kitna, naturally, Millen screwed that up too. We don't even have "Well, at least we're not the Cardinals" anymore.

J-Money said...

the iNDefatigable mjenks: Of course I would. He's like a kid out there, you know.

zlionsfan: That took me a second but I eventually got it. But for real? I salute you for slogging through it all and sticking with 'em.

sharon, the queen blogger: Actually, I heard "Mister Jesus" when I was a kid, in some terrifying PSA about child abuse. NOT. EVEN. KIDDING.

craig: No, but you do have "at least we're not...um...Iceland's economy". That's something, right?

*Akilah Sakai* said...

"...didn't remove his penis from its original wrappings until his wedding night."

Laughing my ass off!

Those damn JETS!! I'm burning my green jerseys and picking a fight with Fireman Joe.

LAB said...

Great post! I'm happy your team is doing so well.

Something Nottaken said...

Facts--

1) Best person ever with first name Kurt: Vonnegut.

2) The Steelers are going to win.

3) Lists of threes are better than twos.

Bob Glauber said...

Bob Mantz has had the cards picked in each round this year. Easily crushing me 8-2 v 3-7.

Curious about his Super Bowl pick yet?

ck said...

You must be from the southern part of WV to not be rooting for the Steelers (I'm from Elkins, so I'll be wearing black and gold). He may be Beloved, but it will take Jesus himself to protect Kurt from the Steelers defense.

FunnyGal KAT said...

Oh, so the guy at the gym was right. Obviously you're a fair-weather fan who only started rooting for the Cardinals after they won the play-offs. (I hope you rambled off everything you said in your post to that douche.)

Do you remember that terrible song, "Dear Mr. Jesus" where the little girl sings about how her parents abuse her? It sounds similar to the PSA you mentioned.

J-Money said...

akilah sakai: Just don't tell that to The iNDefatigable mjenks.

LAB: Thanks. Please keep your fingers, descending colon, and ear canals crossed for the next 10 days.

something nottaken: 1) I'll buy that; 2) False; 3) True.

bob glauber: I'm as curious about that as I am about Jamie Lee Curtis' supposed penis. While I'd like to know more, at the same time I'm terrified.

ck: I am. I'm from Beckley, which is down at the bottom, where WV is sitting on Virginia's back.

funnygalkat: Hopefully you're kidding... I think three seasons is enough time to establish myself as an honorary Cards fan. And HOLY CRAP, that's it!!! That's the PSA thingy... this terrifying (if you're 8) girl with a black eye singing a capella to the Lord over getting throttled by her family. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU KNEW IT!

Analyst Catalyst said...

As a Chargers fan, I would like nothing better than to see the Steelers defeated by the Cardinals.

As Kurt Warner is a modern day Everyman and the Cardinals are a modern day Everyteam, I wish them the best.

As I am out of qualifers, I will conclude.

Eric (Extra P.) said...

ck/shum: My wife's mom used to live in that part of Virginia's back where West Virginia was rubbing massage oil. Right now, we all live in that middle part where WV was trying to touch a little of Virginia's side-boob but got rebuffed and is now sulking about it.

Doublebanker said...

This could be their season....thought the Cards were gonna give the game back to the Eagles in the 2nd half though.

Check out this girl rolling her tongue

X-Country2 said...

Well, good luck to the Cards. Hopefully you watch the game alone. Sound like it could get awkward between you and screen.

kendrasue said...

I have a similar memory of me running to my room after a devastating loss to the Jayhawks in March Madness. I was probably 7 and I was sobbing.

surviving myself said...

I'm sorry, but you can't root for Warner and the Cards because I'm a Steelers fan and that would be mean.

Yes, that's the basis for my argument.

Lone Butterfly said...

J-Money: I'm not sure if you want The Biggest Loser (I'll admit it freaks me a little out, but it's my Hubby's favorite show) - but this week was "NFL Week" complete with a this quarterback named Kurt Warner.

You might want to try and catch it online if you missed it on TV. He does add a touch of flair to the lives of the fat people. ;)