If you can’t beat them, you can line dance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Unlike many women, I really know football.

Many wives don’t like the game because it takes their husbands’ attention away from them. Some end up as football widows every fall, while their husbands spend every weekend playing armchair quarterback.

Most readers don’t know that I have a younger brother, James Lee, who lives in Portsmouth. The year that he turned 12 and I was 14, he received an electric football set for Christmas. He taught me the game through many long hours of playing with that set. Once I learned it, I found that I really enjoyed watching it on the tube.

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When I went to high school games, my friends seemed to be surprised to learn that I really wanted to watch it. I received the same reaction when I attended Norfolk State College. Once I began working, I became too busy to watch the games on a regular basis. However, I always made time for the playoffs.

By that time, I had become an avid Cowboy fan. When I started work at the Suffolk News-Herald, I met Earl Jones, a big Redskin fan, and we would tease and joke with each other when our respective teams won.

In my teenage years, I use to wonder why there were hardly any black quarterbacks. I have always looked up to them as being the power of the team because they are the ones who call the shots or the plays.

I’m glad to see this situation finally beginning to change.

Some of those changes are with the following teams: the Philadelphia Eagles, which had Randall Cunningham as quarterback and has since put Donovan McNabb in the position; Steve McNair, with the Tennessee Titans; and Michael Vick is with the Atlanta Falcons.

I’d like to see the Carolina Panthers play in the Super Bowl XXXIII later this month. The team moved one step closer to that arena over the weekend, when the Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles won their games against Green Bay and St. Louis respectively. Those wins set the stage for the Panthers and Philly to play each other in the NFC Championship next weekend. The winner from that game will win a seat in the Super Bowl game.

On the &uot;Regis and Kelly Show&uot; Monday, the Eagles and Panthers were the hot topic of the conversation. Kelly said that she was born in Philadelphia and that the Panthers were going down because the team would be playing in the Philadelphia stadium. She said the stadium was like a jail, which would lock the Panthers out of a win.

Regis said he wasn’t too sure about that because the Panthers appear to be a team that shows great strength.

After watching the games for the past couple of weeks, I agree with Regis. When I look at the Panthers, I think of the baseball movie, &uot;Angels in the Outfield,&uot; because those angels pulled one particular team to victory during some bad plays.

In this movie, angels favored a particular baseball team that was visible to only one boy on that team. Angels controlled the ball to make wild pitches miraculously caught and impossible homeruns happen.

In last Sunday’s game in St. Louis the Panthers made the following bad mistakes:

(1)They missed a field goal in the first overtime after having the potential game-winner nullified by delay of the game;

(2) They let St. Louis recover an on-side kick to let the Rams drive to a tying field goal at the end of regulation play;

(3) They missed a 53-yard field goal with 8:40 left in regulation that would have given them a 14 point lead.

In 1995, in their first game ever at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, the Panthers defeated the Jaguars, 20-14, to become the first team in NFL history to win its initial contest.

Also, during an expansion-record four-game winning streak, the Panthers upset the San Francisco 49ers, marking the first time in league history that an expansion team (first year in existence) beat the defending Super Bowl champions.

Now doesn’t this sound like a team with angels watching over it?

Super Bowl time is almost here and football season is almost over. But I’m telling you ladies, if you learn the game of football, time will fly by before you even know it.

Then basketball season and after that, baseball season, will be staring you in the face.

I don’t have a problem competing with a football quarterback because I’m a widow. However, take this advice from a woman who was married for 29 years: If you can’t beat them, then join them.

Or if nothing else, learn to do line dancing. This kind of dance is beginning to be very popular and there are several organizations that sponsor these dances throughout the entire year.

So ladies, while your men are sitting in front of the tube during one of those sports seasons, call up your girlfriend and go line dancing.

If a game happens to be on the tube, your man might not even realize you are gone. And since you don’t need a partner to line dance, you probably won’t even miss your husband.

Evelyn Wall is a staff writer and a regular columnist for the News-Herald. She can be contacted at 934-9615 or via e-mail: evelyn.wall@suffolknewsherald.com