One of the reasons that I married Michael, other than for his obvious good looks and sense of humor, was that he wasn’t like other men. He is not completely obsessed with sports. Those of you who knew me as a teenager know that I am a sport junkie. I always wanted to be a PE teacher! I played tennis, hockey and netball several times a week, and liked going to football (soccer) games on Saturdays. Michael loves playing sports too and we like to play some together, but he’s not a tv addict like most men who spend hours each week in front of the tube ignoring everyone around them. We do like to catch a little Wimbledon each summer, but not too much else. In fact, I think I can safely say that we watch less than 10 hours of sports on tv PER YEAR.
This was a huge thing for me, and I feel very lucky to have such a great husband who likes to spend quality time with his family instead. Once a year however, there is a game that Michael just can’t miss…the BYU/Utah football game. It’s amazing that we can get it here, but we have ESPN2 and so we drove back from our morning at the beach just in time to tune in to see how the blues were doing. Those of you in the UK may not realise what a huge competition there is between the two biggest universities in Utah, I guess it’s like Manchester City playing Manchester United. There is a ton of rivalry, and it seems that even in Utah, most people are divided with some very hard-core fans out there decorating their houses and lawns in their colors before this big game. (You know who you are!) I also noticed some not-very-nice facebook posts today from people psychying themselves and their teams up for victory. These annual games in the past have been tense at Michael’s house since his family is split 50/50 between BYU graduates and Utah graduates, and some of his family members are a little more competitive than others!
Well, the game was a washout, and Utah beat BYU 54-10. Not even close. Not even a good game to watch. Personally I prefer the close ones that stay exciting right up to the end. Anyway, the kids were watching with us and the little ones kept asking which team was which. BYU are always blue, and Utah are always red, so we were cheering for the blues.
In addition to our own little excitement of watching this game, there was much more excitment brewing around American Samoa for an even more important game. As you know, the Rugby World Cup is going on in New Zealand right now, and today was the big game, Samoa versus Wales!!! Rugby is such a popular sport down here, so there have been flags flying all week, and most people were getting together to watch this game with their friends and family. Our neighbor was throwing a party and we could hear cheers whenever Samoa scored!
Finding out when this game was on was no easy feat. I think I’ve finally got the 12 hour difference between here and the UK down, (right when the UK is about to go on daylight savings, which we don’t observe here! ) but I was trying to figure out what time the match was in New Zealand time. I always knew we were an hour different, but I had forgotten that they are on the other side of the international date line, so they are a day ahead. Basically, the game was on for us on Saturday afternoon, although spectators in both New Zealand and Wales were watching the game on Sunday. I was pretty happy about this because we don’t watch tv in our house on the Sabbath, and we’ve chosen not to watch many great Wimbledon, NBA, and Olympic finals because of this, so it was a refreshing change to enjoy a good match on a Saturday!
The college football game and the World Cup game overlapped a little, so we were flipping between stations. The confusion for the kids came because Wales were wearing red and Samoa was blue, so when we watched the rubgy, we were cheering for red, but when we flipped to football we were cheering for blue. The kids had lots of good questions about the difference between the two games, and my comments about rugby players not needing pads and helmets because they were tougher than football players didn’t go down too well with Dad!
Anyway, I can safely say that I was the only person on this island cheering for Wales today, and I hope they do well in the rest of the world cup. Looks like today was the day for the reds. Thanks Michael for always putting us first, and we’re glad you enjoyed watching your annual game 🙂