First, you need to know, I am a huge football fan. It all goes back to watching football with my father as a little girl; it was something that bonded us. He decided even if I was a girl, he could still teach me the technical aspects of the game. Actually, this knowledge became somewhat of an “equalizer” for me in the workplace with many of my male colleagues who were surprised and shocked by my knowledge of the game.
My dad coached Pee Wee Football for years and was a huge Washington Redskins fan since Virginia did not have an NFL team, per se. So, fast forward to Charlotte, North Carolina and I am literally living in the Carolina Panthers’ backyard. What happens? Well, you adopt the home team and so many years ago, I joined “Panther Nation”. I still get goosebumps when I hear Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” being belted out after a win by those of us left in the stadium, singing along in our triumphant, off-key shouts of glee.
So, with this perspective, you now understand why I was watching the NFL Playoff Game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks ago. While I am definitely not part of “Who Dat” Nation during the regular season – we are division rivals – I did cast my allegiance to the NFC South team in the Playoffs. So there I was, on the couch cheering on Brees and feeling good about their performance, when late in the 4th quarter, the unthinkable happened. No, not an interception or fumble. It was a blatant, and I mean blatant, missed personal foul that would have most likely sealed the game for the Saints and their quest for the Super Bowl.