DILETTANTE DIARIES: NFL lessons from a Jets fan

“Okay, so there are two conferences and within those conferences you have divisions.”

We were on the 85 headed to Don Mills station, and Brianna was giving me some context to explain a spat she’d had with a friend about the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts.

“There’s the NFC, the National Football Conference, and the AFC, the American Football Conference. We – and by we I mean the Jets, because you are only allowed to be a Jets fan – are in the AFC, and we are in its east division.” She splayed both hands out in front of her to admire her nails before continuing to speak.

“Now, there are four teams in our division.” She started counting them on her fingers. “You have the Bills, the Jets, Satan, and the Dolphins.”

“And by Satan you mean…?”

She nodded her head. “Exactly.”

I didn’t need any further confirmation. I’d already been briefed on this bitter hatred of the Patriots. One time she winced as a guy got on the bus and looked away with a disapproving noise. I couldn’t figure out what on earth was wrong with him until I saw the logo on his sweatshirt.

Over the course of my indoctrination into Gang Green Nation, I’ve learned three key things:

  1. 1969 was a good year
  2. Joe Namath is an important person (see number 1)
  3. A pox on the Patriots and all who support them

That day, however, she was worked up about a completely different team.

“So Emmy’s always dogging my team like, “oh but which of our teams made it to the playoffs?” and it pisses me off because okay yeah you made it to the playoffs, but your team plays in a shit division so big whoop. It’s his trump card. Even after we beat his team he still talks about how the Colts are better. Whatever.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.24.17 PM
Brianna wearing one of her precious Jets hats. Photo: Brianna Legall/Instagram

We passed a few stops in silence, Brianna lost in salty thoughts. I was wrong to think she was done though. She suddenly grabbed my arm and made the kind of intense eye contact normally reserved for conversations about death or serious drug charges.

“I know we can do it this year, Neya. We’re getting to the playoffs. I think the only reason we haven’t gone to the Superbowl yet is because my heart couldn’t take it. It couldn’t. I wouldn’t make it.” Her grip tightened.

“I have to be there. I don’t care what I have to do – I’m getting there. Doesn’t matter how much it costs. I’ll do anything. I’ll write to Ellen. She’ll get me there.”

Dilettante Diaries documents a working class dilettante becoming a Jacqueline of all Trades by talking to the Masters of One. Nosy enough to wanna hear about what you’re doing, too lazy to ever pursue it herself.



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