Assad Meymandi’s Jan. 31 Point of View “ Lost in a touchdown translation” brought back memories of taking my wife, Dagmar, to a football game in 1976.
Georgia Tech, my alma mater, was playing Notre Dame in Atlanta. Dagmar, although she had spent a year in Cambridge Mass., was a German girl who had attended few, if any, American football games. She was astonished by the size of the stadium and the crowd. She found the pregame activities with dozens of players from both teams warming up with numerous footballs, both bands and cheerleaders from both teams colorful and exciting. The actual game, not so much.
“Why do they stop so much and just talk?” I tried to explain the huddle. “Why the long breaks when nothing happens?” I did my best to explain TV timeouts. “There seems to be a lot of scratching going on.” I told her to wait until baseball season if she wanted to see some real scratching and spitting.
She has adapted admirably to life in America, but the American intoxication with intercollegiate athletics in general, and football in particular, remains a mystery to her.