Becoming the chili maker

Published October 11, 2012, in MSUM’s, The Advocate

In my high school days, I’d dress up in old cheerleading outfits, play in the pep band, deck myself out in the school colors and perform intricate hand gestures for cheering chants. In between this spirited performance, I’d chat with friends and only give 100 percent of my attention in the midst of more serious games. I think I even cried once.

That was High School Meghan.

When I got to college, I didn’t have a reason to attend athletic events. I didn’t know the guys or gals on the teams, I didn’t know anyone, initially, who cared to go, and supporting any athletic program was the least of my concerns. I was just trying to maintain a C in my logic, statistics and probability class.

It wasn’t that I was purposely trying to bring down Dragon Athletics; I just didn’t care to waste precious procrastination time at a sporting event.

So far, in my college career, I’ve gone to one game. It was a basketball game, and I had been told they were giving away free stuff. I didn’t get anything.

I’ve attended zero homecomings. I’ve never been to a Bison game, either, so don’t worry. I haven’t even been to a Fargo Force game, and I actually like watching hockey.

Some of my relatives and friends who are undeniably sporty must be ashamed of me. My father, siblings, nephews and some of my best friends have always been heavily involved in sports. They live it. Some of them breathe it. I’m pretty sure I’ve even seen them sweat Gatorade, like in the commercials, at various points.

My oldest nephew skipped cartoons and immediately turned his attention to ESPN at the ripe age of 3. I don’t remember him ever playing with stuffed animals because a hockey stick has been perpetually stuck to his hand when he’s not throwing a football, playing soccer or baseball.

I was in Judo once, thought about being in fencing, and if our university had archery, I’d be all over that. Archery is something elegant, 18th century women and literary elves master. Now there’s a sport!

Last year, we at The Advocate thought it’d be funny if I took over guessing the “Random Sports Term of the Week.” Danny Determan, my friend and the sports editor from last year, would find a “random” term relating to any sport and would ask me what I thought it meant. It was funny because he could choose something like “rebound” and I’d usually get it wrong. I’d make elaborate and sometimes disgusting definitions that were more to my liking.

Sports knowledge goes through me like a stream of water and solution from a Neti pot – in one nostril and out the other (if you use it correctly). I can never retain basic American sports terms, but I somehow always remember what an Albatross means in relation to golf and ornithology.

Preppy, sporty-centric women roll their eyes at me, embarrassed I belong to the same gender classification. I think they imagine me slowly dragging our sex backward in the struggle of being taken seriously in a “man’s world.”

Needless to say, I’ll probably be the chili maker at future Super Bowl events. That may be the only reason I’ll get invited at all.



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