In the heart-pounding excitement of the last 18.9 seconds, broken tortilla chips fly off my lap as I jump up from my seat on the middle cushion of the couch, one hand midair holding a half-eaten burger that’s dripping ketchup onto the rug, the other hand with a death grip on the neck of a Miller Lite. I’m crouching like a tigress in confident anticipation as I watch my husband gracefully loft the ball in a perfectly smooth 35 degree arc that spirals, lilts, sails, and... as the rest of the room erupts into shouts of victory and high-fives all around, I set down what's left of the burger next to pile of Buffalo wing bones and take a look at myself. *giggle* What am I doing? Where on earth did this come from? How did I become...Mrs. Manning one week, Mrs. Favre the next?!?!
Absolutely ridiculously absurd.
And why am I drinking Miller Lite?
The Miller Lite question likely deserves a few separate hours of self-reflection. However, I’m not quite sure how a Hello Kitty of a Korean girl became such a football fanatic. Perhaps it makes sense – I grew up in the Midwest where football is, unlike here in LA, almost a way of life. As soon as you start to sense the first faint fragrance of leaves burning, as soon as the leaves begin their slow but certain transformation from sunny summer green to gentle mellow yellow, it’s football season. High school – a full rainbow of every color that Dodge Caravan comes in trucking out to local high schools on Friday night after the last bell. College – all-day tailgating on Saturday. Pro – hurriedly shaking hands with the Pastor after church before rushing home on Sundays to turn on the TV.
We have no real seasons in LA – spring, springer, and springest – but in Michigan and Ohio, we have winter, spring, summer, and football, and no matter how much you try to hide with your kimchee, you’re eventually going to make your way to a tailgate with a Tupperware full of gim-bahp. Football.
But I think, truth be told, there’s something else besides just growing up with football season year after year that’s done this to me.
It started with a little crush that hit me my freshman year in high school in Cincinnati. He was a year older than me, but as a sophomore, he was the all-star, all-state starting quarterback for our football team. He was 6’4”, athletically lanky as a quarterback should be, wavy blonde hair, and crystal clear Caribbean blue eyes that sparkled whenever he answered back to our Spanish teacher, “Sí, Señora.”
His name was Jayson. Pause to *sigh*....Jayson, with a “y” because, well, why not? Since I was a veritable Spanish language genius, I was in the class one year ahead of me. Through the miracle of alphabetical seating by last names, I sat next to him. Jayson couldn’t conjugate a simple verb to save his life and his pronunciation was worse than Juan Carlos’ deaf mute donkey. In my ears, though, he was speaking the language of love, and when he asked me to tutor him through Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I answered, shyly peering at him through an imaginary white veil, “I do.” I had an absolutely ridiculously miserably pathetic puppy love infatuation with #10 starting QB Jayson.
Sack the quarterback? Absolutely. ;)
So perhaps a silly schoolgirl crush on a quarterback turned itself into a wanton lustful passion for football. Am I really watching the game...or am I just dreamily watching Jayson again? Hmmmm...
Oh, the silly ways that boys affect girls. Oh the silly things boys will do for football. Put them together, and what do you get? Sarah baking very American peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate satin frosting for the Super Bowl and washing it down with Miller Lite, even though I don’t love peanut butter, and come to think of it, I don’t love beer even more. LOL!
Peanut Butter Cupcakes Recipe with Chocolate Frosting
Preheat oven to 350.
Sift together 1¼ c. all purpose flour with 1½ tsp. baking powder and ½ tsp. salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Stir in 1 c. sugar.
Heat ¾ c. whole milk over low heat (or use a microwave), but do not boil. Add ½ c. creamy peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. butter and stir to melt in the peanut butter. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla.
When the milk mixture has cooled, stir in one large egg. Pour the entire mixture into the bowl with the flour, and stir until well-combined.
Fill cupcake liners and bake for 25 minutes.
Cool completely and frost with chocolate frosting and top with chocolate footballs.