Singapore Adventure

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thankful for Football
by venitha

As the second Thanksgiving in a row during which I don't get to race in a Turkey Trot with a Will Run For Pie sign tacked to my butt approaches, I'm still thinking of everything for which I am thankful: my mother-in-law home from the hospital, my kind and thoughtful neighbor Mei, good friends with whom to share a turkey dinner. Sadly not on the list, not anywhere even close to list, not even on the same planet as the list, is my - and Jim's - current location at the bottom of the heap in my family's (American) football pool.

Top ten reasons why Jim and I are so incredibly lame:

Insufficient beer consumption. It's too expensive to drink much beer in Singapore, whereas all the rest of the pool players live in Wisconsin, cheap beer capitol of the world and, as a happy consequence, a really really really fun place to visit.

Distinct lack of football weather. It feels like we're still in those pointless August pre-season games. Who can care about football when it's this hot?

Poor timing. Unlike some other pool players who shall remain nameless, Jim and I submit our picks before the games are actually played.

Share and share alike. After the solid thumping I gave everyone, er, well, almost everyone last year, it's only fair to give someone else a chance. (This excuse doesn't work for Jim, as he sucked the king twinkie last year, too.)

Unfriendly football environment. There will be no Singaporean kids out playing football during half-time on Thursday afternoon, there were no good-natured bets placed on Monday night's game around the water cooler Nescafé machine at work today, and there's never any speculation in the local paper about Favre's imminent retirement. Being so removed from civilization takes a toll.

Geographical sabotage. We now live in a place with no domesticable fowl, yet we're competing against residents of a country that not only farms turkeys but has genetically engineered them to grow extra sets of legs just for my man Madden. How can we possibly compete with that? (Yes, I admit that I'm currently reading Guns, Germs, and Steel.)

The Badgers! We're too distracted by Wisconsin's awesome season to pay attention to the NFL. Woo hoo!

Out of sight; out of mind. Never actually seeing a game has taken its toll. Actually, I did catch some of Peyton Manning's smooth moves on ESPN when I was in Taipei, but it was a Sunday night Monday morning game, and those have never counted as real games in my opinion. Plus, I was just a wee bit distracted by the constant interruptions by ads for the pay-per-view porn channel. And you thought the toilet was the most interesting thing about that hotel room.

Time difference. All the other poolers have a jump on us because of the time difference. I mean, the Monday night game isn't even played here until Tuesday morning! Can you imagine? Every week, we therefore start out behind, and even my brilliant prognostication can't compensate for such a consistent and brutal handicap.

Well, we're at the equator. This is a popular catch-all excuse for just about everything in Singapore - until you think about it. Why do light bulbs burn out so quickly? Well, we're at the equator. Why does that man have 6-inch long hairs growing out of the mole on his face? Well, we're at the equator. Why does the sun set consistently at the same time every night? Well, we're at the equator. Oh, um, right.