Times article by Marcia G. Moore
Can A Big 10 Alumna Find Happiness in the Ivy League? 

   I should probably begin by explaining to 
you Easterners that I'm from Ohio. I was 
born in the shadow of the Ohio State 
University stadium and, although I was a 
girl, my father saw to it that I received 
the standard education of any Ohio child. 
   I attended every Ohio State football 
game. By the time I was 3, I could sing, 
"We Don't Give a Damn for the Whole State 
of Michigan. We're From O-HI-O!" 
   I knew that Hopalong Cassidy might also 
be the name of a movie cowboy, but that 
first and foremost he was a great Ohio 
State running back. 
   One of my earliest memories is of 
struggling up our driveway in shoulder-
high snow. My father, an Ohio State 
fanatic, had tickets for the Ohio State-
Michigan game and refused to let anything 
as inconsequential as the Blizzard of '51 
keep him away. 
   After high school, however, my football  
education was thrown for a loss. First, I 
am an alumna of Northwestern University,  
which, as everyone west of Princeton knows, 
is not noted for its outstanding football
team. 
   Then I made a serious fumble: I moved 
East to attend an Ivy League college and 
met a man who had attended two Ivy League 
colleges.  
   I was impressed because he was the first 
man I had ever met who did not think that 
Ignace Paderewski was a Notre Dame 
linebacker; he was intrigued because I was 
the only woman he had met who did not think 
that Vince Lombardi was a nightclub singer. 
   In the blush of first love, we did not 
realize that we had at least one 
unfathomable difference: Easterners, I 
learned, use football  as an excuse to 
enjoy tailgate picnics, fall foliage and, 
at Columbia games, the half-time antics of
the band.
   Paying close attention to the 
proceedings on the field, or displaying 
those proceedings, is considered uncouth. 
   "Did you see THAT!" I demanded of my 
fiance at the first game we attended 
together. "Dartmouth was red-dogging our 
quarterback!" (At the same time, I jabbed 
him sharply with my elbow, causing him to 
spill his hot mulled cider.) The people in 
front of us turned around to stare. 
   "Well, yes, I suppose he was," my fiance 
replied. "But you don't have to get upset 
about it." 
   We looked at each other, and immediately 
realized an irrefutable truth: East was 
East and Midwest, Midwest. If we were to 
become a matrimonial team, we would have to 
declare certain subjects out of bounds. 
   Following our marriage (on an autumn 
afternoon quietly scheduled by my father 
not to conflict with the televised Big Ten 
championship game), we never mentioned 
football.   
   I kept to myself all the witticisms 
about Harvard philosophy majors playing 
tackle. The truth was, I was too vulnerable 
to retaliation: Even my husband could not 
have failed to notice that my alma mater 
was suffering the longest losing streak in 
the history of collegiate football.  
   This game plan seemed to work. Crisp 
October Saturdays found us strolling 
through Central Park or watching sailboat 
races, my husband's idea of an exhilarating 
sport. The smell of the hot dogs, the roar 
of the crowd did not beckon, as in former 
days. 

[I'm sick of formatting the columns... The rest of the article is uninteresting, but i'll include it for those of you who are interested:]

   By the time, sone years later, I gave birth to a 9-pound son, only my father 
thought to notice his grandson's potential for gridiron greatness. 
 
   "Look at those hands!" he would demand of the bemused New Yorkers viewing 
the babies behind the hospital glass. "Those hands are going to throw great 
forward passes some day!" 
 
                                                                            
   My father bought  football  jerseys in size 12 Months. And he sang Baby John 
to sleep with medleys of  marching  songs ("Hit them hard and see how they 
fall! Never let that team get the ball!") He talked of taking his grandson back
home to see some real  football,  and he dreamed of the day when the child of 
his child would intercept a long bomb or sack the quarterback. 
 
   However, he did not live to see it happen. 
 
   "I signed up for the  football  team today!" my son told me one day last 
spring. "The coach says he's going to try me out as a tackle." 
 
   "That's just wonderful!" I said, beaming fondly at the 5-foot 11-inch, 
170-pound hulk before me. "Think of how proud Grandpa would be!" 
 
   "Couldn't he play tennis instead?" my husband asked. "A lot of kids get 
hurt playing  football. " 
 
   The time-out that had existed longer than our marriage was over. We faced 
each other over the line of scrimmage. 
 
   "I met the high school principal this evening," I told my husband some time
later. "And do you know what he said? He said, 'Oh, yes, John Moore, the                                                              
 football  player!' " I waited for a reaction. "He knows that John's a 
 football  player, and John's only a freshman!" 
 
   "Too bad he didn't say, 'John Moore, the essay writer,' or 'John Moore, the 
geometry whiz,' " my husband replied. We exchanged stony looks. For the first 
time in years, the voices of television sportscasters began to be heard in our 
house on weekend afternoons. I sat down to watch with John. 
 
   "What kind of penalty is it when the referee waves his arms like that?" I 
asked. "Personal foul." he answered. "Why did they get a personal foul?" I 
persisted. "They tackled him out of bounds." He turned up the TV volume. 
 
   "Who are the guys in the orange pants?" I asked. 
 
   I had seen John's expression before on my father's face. It was reserved for 
women too stupid to know a forward pass from a first down. 
 
   I was insulted, and, in a way, I felt I had let down my father. After that, I
bought a book entitled "How to Watch  Football" and studied it 
surreptitiously. 
 
 
                                                                   
   My husband and I went to the Mountain Lakes High School field for the opening
game. I could tell he was uneasy. Could his wife, who shopped at The Talbots, 
ate raw clams and who had not pronounced an "R" in 15 years, be suddenly, like
Eliza Doolittle at the Ascot races. about to reveal her true origins? 
 
   The cheerleaders bounced up and down and adjusted their socks. 
 
   "Our team's like an alligator," they chanted. "They're real, real sharp!"
 
   "Aren't they cute?" my husband asked. 
 
   I smiled, and said nothing about real cheering: "Hit 'em again, Hit 'em 
again, HARDER, HARDER!" and "Rah Rah Ree, Kick 'em in the Knee..." 
 
   We applauded politely when the Mountain Lakes team jogged onto the field. It 
won the toss and elected to receive. The kick was good, and Mountain Lakes ran 
it back to the 40-yard line. 
 
   "They're off to a good start," my husband said. "Yes, they are," I 
agreed. The tepid pleasantries lasted until the first play, when Mountain Lakes 
was thrown for a loss of three yards. I knew instantly what was wrong. 
 
                                                                 
   "Come on," I called. "You boys have got to be more aggressive!" My 
husband glared at me.  "That's a fine way for a mother to be talking," he 
snapped. 
 
   I realized he was right. I had sounded just like an Ivy League twit. Scarlet 
Ohio blood, diluted from years of living in the East, began boiling in my veins 
once more. I leaped to my feet. 
 
   "Stomp on 'em, Mountain Lakes!" I shrieked. "Make 'em eat the 
Astro-turf!" 
 
   My husband moved his seat, but I hardly noticed. Several minutes later, there
was a flag on the play and the referee signaled: "Holding, Mountain Lakes." 
 
   Around me, little clumps of Ivies were sitting in silent embarrassment. How 
could their sons have done anything so unsportmanslike? 
 
   From the dim recesses of my memory arose the standard Ohio response to such a
penalty. "You need glasses, ref!" I yelled. In the row behind me I heard a 
chorus of boos. Booing at a  football  game! I had not heard such a thing for 
nearly 20 years! I turned around to introduce myself. "I'm from Ohio," I 
explained. "I'm from Minnesota," the woman replied. "My husband won't sit 
with me, either. And these people just moved here from Chicago." 
 
   From then on, my enjoyment of the game improved immeasurably. 
 
   At home at last in a  football  stadium in New Jersey, my compatriots and I 
voiced noisy approval for Mountain Lakes' yardage gains. We also shouted raucous
suggestions to the referee and we hooted happily when the other team fumbled. 
 
   Mountain Lakes had the ball on the 4-yard-line. It was third down and goal to
go, there were 90 seconds remaining in the last quarter and the score was tied. 
 
   The Midwestern claque, knowing that there is, of course, a time to shout and 
a time to keep still, shuffled its feet nervously and eyed the scoreboard. The 
Ivy League mothers stopped working their needlepoint. Even my husband, who had 
spent the last two quarters at the concession stand with some sailing cronies, 
returned to the stands to watch. 
  
   The teams faced each other. The center snapped the ball, and the quarterback 
handed it off to the running back directly behind John at right tackle. The 
lines collided with a crunch of helmets and shoulder pads. The biggest play of 
the game was in motion. 
                                                                         
   My baby boy, I want to tell you, went crashing into that line, making a hole 
you could drive a truck through. The ball carrier scrambled through the opening 
and dived into the end zone. Touchdown, Mountain Lakes! The Mountain Lakes crowd
cheered. The Midwestern contingent stamped, whistled and bellowed. Even my 
husband managed an enthusiastic "Good Play!" 
 
   And somewhere in the vast firmament, I know that my father was watching. He 
was jumping up and down on the clouds and throwing his halo in the air, making 
the vaults of heaven echo with a roaring victory cry.