Space Travel & Animals: Super Bowl III, Jets vs. Colts, Sunday, January 12, 1969

Space Travel & Animals: Super Bowl III, Jets vs. Colts, Sunday, January 12, 1969

Space Travel & Animals: Super Bowl III, Jets vs. Colts, Sunday, January 12, 1969 1549 1600 H.E. Fisher

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Dad says, The Jets are the underdog. He & my three brothers
form a defensive line in front of the black & white television set.
I am nine, the youngest & only girl
& I know the rule: football is for men & you do not fuck
with this rule, you wane, as Mom has.
Mom has taught me to break rules. Mom is an activist —
used to be — in the Civil Rights, Peace & Women’s Movements.
She came home after the Chicago riots & had a heart attack.
Now she rests, is de-activated. Mom teaches me
that to challenge authority you have to test power,
which I do every time I stick my toes into the ocean
to see if it is cold & if there is a rip tide to pull me
under, swim anyway—
which is why I know I can break the rule & watch football.
I want to break the rule & outrun nature from my femaleness,
become the fifth season — spring, summer, fall, winter, & me —
with new weather new temperatures new palettes.
I sit down on the olive green carpet.
Dad & my brothers do not protest or say anything at all: I am waned.
Their inertia does not eclipse the gravitational pull to concentrate
on the screen & watch the football players pass/block/run, convey yardage.
They seem born to the turf, fused with the quantum mechanics of the stadium.
When I grow up, a humpback whale will be found in the Amazon
when it should have been swimming in Antarctica.
When I grow up I will walk in my man skin in public spaces
with narrow hips & broad shoulders to feel powerful & fused
& I will learn it is ineffective as it is only pretend
& that no one is safe outside their ecosystem.
Not even football players.
It is late in the game when the big bang comes, a singular
explosion. My dad, three brothers, the stadium erupt.
The announcer’s voice beams, radiates, as though Man
landed on the moon — 16-7 Jets —
the most memorable upset in NFL history
& I am there, at its conception.

Header photograph © Sarah Huels.

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