Sunday, December 4, 2011

Football and a peep

This morning started out with a run, and I mean a run.  About three inches of snow had fallen overnight, which meant that conditions were perfect for my first YakTrax run of the season. (I was pleased to see almost right away that other runners had the same idea, judging from YakTrax treads on the sidewalks.)  I was out there early enough that people were just starting to come out to shovel, salt and snowblow the sidewalks - and the snow was still clinging to the trees in a really beautiful way.

This meant that it was quiet and peaceful.  It also meant that the run was hard.  There were certainly some cleared sidewalks, but there were a lot of spots where it felt more like running on a beach. 

Ow!  It felt fun and like a boot camp resistance exercise at first, until the novelty wore off and it just was plain old tiring.  The fun part of runs like these, as tiring as it can be to shuffle through the snow, is that there's this element of playing in the snow that pops up periodically during the run (when you least expect it) and I feel like I'm back in school, playing outside at recess.

When I got back, I had to hustle because Josh and I had Vikings-Broncos tickets!  Josh grew up in Colorado, and he is a major lifelong Denver Broncos fan.  Although it is no surprise to readers that I am a diehard baseball and Twins fan, Josh got me into both his team and football in general, and I actually went to my first Broncos game before my first Vikings game.  (This game was my second for both teams!) 

He mentioned last week that he got the tickets, but I don't think I understood how excited he was about the game until I was leisurely puttering around the house post-run, heard keys jingling from the living room, and found him with shoes on, totally ready to go. 

We got to the Metrodome, waded through the billions of people in the concourse and found our seats.  We were in the endzone, a spot from which I've never watched a football game before.  There were a lot of Broncos fans in the house and we were all happy when the Broncos pulled away for the W by kicking a field goal with seconds left in the game!

The game contained lots of material to discuss, especially because I freely admit that my grasp of football is woefully behind my baseball knowledge.  Luckily, because Josh is good at explaining the answers to my questions, games are learning opportunities and not a frustrating three-hour block of me sitting there all "???"  (Today's problem was that I don't understand or appreciate the pass interference penalty.  I guess that's a post for another day.) 

The point is, I enjoyed the game, but the halftime show was what took my breath away.  It featured a short game between a local youth football team versus a team full of mascots.  Take a look at this photo. 

You see the usual suspects of Minnesota mascots - Goldy Gopher, Crunch, Bullseye the Target dog - but then there's the yellow blob in the middle.  What is that?

Oh!  It's a Peep!!!!!!

Obviously, I was captivated.  These mascots and these kids were not kidding around.  The best parts of the game were when the mascots would lunge to tackle someone and all end up in a big pile. 

Actually, no.  I stand corrected.  This was the best part.  Check out the Peep, getting ready to block #52 with all its might.  Looks can deceive.  Peep is all business. BOOM!

It was an amazing halftime show and a great game.

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