It was never about the team or the possibility of our conflicting sports interests. I knew he was a dirty bird from the first day we met when he pulled up and got out to introduce himself.
My eyes immediately zoned in on those red and black covers smothering his pickup truck's driver, passenger, and back seat's headrest. Hmmm, Falcons fan, but it makes total sense; he is a Georgia boy, after all, I thought.
It started off as little fun banter. Our conflicting team taste would be my perfect icebreaker and test to see if he'd take the bait after introducing myself.
Proudly and lightweight smug, he mentioned his financial investment in the team as a season ticket holder. I rolled my eyes before checking out his license plate and the additional Falcons logos nestled on the back of his truck.
Well, excuse me, I said as I pondered how would we work. I prayed to marry a Bears fan and dreamed of dressing two tiny boy humans in matching navy and orange jerseys.
(Backstory: I was born in Chicago in 84' need I say more? But...one of my earliest memories is The Super Bowl Shuffling Bears of the 84' season. So, being a Bear is my birthright.
My thoughts were interrupted by a flashback of me in 2017, in Houston, dressed in a Matt Ryan shirt, hula hooping my life away. It was Super Bowl, and I traveled to my undergrad hometown as a fairly new Georgia Peach (I moved to Atl from Chicago a few years prior) to support the Falcons. I felt delightful that day, so I entered into a hula hoop contest at one of the parties I attended.
Certainly, a dirty bird that year, I could have kissed the Falcons' head coach as they beat my rivals, the Wackers, 44 to 21 in the NFC Championship game, eliminating the Packers from Super Bowl. So, I danced, hula hooped, and proceeded to Rise Up, repping my new home, ATL.
Let's go back even a few years prior. Honestly, I've had Matt Ryan, the Falcon's defense, and Julio Jones on my fantasy team eons ago (when I was a die heart football fan).
So, I stood there with all that in mind, sizing up my future husband. I smiled at the thought of marrying into the Georgia world of sports and all that comes with it. I guess you can say the rest is history.
We married weeks later and celebrated our one-year anniversary sitting field-side at the Falcons game (in matching red & black) in London, England. That was our first "home game" win.
In this short amount of time, I've enjoyed being by my husband's side through every incomplete pass, interception, injury, fumble, trade, and heart-wrenching Falcons loss.
As I said, it was never about the team or really the game for me but everything about the quality time we'd spend, the camaraderie, holding hands on the train rides into the city (at home games), our Sunday ritual after church, and the mutual anxiety we shared during unsuccessful 3rd down conversions.
Being a Bears fan in a Falcon jersey brought out the best in us, moral support for my husband (LOL), and produced a lifelong bond. Hmmm, maybe even a possible REignition of my love for the game. We'll see!
Btw, he even let me have a corner of our home gym to decorate, and he was a good sport when we beat them this year.
Until next season...
(A Bears fan in a Falcons Jersey)