By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
By Liz Tracy
By Matt Preira
By Jesse Scheckner
By Michael E. Miller
"Who are you rooting for?" I asked Jay.
"Romo," he said. "He's my fantasy football quarterback."
"Nice choice," I said, struggling to stop from squealing that I had a fantasy football team too. "Just hope Jessica stays out of the stadium."
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Unnecessary noise: We couldn't help noticing the loud clanging of a bell that shattered our football-watching trance time and again. It was obnoxious, but none of us would stop gazing at the TV long enough to find its source. Finally, when Lisa Turtle came back with the umpteenth round of $2 drinks, we asked her.
"They ring it whenever we drop something," she said matter-of-factly.
"Seriously?" I asked. "Who's the butterfingers? We've heard it, like, 12 times."
"Yeah, it's like as if dropping that entire tray of drinks wasn't embarrassing enough, let's call more attention to what a klutz you are," she said, seemingly speaking from a very recent experience.
"So," Tom inquired, "who are you rooting for in the game?"
"The Packers," she said. "I'm from Wisconsin."
"Not Romo?" Mike whined. "He's from Wisconsin too!"
As Mike went back to watching the game, Tom and Lisa Turtle exchanged stories about rural Wisconsin.
A few minutes later, we heard the distinct clatter of glass hitting floor and covered our ears. The bartender, looking dementedly smug, reached up and tugged the shit out of the rope, sending a blast through the room.
Disgruntled football wives: I noticed another couple sitting at a table under a TV showing the football game. Tyrone had a stud earring and wore a white T-shirt over a white wife beater. Nadine had a round face and flawless skin. She wore a floral dress — this was not standard game wear — and a sour expression.
"Can I talk to you guys a second?" I asked.
"I'll take a cheeseburger," Tyrone said without looking at me.
Nadine rolled her eyes. "She's not a waitress."
"Oh," he glanced at me quickly, then turned back to the TV.
"I, uh, came over to ask you who you guys were rooting for in this game."
"No one," she said, pointing at her companion. "I've got nothing to do with this."
"I'm rooting for the Cowboys," Tyrone said, still refusing to tear his eyes from the TV.
"I like T.O.," he said. Mere months ago, that would have sounded like gibberish to me, but now I know he meant Terrell Owens, the motor-mouthed wide receiver for the 'Boys.
"I'm actually from Dallas," I said in a bit of a bigger-'Boys-fan-than-thou voice. I turned to Nadine.
"You have any favorites?" I asked.
Nadine was adamant. "No. I'm not watching this."
"We'll go home at halftime," Tyrone said, trying to placate her.
Halftime came and went, and the pair remained at their table. Finally, halfway through the third quarter, I glimpsed Nadine walking across the parking lot. Tyrone still hovered near the television set, hoping to glimpse a few more precious seconds of the game.
By the end of the game, Mike was pleased with Romo's performance and Tom could only shake his head at his talented but disappointing Packers. Despite a lackluster game from T.O., the Cowboys dominated. ("How 'bout them Cowboys?!") I'll admit it: My fantasy football team is less-than-stellar (anybody want to trade for Plaxico Burress?). But unlike most of the bored girlfriends here tonight, I know a quarterback from a wide receiver. And if our table full of empty pint glasses was any indication, I still rule at beer-drinking.