Saturday, September 15, 2012

9/15/12: A Family Feud Like No Other

Family rivalry!!
For those who know me (and my family), you know that football is not a small matter in the Pepper household. Almost since my conception I was bred to be a fan of The Ohio State University Buckeyes, and I spent the better part of  my growing up years in front of the TV on Saturdays rooting for my Buckeyes. In fact, the Ohio State vs. Michigan game was almost as important as any major Jewish holiday in my family! It might seem funny since we are a family of all girls (except for my father, obviously, who is also a fan of OSU), but let me just say, my mother could rival even the most dedicated male football fan.

Baby me decked out for an OSU football game! I started so young :-)

Mom, sissy, and me at the ROSE BOWL for Ohio State!

I took the passion for the game that I was raised with and applied that same love, spirit, and dedication to the football team of my own university. In fact, when it came time for me to pick the university that would become my life and home for my 4 year undergraduate career, I based a large chunk of the decision on whether or not the school had a football team. The thought of spending 4 years at an institution that I couldn't put my heart and soul into just didn't seen right. After much deliberation on the matter, I succeeded in picking the university that combined only the most prestigious of academic programs with a fantastic athletics department, and I became a University of California (CAL) Golden Bear. My mom may be a huge Buckeye fan but I am die hard. I love my school and my team so much that I took the phrase "I bleed Blue and Gold" to the next level and actually got a tattoo of script CAL so I would always remember one of the greatest love affairs of my life! Now that is dedication! I even had the pleasure of dating a CAL football player for 3 years; it was meant to be.

My best friend and roommate and me at a game! Ironically she is an Ohio State Med student now!


My CAL tattoo

With this background information I am sure you can only imagine how much I was dreading the day when these two universities would meet in football. I can't imagine a scenario where I would ever want OSU to lose, but CAL is my university through and through and they have my complete loyalty. Today was the first time the two schools were matched against one another in over 40 years, and you can bet that my mom and I made the best situation out of a heated family rivalry! It was a house divided where my Alma mater played the Alma mater of my mother; the Alma mater that I grew up watching and rooting for! It couldn't have been a more fun game to watch!

Decked out in our colors and ready to play!


When the game started my mother and I decided that this was not going to be a normal game day for us. This kind of match up doesn't happen often and we were going to make it memorable. Despite the fact that it was 9 in the morning California time, we decided to spice things up and turn our rivalry into a bit of a drinking game. Just lucky enough for us we found our twin university shot glasses and decided that whenever our respective teams score we would take a shot! Only with my mother!! We both have equally awful tolerance so you can imagine how entertaining this was :-)

A house divided!

Mommy's team scored!

Then mine did!!
In the heat of the 4th quarter, when things were really getting interesting, my boyfriend happened to give me his goodnight call (it was 5am Australia time), and he got a good taste of game days in the Pepper house. Poor guy, I think I might have traumatized him... I was a bit aggressive, and there was a lot of screaming! I try not to be too overwhelmingly American around him, but when it's a game day all bets are off! I was a red cup and a hamburger away from being a really awful stereotype :-)

I'm sad to report that CAL did not come out victorious, due in large part to the consistent pattern of awful coaching and even worse kickers, but we put up a great fight and, aside from special teams, we looked really amazing out there. It gives me hope that if we can get our stuff together maybe this will be the year we FINALLY beat U$C (sorry Stephanie). But regardless of the outcome I can never be sad when Ohio State wins a game and I"m just so happy I will be home in California for some good football this year. It looks like it is shaping up to be a really exciting season :-)

Tomorrow night begins the Jewish High Holidays, and I will be ringing in the Jewish new year with family, great food, and a whole lot of apples and honey! Stay tuned for a reflective post about the last year and I am wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!!

Shana Tova v'metukah <3,

Jordana Simone

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