BOOK REVIEW: Girls, get in the game!

It was the '70s.

Super Bowl X. Fourth quarter. Time was expiring. The Dallas Cowboys were up against the popular "Steel Curtain" defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Roger Staubach released the ball into the air, and for a split second, all was well until the Pittsburgh Steelers' safety Glen Edwards intercepted the ball.

"Geeeeeet hiiiiiim!" "Geeeeeet hiiiiiim!"

It was impossible to ignore my mom's high-pitched shrieks, reverberating throughout the family den on Sundays. Curiosity jolted me out of my bed to see what all the hoopla was about. I shared in her excitement, even screamed along with her. I had no idea which team had possession of the ball, who had scored the touchdown, or which team's kicker had sailed the ball through the uprights – and I didn't dare ask.

She had one rule when the game was on: You could scream your head off, but talking during the game was not allowed.

Despite my mother's persistent cries, the interception by the Steelers sealed the victory.

Yes, it was my mom who gave birth to my obsession with football.


Fast forward to just a few years ago, when Holly Robinson Peete, along with Daniel Paisner, penned a fun and informative sports manual, "Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game! A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football." Despite its publication in 2005, this sports stuff never gets too old.

Peete's no-nonsense approach to "America's favorite sport" is just what a girl needs. She's direct, funny and smart.

She grew up surrounded by football, loving the game and watching it with her Dad. She shares with us girls the rules of engagement.

"In most cases you can tell what position a guy plays by just his size and shape ... you've got your thick-necked, big-bellied guys whose job is to block and tackle. Then you've got your somewhat less thick-necked, somewhat smaller-bellied guys whose job is to throw, run, or catch the ball, and your fleet-footed defensive counterparts whose job is to keep them from doing so."

Peete is very knowledgeable and, boy, does she have much love for her husband, retired quarterback Rodney Peete. I doubt if she's ever played a minute of football, but her 12-year marriage to this 16-season football veteran are her credentials. I totally trust her second-hand sports knowledge, even when she writes the unthinkable: She dares to compare acting to football - her rehearsals to her husband's practices. She's got to be kidding!

What keeps me reading are the impressive Super Bowl statistics, complete with attendance numbers; a list of "10 All-time Great Coaches of the Game;" "10 All-Time Great Football Names;" 10 All-Time Great Super Bowls;" and my favorite, "10 All-Time Great Moments."

I definitely agree with Peete's recollection of one of the most original touchdown celebrations ever. "T.O. (Terrell Owens) hid a Sharpie marking pen in the pads surrounding the goal post before the game. He retrieved it following a touchdown and used it to sign the football before tossing it into the crowd."

"For girls, it's in the details." Antics are everything!


For the past two years, I've claimed the Pittsburgh Steelers as my team, in honor of my son, Corey, who is stationed overseas. And to my surprise, in 2005, they went on to win Super Bowl XL. My younger son, Colbey, a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, was devastated when Tony Romo fumbled the snap in the first-round playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. Now that my soldier has returned home, my loyalty defaults to the Cowboys, for my son Colbey and poor Romo.

Am I fickle? Maybe. But I'm not alone. Peete is guilty of the same offense. How many teams do you think she's rooted for? My guess is six. Her husband has played ball with six NFL teams! So I'm sure she cheered for the franchise he was playing for at the time.

In her defense, she is a serious football fan. While dating Rodney, she actually carried an arsenal of goodies to his games, including a radio, a portable television and a media guide. She also is not one to shy away from sports Web sites.

Peete gets reinforcement from football wives Brenda Warner, Sherice Brown and Deanna Favre. They weigh in with their own perspectives and shed some light on what it takes to be married to a football player.

Peete shares one of many strange encounters with the public: "'You're married to Rodney Peete?' he (a policeman) said, putting two and two together. 'Yes,' I answered cheerfully, thinking this just might get me out of a ticket. But the guy just snarled at me and said, 'Well, after the way he played last night, you deserve a ticket.'"

I'm not married to a quarterback, thank goodness, but I always have a strategy for the new football season. I plan to hide out in my very own family room and talk as loud and as much as I want.

Oh, and while I'm screaming my head off, I'll have my very own copy of "Get You Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game!" within reach.

"Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching The Game!"

A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football

by Holly Robinson Peete with Daniel Paisner