Oh how I loved to tune in and see the latest twist for Ross and Rachel's challenged romance; laugh at Joey's womanizing antics; and learn what imperceptible detail had been overlooked by a member of the group, which inevitably sent Monica into a tizzy for 30 minutes.
But my favorite member of this pop culture coffee house gang was Phoebe Buffay, played by Lisa Kudrow. Phoebe was the quirky, weird one of the group. She penned songs like "Smelly Cat" and sang them out of tune. She claimed her mother had committed suicide by sticking her head in an oven. She lived on the streets as a child, learned French behind a dumpster and gave birth to her brother's triplets. In my opinion, she was the character who made the show just unpredictable enough to always want to watch.
But there is one problem with Lisa Kudrow. She was so Phoebe, she could never really be anyone else (except Phoebe's identical twin sister, Ursula).
To this day, nearly 10 years after "Friends" ended its decade-long run, I cannot watch her in anything else because I always find myself saying, "That's not what Phoebe would say."
Last winter, I actually met Ms. Kudrow at a fundraiser. And even then, as I was shaking her hand, I kept thinking, "Why is she acting so normal? Phoebe isn't this polite to strangers."
I'm sure her talents as an actress are very diverse, but I have pigeonholed Ms. Kudrow in my mind. She will always be the wacky but loveable Phoebe.
Which I know is a massive insult. Actors always say that being pigeonholed into a type of role means career suicide. It means no one else thinks they're talented enough to ever portray anything else. That their ideas and talent are about as complex as the recipe for chocolate milk.
Weekly freelance wannabe writers might tell you the same thing.
For the last two and-a-half years, this column has been in the sports section every week. I've profiled athletes, written about amazing feats and accomplishments, and I've been able to tell stories of inspiring triumph.
But I've also had to turn down many, many exciting and inspiring stories because, try as I might to be creative, I just couldn't logically fit them into a sports column. (Although I have taken a few creative liberties at times.)
Though I love sports, and Park City is an ideal place to write about recreation, I have many, many other interests. I've just been too pigeonholed to really write about them.
So that is the reason this column is now in another section of the paper. It's my attempt at diversifying my portfolio a bit.
Though I will continue to write about the athletic accomplishments unique to living in the mountains, I now also have the flexibility and freedom to feature things that have nothing to do with sports.
Travel, politics, remarkable things our local nonprofits do, people who do amazing things, they just aren't wearing sneakers or ski boots when they do it.
This is an exciting new opportunity and I welcome your ideas, suggestions and comments. I'm even more excited to not have to turn them down on the rationale that "it just won't work in the sports section."
If you have a story idea for Red Card Roberts, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, public-relations guru and globe-trotting thrill seeker. In a former life she worked in TV news, both as a reporter and sports anchor. She has bagged peaks on six continents, kayaked the Zambezi and Nile rivers, swam with great white sharks in South Africa and tracked mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She was once very nearly sold for 2,000 camels while traveling through Morocco.