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The Littlest Sports Fan

October 17, 2013

My grandson, Joe, was born with an innate understanding of all things sports.

Then there’s me. As a kid, I played baseball with my brothers, my grandmother, and the neighbor kids, so if I try really hard, I can follow that, but I’m baffled by basketball, hockey, and football. They just don’t make sense to me…

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve inadvertently cheered for the wrong team on several occasions.

That’s embarrassing…it’s much better to keep my mouth shut!

I prefer to remain confused… My poor husband has tried to explain football to me on any number of occasions, but  I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

Today, I understand more about football than I ever have before, but it’s still so confusing…and violent. When we’re watching a game, I’ve learned to take my cues from Jim…if he starts cheering, I’ll follow suit and cheer along too. Sometimes I’ll ask him if that last play was good for our team and if our team isn’t doing so well, he’ll give me the look…the one that says ‘don’t you get it?’

That man takes his football very seriously.

He’s much more patient with me if the Vike’s are winning. Then he’ll patiently explain the intricacies of the game and…I. Still. Don’t. Get. It.

The players are moving too fast for me to follow and there are so many rules. I’d never even heard the words ‘touch-back’ until about a year ago…and to this day, I don’t know what they mean.

At our house, we host a Super Bowl Party every year. Jim sets up the ‘stadium seating’ in the living room, and I take care of the food and the activities for the non-football followers. We usually play Bingo…that I understand! And, to my credit, I can play Yahtzee and Scrabble, and Cribbage, too.

As a kid, I was always more of a girly-girl… I was in gymnastics in junior high, but I was never good enough to compete in a meet. Mostly, I did it for fun. It was something to do after school. I was best at the floor exercises and the trampoline. I liked swimming, too, and if I hadn’t had Plantar’s warts on my foot and been banned from the pool for most of the year, I’d have tried out for the diving team.

My brothers didn’t play ball in school…the younger one, Dale, was on the wrestling team for a few years, but that was difficult for me to understand as well.

I remember one time, back when Joe was about five years old…he was spending a few days with us and he and his grandpa were watching the Vikings play one Sunday afternoon.

I was in the kitchen fixing supper and I could hear them cheering as Dante Culpepper threw a pass to Chris Carter and he ran the ball in for a touchdown.

The Vikings were playing well that day and it was a close game. A bit later, Joe dashed into the kitchen…

‘Grandma…it’s first down and ten!’ He told me excitedly.

I didn’t have a clue. ‘Is that a good thing?’ I asked him.

His head bobbed up and down…‘Uh-huh…really good!’

‘What is a first down and ten?’ I inquired.

‘I can’t explain it, Grandma,’ he said as he ran back to the game, ‘but it’s REALLY GOOD!’

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One Comment
  1. Margaret permalink

    You ain’t alone, Sister!

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