Monday, September 14, 2009

Maybe My (Sports) Fatherly Wisdom Will Be Accepted

Yesterday was a good day. After church, I came home and was able to settle into the couch for Week 1 of the NFL regular season. I havent truly been able to watch and follow football for a few years now with my work schedule. But as of late I have been getting weekends off, and can now enjoy it. Week 2 will be somewhat off my radar as I have to cover another guys shift, but Week 3 I should be right back on track.

The first set of games was just randomness to me, as it is early in the season. I noticed that the New Orleans Saints (my boss' favorite team) trounced the Detroit Lions. He'll probably return from his vacation and brag about that. And I will laugh as anyone who brags about beating Detroit is scraping the very bottoms of the barrel. I think the local kids I play backyard football with, under my direction of course, would have a good shot at beating Detroit. I figure the 12 year old neighbor girl, who is a monster at times, would have sacked Stafford at least 3 or 4 times on her own. And my son Josh would have picked apart their defense with the short passing game. He still needs to learn focus and accuracy to a point, but he has a surprising arm for being built like a stick figure(just like I was at his age). My other son, Corwyn "Buggy" Lovell, would have just ran all over them. And then, right after scoring would have found the nearest defender and said to him "You remember when I ran for the touchdown and beat you guys?" Somedays I wonder if he has a true concept of time.

The second set of games provided more interest to me. There were three options on Fox. The first was the Washington Redskins AT New York to face the Giants. Then there was somebody or another AT Seattle. And then my beloved (although a decades worth of disappointment) 49ers taking on the Arizona Cardinals in Arizona. This is regionally the closest game to Iowa, but instead of getting to watch THAT game, I had to endure the WASH-NY game. However, it was finished earlier than the SF-AZ game, and FOX is now offering bonus coverage, so I got to see the last 6 minutes of my team playing. Right after I tuned in, I watched my 49ers score a touchdown and go up 20-16 over Arizona and their Iowa born QB, Kurt Warner. I look over and my youngest is sitting there watching it with me. He asks who is who, and who's winning. I explained that, three times. I swear, having a conversation with a 5 yar old can be exhausting at times. But he caught on, as I explained what needed to happen throughout the rest of the game. He seemed almost as excited as I was.

I was about his age when I first started watching football and cheering on the San Francisco 49ers. Back then, the 49ers were an emerging force that went on to become a major powerhouse in the NFL. They have sucked since my first son was born. But not completely. They would win just enough games to ensure that they would not get a first draft pick of the next season. They would find their way into the middle of the pack, barely. But, yesterday was a good day. My youngest watched as the 49ers put on a defensive display to stifle the defending NFC Champs and their potential high octane offense led by Kurt Warner, and securing the win. I even got a high five out of the deal as "we won." Maybe, just maybe, I will be able to continue to course of modern human history in which fathers and sons hang out together watching football games on Sundays. And it will be good. WE'll have drinks and snacks, and I'll teach them the fine arts that football invovles, and maybe someday in the future, they will get their opportunity to play organized tackle football, instead of playing the watered down, weak version of backyard football that kids play these days.

After the game was over, we ate supper, and then took the football over to the park to throw it around some. We used a smaller ball so Corwyn could handle it. Both boys are showing promise of having cannons for arms. I'm quite enamored with such an idea, as a sportsdad-like kind of guy. (We played backyard football the other day, and both boys were picking up on tips I gave them to out-maneuver otherwise better athletes than they were.) We tossed the ball around and played at the park until it was too dark to play anymore. I settled in for the Bears-Packers Sunday night game later in the first half. Corwyn was playing and then had to take a bath. Josh comes over to the couch and sits down. Starts asking me who's who and who's playing. He even got to watch the bears sack the Green Bay quarterback in the endzone for a safety, a rare scoring opportunity. Is this deja vu I'm experiencing? This is GREEEAAT! Both sons taking an interest in the manly art of football? That's just plain friggin awesome.

My wife, after reading this, will probably begin to tremble with a hint of fear and look to putting psychologists' phone numbers on speed dial. I tamed down a bit after my oldest looked not to be the athlete his father had hoped for (although recent events point to my oldest still looking to be that athlete afterall), with my Sports Dad Syndrome (SDS). But who knows, with hope of athleticism abounding within my sons, it may come roaring back! Should the boys ever play competitive sports in school, my wife will probably see to it that I'm banned from fraternizing with the coaches and from standing on the sidelines during practices and games. And becoming a coach will probably be out of the question. I'm really, REALLY competitive, and that can be a good thing, but if carried too far, I might have kids and parents looking at me sideways. I'm all about winning, giving kids their fair time and all, but none of this "everybody's a winner, we don't keep score" crap. My sons will probably not be allowed to ever play in a league like that....uh-oh, SDS is creeping back in...I better go get the kids out of school and hold football practice! (just kidding honey!)

But now I have to go out and get them some 49er gear at some point. So relatives reading this, think Christmas if you get clothes or jackets for the boys!


Becky said...

What's your least favorite team? That's the gear I'll get them ;)

Mookie said...

hmmm, my least favorite, the 49ers???? heh heh heh (she'll never catch the reverse psychology here!!)

Anonymous said...

Cool, sounds like an awesome way to spend a Sunday!

Funny thing, but after Ryan was born six and a half years ago I stopped watching football every weekend. Tonight I did watch the Pats beat the Bills (at least parts of the game), but I get really tempted to buy a DirecTV package so I can watch the Vikings (but too expensive). Still, if you can start getting your five year old interested, then I should be able to entice Ryan to watch...

Ryan had soccer on Sunday -- the community has a good soccer program, and he looked like a great little athlete with his longish hair and soccer jersey, running around...alas, he suffers the same thing his dad does: a dislike or structured events. He wants to quit, but I told him he'd have to try to stick it out this year and see if it gets better. Dana, aged 3 (male -- the name could be either way) already loves tackle football in the basement...with a nerf ball of course.

Becky said...

Mike, OK, I'll buy them 49ers gear then. My sneaky trick has worked!

*vacant stare, drool*

Mookie said...


Yes, I too have been tempted to break down and order the cable service, so I can actually see more games (almost the sole reason for going beyond network tv). But, being a responsible person who realizes other priorities rank higher (read: bills), I always manage to talk myself down!

Not sure how the boys would react to structured events as of yet. Time will tell.

The story of Dana playing tackle football in the basement. Classic young kid. My buddy Jay, his older brother and I used to play tackle football at our babysitter's house. From one end to the other, with the doorways representing first downs and touchdowns. It was for this reason I had a tooth violently removed from its throne in the top of my mouth! I think I was 4 at the time. I had 4th and through the door to go...I couldn't overpower my opponent, so I went under his legs with a dive...he planted my face into the little metal threshold strip... then the tooth was hanging and the trouble of deciding how to solve my issue came to be. My hlaf blind babysitter was oblivious to what was going on, as we conferenced a mere 3 or 4 feet away from her while she watched tv. They tried to convince me to let her yank my tooth. OH NOOOOO! I ended up pulling it out myself, or letting Josh (the older brother) do it for me, I don't remember that exact detail.