Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Football
Jennifer Flaten

I am sports agnostic. Oh, it’s okay to say that, after all here in Wisconsin the Packers are a religion unto themselves. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that I dislike football; I just don’t really care about it.

Problem is I have a little boy and he does. He cares passionately about football. This confirms that the male DNA is hard-wired to love football; I certainly did nothing to foster his love of the game. He’s only 10, so sometimes he has no idea what just happened on the field but still. He loves it.

Which means by extension I must now love it or at least be able to have a conversation about football with my son, because if there is one thing my son loves more than football, it’s talking about football.

Never mind that he’s never played an actual game of football, oh sure, we’ve tossed the ball around the yard and his sisters use any excuse they can to chase him around and tackle him-it is immaterial whether he is holding a football at the time.

He still believes he is an expert, does after all coach a team in Madden Football for Xbox and that is exactly like coaching an actual team; am I right?

If I let him, he could talk for hours about everything football related. I have to be careful though I made the mistake of asking a question about that afternoon’s game 45 minutes later the boy finished describing the entire game to me play-by-play. I see a future in sports analysis for him.

I must say, he does have an excellent memory. Next time he tells me he can’t remember a multiplication fact I am going to totally nail him.

Despite my son’s overwhelming knowledge of the game and useless trivia about the Packers, I still admit to knowing next to nothing about the team or the sport itself. That doesn’t stop me from having conversations with my son about football. I just smile and much nodding, that’s all.

I’ve learned to ask only very specific questions about the game or football in general. I avoid question that will end up with the boy sitting me down at a table to draw a diagram of the rushing pass drive or whatever you call those sketches.

When we moved into our house, the boy claimed the room with the corkboard wall. For the first few months, the board sat empty and lonely. Then football season started and the local paper started including a full size color poster of a Packer player in each Sunday edition.

Suddenly, the wall was a sea of green and gold. My son is constantly rearranging the posters to reflect the current roster etc. Heaven forbid if I throw the sports section into the recycling bin before he’s had a chance to cut the poster out. He will make the puppy dog eyes until I shuffle out to the bin and dig up the newspaper.

The girls no exactly how to rile their little brother up during the game they will root for the opposing team or throw out offhand inflammatory comments about the game.

He certainly is easy to buy for at all major gift giving holidays. We just get him something football or packer related.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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