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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not Just The Big Game!

Hey All --

Sorry I missed my usual Sunday night spot.  However, I spent that night at the home of my friends on Long Island, hanging with their kids, and watching the Super Bowl.  In all the post-game euphoria, as well as my trip home to get ready for work the next day, I just couldn't really sling it together.

But I can share with you a few scenes from that Super Bowl weekend that made me smile.  First, I'm proud of my godson's older brother!  The day of the Super Bowl, both boys went to the high school track to let off a little steam -- the kid is 7 1/2 years old, and he ran 2 miles around the track without stopping!  Unreal!  As it happened, the high school track coach was in the vicinity and came over to his mom to compliment her on her son's perfect form!  He suggested that she have him run every day, so that by the time he hits 9th grade, he can go out for the team!!!! 

You know that seals the deal for me -- say what you want about Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Mario Manningham, that weekend this kid was athlete of the year to me!

Another scene that made me smile was an attempt to do something slightly uncomfortable to make a child happy.  My godson received as a present from a well-meaning relative a model roller-coaster kit.  This thing, when finished, would measure six feet by six feet, had a motor, would be the envy of all who saw it or played with it.  Essentially, it was a model train set taken to the next level!

While this would be played with by children ages newborn to 7 1/2 years, it was meant to be assembled by ages 10+ -- with a degree in engineering!  The three grown men in the house who tried to follow the directions step by step found themselves stymied not by what they said, but what they didn't say.  While we were smart to build this device in sections, the directions had absolutely NO EXPLANATION how these sections would all come together.  In fact, part of these directions told us to build portions of the roller coaster incorrectly.  This led our faithful band, two of whom were familiar with the concepts of construction and wiring, down the path of oblivion, leaving us with a scarier feeling than the steepest roller coaster drop.  I myself was left to wonder why, if I had legs sturdy enough to carry me 26 miles, I felt as sore as I did kneeling on the floor while navigating this infrastructure.

In the end, the call of game-time caused us to halt construction on our mini-scream machine before it could be finished.  However, we promised our young charges that we'd finish it for them another time.  A lesson to carry with me whenever I reproduce my progeny -- part of fatherhood necessarily includes putting things together that make no sense for the sake of children's happiness.  I would feel even greater happiness later knowing that Gisele Bundchen would not take us to task for not finishing the job.

Last but not least, was my favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday -- explaining the game of football to my father.  G-D bless him, the man is the anti-sports fan!  He came from a generation that thought sports was a waste of time, and so never picked up the difference between a two-point conversion and a third-down conversion.  So every year, this would be my time to teach him the basic fundamentals of the game -- no, kicking it through the uprights is not a "hat trick," and he didn't score a "home run" when he reached the end zone, and there is no "free throw!"  This year I called him at halftime to keep the tradition going.

And so was the way I spent the un-official American holiday of Super Bowl Sunday -- with a bunch of good friends, young and old.  I ingested and imbibed a large amount of food and drink that would melt my insides if it were my normal diet.  I felt young again the way only kids can make you feel young again.  And even though I remain a proud Jets fan, it still felt good to see the Giants win.  Now all Rex and the boys have to do is put in a season just like that.

So now, as we enter the dead zone of the professional sports calendar -- spring training weeks away, hockey and basketball playoffs months away, and no clue what happens with soccer -- it's better to let other pursuits grab our attention.  I'll be back to my normal Sunday night jam, and I'll look for those who like this blog to keep on commenting, including this "Anonymous" person, whomever he or she might be!  ;)

As I advance towards this year's NYC Marathon, I'll be sharing my progress as I seek a PR in the Super Bowl of running!  More inspirational posts to follow . . . .