Yesterday was a long trek by car followed by what I thought was going to be a second straight flag football wipe-out all to get to see number two son play in a game. I spent four years as a band parent lugging kid and equipment to and from band practices, bus-catches, concession stand work, fund-raising, and performances. Number one son was a gung-ho marcher with dreams of joining a nationally ranked drum and bugle corps. Wow! The effort almost killed me. But number two son reached high school with a different set of goals and skills, and due to educational forces beyond our control, and evilly opposed to us, he didn’t even stay landed in the big Texas 5A School he wanted to be in. We settled for a charter school that provides a completely different format that Henry can handle. Number two son is more like me than the first one was. He’s brainy and thin and athletically capable, but not athletically experienced. He is gifted in so many ways, but not in ways that are normally considered acceptable in cowboy country and the Greater Dallas Cowboy Area Football Imperative.
So this year we are taking on football. I mean, not ferociously Texas high school tackle and kill football, but FLAG FOOTBALL. The teams wear two yellow or white flags that have to be grabbed and pulled to stop the advance of the ball. As a parent, I appreciate the sissy version of the meat-grinding, brain-fracking sport that Texas loves more than pornography. I know it is not considered as manly to play flag football, but having been subject to a hospitalizing head trauma in my own high school football days, I would rather have him play the safer, cleaner version. And, let’s face it, he weighs a hundred pounds less than some of the high school guys that would be chasing him to bulldog him in regular high school football. And his school, a small charter school, is just starting it’s flag football program. That allows Henry to be on the starting team, and play a sport that he wouldn’t stand a ghost of a chance of even making the team otherwise.
So, how did we get to yesterday? Well, a week ago, the very first game for the Mighty Ospreys was a total disaster. It started before two of the required seven players even arrived. So, the first touchdown was scored by the other team when they intercepted the pass from the only girl in the game, playing quarterback for us even though she couldn’t throw the ball at better than a wounded-duck wobble. We played a good portion of the first half, five players against seven. And when the other two showed up, the other side was still the only side to score. And they scored at will. It ended mercilessly at ungodly-high-score to nothing.
So I was expecting another humiliation yesterday. This reveals the true advantage of being a total pessimist. I can only be pleasantly surprised. The other guys were almost all shorter than our guys. And our guys, after an extra week of practice, were handling the ball BETTER. We found a quarterback who could throw the ball on target. We scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to win 14 to 6. And Henry was almost able to catch a touchdown pass. It was deflected and he almost caught it anyway!
So, I came home sicker than Marmaduke after rancid pork, but happy. Of course, the Princess mentioned that she wants to be in marching band when she gets to high school next year. Oh, my aching sit-down parts!