Yesterday, against the backdrop of Chicago Bears 1985 Super Bowl champion quarterback Jim McMahon discussing his early onset dementia from playing football (he’s in the class action suit v. the NFL) Dave Dorman not just insisted, but demanded that we spend the $500 to sign Jack up for football. Fireworks erupted over the Dorman household yesterday morning as I was scrambling to get out the door to chef Ina Pinkney’s cooking demonstration and book signing.
Football is a sport I not only vehemently dislike because of the potential for lifelong lasting injury, I don’t understand it at all, and I have zero interest in ever understanding it. It’s boring to watch (unless it’s 1985 and The Fridge is making a touchdown), and given my penchant for personal comfort, the last thing you’ll find me doing at 8 a.m. on a Saturday is sitting on a hard, cold aluminum bleacher seat and freezing my ass off to watch a sport I despise.
Add to this the practices Jack is required to attend three times a week from 6 to 8 p.m. until November, and the games every Saturday, and this is really starting to destroy any semblance of a sane family schedule. As Jack enters fourth grade, homework will only increase in magnitude and difficulty. I’d prefer he get his college scholarships from his 95% percentile grades (which are sure to dip from this stupid practice schedule) than from a volatile sport where an injury could sideline him in a flash and end his college money. Why can’t he just be a nerd? Nerds don’t need organized sports to do well in life.
While Dave never watches professional sports – an attribute I love – he did win the first Maryland state championship for high school football–and scrimmaged against the team from Remember the Titans–so he remembers his glory days, choosing to ignore the physical and emotional pain of his torn-up knee during the Homecoming game his senior year, which ended his college scholarships.
Clearly, testosterone was behind inventing football, wrestling, boxing, licking toads, The Three Stooges, the way Michael Hutchence died, eggs Danny Thomas-style, and other stupidities in which people engage. Here’s how I imagine it went down:
Football inventor: “Hey, let’s invent a sport where we go beat the shit out of each other!”
Football inventor’s yes man: “Yes! Let’s do that!”
Someone with actual balanced thinking–probably a left-handed person–invented TENNIS. TENNIS requires skill. Finesse. Strategy. And TENNIS is the only sport for which I’d sit on a hard, cold aluminum bleacher seat at 8 a.m. on a Saturday and freeze my ass off to watch our son partake in it.