Thursday, late afternoon. His joy is permeating the house.
He is more than a little disappointed that The Tweety Birds, aka the Arizona Cardinals, will preempt the Forty-Niners on Sunday afternoon, forcing him to leave the house and watch them play Green Bay at a sports bar. I suggested that we join Miss Margo at the place up the road; she watches the Packers there every Sunday.
"A Packers' Bar???????"
We'll be searching for another venue.
NBC has a countdown, marking the minutes, now the seconds, until the NFL season begins. Every second has a different man smiling at the camera. Mine is sitting on the couch, relaxed and energized at the same time.
It's a comfort to us both. He watches and I read. He plots plays and I peruse plots (sorry, I couldn't resist) and life is good. We can be together, doing exactly what we want to be doing, enjoying the other's company without really participating in an activity that is of marginal interest.
I try not to dwell on the memories of long hikes instead of long stories. It is what it is. It's not bad at all.
He'll be on the phone with Big Cuter, listening to statistics and prognostications and sharing his own certainties. They argue esoterica, but they are willing, even eager, to explain the basic details. I admit to feeling somewhat abashed when the notion that the runners and the catchers were the running backs and the receivers and that the really good ones were able to be both became clear to me.
That was an indication of the amount of thought that goes into my viewing. I'll admire a performance, a series of plays, an exciting moment, but I won't analyze the intricacies. It's color and spectacle and I'm not ashamed to say that I like the arrow superimposed on the field by some networks; it shows me which way the ball is moving. The boys see offense and defense; I'm relying on a graphic.
Hey, it works for me. Don't judge.
For the past ten years, last year's Super Bowl winner has opened its season at home. Tonight, the Ravens traveled to Denver, giving up home field advantage because the Orioles, with whom their stadium shares a parking lot, have a game tonight.
Who made these plans?
Baltimoreans may not be able to drive across town to see their team play, but they could still celebrate. There were fireworks over an empty stadium. I seem to be the only one who thought it was weird.
The game was played. The boys talked. I read a whole book on the Kindle. Apparently, Peyton Manning threw seven touchdown passes, tying the record. I was aware of them only because Big Cuter had picked Peyton and TBG had not. The phone rang all night long with my big boy's little boy-like jeers and taunts directed at his daddy.
No matter how old they get, boys do like to triumph over their fathers. It's a glee unlike any other. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them, and I love it.
Friday came and went. There were replays and pronouncements and preparations but there were no games. We watched old movies and West Wing and I read not a word. The phone didn't ring with delighted "I am the best!" announcements from our son.
I wouldn't call it lonely, but it wasn't the same.
Saturday morning and Lee Corso has a leprechaun hat on his head, though the Game Day crew was surrounded by booing Michigan fans. The rivalry has taken on a quasi-personal bent since SIR's family has melded with ours. They live right near South Bend's golden dome. His brother fills Facebook with cartoons reviling the blue and gold.
That's exactly the amount of involvement I choose to accept. I'll watch happily from the sidelines, peering over the top of the latest Faye Kellerman classic. College ball is fun but it doesn't capture the boys' interest in the same way as the professional game. It's background noise to nap by.
Michigan/Notre Dame turned out to be a much better game than we'd imagined, so Faye Kellerman and I kept company through the early evening. I had seventy-five pages left to the book I'd begun in the morning when Arizona's Wildcats met UNLV's Rebels on the field. The game was a rout, and TBG was ready for something new. He waited for the book to conclude; it seemed only fair.
Sunday had me up and out by 9am; I straggled home at 3-ish, having seen the Forty-Niners and the Packers on the giant screen at Union as Amster and I had lunch. TBG tried the Fox and Hound, but the noise was eclipsed only by the youthfulness of the crowd and the dearth of available seating.
It wasn't the end of the world, though. With only two televised games this afternoon, Red Zone showed the entire second quarter on the full screen. I left him at half time to type to you. There's another game this evening, which should give me plenty of time to get ahead on my posting so that I can travel to San Francisco tomorrow and visit my boy.
He offered to pick me up at the airport, but I'm landing during Monday Night Football and it just doesn't seem fair to ask.
Their teams won. The son's predictions were more brilliant, more prescient, more note worthy than those of his paternal unit, and the phone lines were heating up with his joy as the afternoon went on. By the time the Cowboys met the Giants, it was agreed that the kid is the smartest human in the universe.
It's nice when grown men hitting one another can bring my boy such joy.
I'm going to start another book now. The night is still young.