Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Football with the Boys

I only know one football play. Flea flicker. Maybe two. Is the Statue of Liberty play where you pretend to throw the ball but instead somebody (hopefully on your own team) takes it and runs with it? If so, I know that one, too.

Johnny and Richie, on the other hand, know thousands.

So when I'm the quarterback in our front yard, I let them make the plays. The trouble is, I have a hard time following what they're saying. To me, it sounds like, "When you say, 'Down set,' I'm going to go over here and then go over there, then marry a mare, then dairy a dare, then harry a hair..."

I just nod. Then I throw it wherever they seem to be. Usually I'm wrong.

Johnny will say, "Remember? I was going to fake the catch at the sidewalk but really catch it at the bushes."

"But when you got to the sidewalk you said to throw it."

"I said that to throw off the defense."

"I thought you were throwing off the defense by pretending to throw off the defense." I can never remember which he's doing.

With Richie it's a little easier. In the huddle, he covers his mouth with his hands, I guess to prevent the defense (Johnny) from reading his lips. This makes him totally inaudible. Luckily, he makes a series of hand motions that I can usually understand. I'm guessing that Johnny can, too. But I have to say, Richie's verbal fakeouts work pretty well.

The other day, he ran behind me, saying in a John Madden announcer voice, "He fakes the handoff!" He actually faked me out and I almost didn't give him the ball, but he grabbed it and ran for a touchdown.

I call that play The Quarterback Has No Clue.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Cheese Game

Last year, when the Chiefs were having a building year, we were offered four tickets to go to the game--twice. This usually doesn't happen, but we were glad it did. (Even though we're hoping the Chiefs are so good this year that nobody gives away tickets.)

So the other day, in the car, Johnny asked, "Do you think we'll go to a Chiefs game again this year?"

"A Chees game?" Richie asked.

Now, for the boys, "Chiefs" and "Chees" sound the same. F's on the end of words are silent. I remember Johnny's teacher, when he was three, said he had a speech impediment, and I thought, "Don't all three year olds? That's why they're preschoolers instead of news anchormen." But the r's and f's are still a challenge.

Richie said, "I've never been to a Chees game."

"Yeah you have," Johnny said. "We went last year."

"I know what a Chees game is," Richie said. "But I've never been to one."

Finally, I realized he was saying "Cheese Game."

"What is a Cheese Game?" I asked.

"It's where they roll the cheese down the hill and eat it," Richie said.

Figuring he had guessed what a cheese game would entail if there was such a thing, I nodded and said, "That sounds delicious."

Then Johnny said, "Yeah, but it's really dangerous."

"Yeah," Richie agreed. "Really dangerous."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because the hill is steep," Richie said.

"Sometimes they fall and break their bones," Johnny added.

"This year the hill was steeper than ever," Richie said.

I was dumbfounded. There is apparently a game that my sons watch every year that involves cheese and broken bones, and this was the first I was hearing of it.

Usually, because the boys like to chat, I know what they're interested in. For instance, I know that the Steelers have won the most Super Bowls. That Pikachu isn't that great of a Pokemon. He's famous because he's Ash's pokemon. I know that, in J.J.'s class, one boy is spending time in time out, much to J.J.'s delight. (Why do preschoolers get so excited when other preschoolers get in trouble? I guess it's just good gossip.)

But now comes a Cheese game I only heard about by chance. I guess, as the kids get older, there will be lots of things they watch or hear about that are a mystery to me. They'll share a culture with their friends, not their parents, which is how all kids are. But this one I had to see for myself. I asked Richie for more details.

He said, "The Chees Roll is as big as the Super Bowl. Even babies go. Even though there are a lot of injuries."

He didn't know where it happened, but I assumed England.

The injuries seemed to be what stuck out the most in Richie's mind. After finding the Annual Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling and Wake on YouTube, I understood why. You can see it here.