Are You Ready for Some Football?

There are a number of news stories that are roiling this summer. They include the debt limit, the troubles in Syria, Libya and the rest of the Middle East, and the media scandal in Britain. While I am interested in all of these stories to a varying extent, the story that I am most interested in is the NFL Lockout.
Am I lame? The ramifications of the debt crisis are tremendous and affect my life now and in the future. I truly hope a reasonable solution is worked out and certainly have an opinion on the issue. The crisis in the Middle East is not confined there and ultimately affects the safety of us here in America. Will the will of the people be respected? Will these people that are striving to overthrow repressive governments be more reasonable in terms of their behavior towards the West? The British media scandal, while seemingly contained to Britain, leads one to wonder if and how often it happens here in America. Could the media be going beyond their limits in striving to put out breaking news? The intensity of competition can force people and companies to act in irresponsible and potentially dangerous ways. Yes, each of these stories is relevant and important.
I love football. I love sports in general, but I have a soft spot for football. Maybe, it is a hard spot. I think if somehow my hometown team, the Eagles, won the Super Bowl, I would feel euphoric – at least for a moment (between the brief offseason and a new victor being crowned every year, only a moment to savor that victory). I just miss the sport. Games have not been canceled because of the strike – that would mean lost money and neither side wants that. What has been lost or shortened is the offseason happenings. There is free agency, rookie camps, etc. Many may not care about this as the casual fan does not take notice till early September. For us fanatics, the season starts much earlier.
So, I am ready for the NFL season – make a deal! Then, I can worry about the other stuff – the US defaulting, the Middle East in turmoil, and the over-reaching press. On second thought, maybe, I can live without football for a little while longer.

Birthday Contentment

My birthday is today. My family and I did not do anything particularly special today. I am completely fine with that. I really am. It feels good to be able to say that and mean it.
It was just another day. Don’t get me wrong – there were some fun non-typical elements. I got surprised by my wife and children when I walked in the door this morning. There were balloons, cards, and presents. I like presents. At one point, there was a trip to get ice cream. Tis a good thing. In the evening, we got together with friends of ours who we see infrequently. It was great to see them. So, while there were some nice happenings today, there was nothing extraordinary. And, I am fine with that. I had a nice day.
When I was younger, I remember coming down the stairs in my house the day after my birthday party. It was hands down the saddest day of my year. I would look around and see whatever decorations were left, some remnants of wrapping paper, and burned out candles and think to myself there are 364 more days till I get to have another birthday party. It might as well have been forever.
It’s been a long time since I was nine. I don’t need the attention. I am indifferent towards getting older (well, at least I am this year). After the cards, presents, and phone calls, it’s another day. I am content to enjoy a nice day. Contentment feels good.


“They said he was the worst kick ball player ever.”


“BR said,” my wife continues as we are lying in bed “that the kids said he is the worst kickball player ever.”

“Who said it,” I replied angrily? When I hear this, my first reaction is to yell at all the kids or even worse.

“He didn’t say names. He just said a bunch of kids.”

I buzzed my wife to give me more details about BR and what occurred. “Yes, he is unhappy about it.  No, he didn’t say anything back at them. I don’t know why he didn’t say anything back at him. I told him next time someone says something mean to him, he should use his voice and tell them to stop just like Flat Stanley (children’s book) did. He is anxious for Tuesday.  Because on Tuesday, he is going to be the captain of the team.”

Now, I am worried about Tuesday.  I don’t want him to embarrass himself, feel bad about the situation, or be over anxious. I was solid at sports as a child. In fact, sports was the activity where I felt most comfortable.  My shyness melted away and an aggressive comfortable me burst out.  I worried that my children would inherit my shyness and struggle because of it. I did not worry about sports. Isn’t it enough that children tend to inherit their parents’ weaknesses – do they have to add their own?  Well, both BR and my younger son, SJ have o.t. issues and are not particularly coordinated. Deep down, their lack of sports prowess has been a bit of a disappointment, but ultimately, it is not important. My wife and I did not reproduce, so I can have someone to have a catch with.

I will practice with BR before his big day, I promise myself. We’ve practiced sports before, but it usually doesn’t go very well. He doesn’t want to listen. I grow frustrated. He gets frustrated. One of us slams the door while heading back inside the house while the other is left outside shaking their head and mumbling. There goes my father of the year award. I promise myself that this time I will try and be extra patient.  I hope it works, I hope he is happy, and I hope he knows I love him.

Room for Debate?

What is the Kletzky family thinking? It is night time, and they need to sleep. They’ll wake up tomorrow, and their son will still be gone to a horrible death.  What are they feeling now? Everyone has an opinion. Their grizzly family tragedy is news that the whole city and many more are aware of and discussing.  People are judging and considering what they would have done.  

My older son is seven, and there is no way I want him walking on his own through our neighborhood. I find it hard to believe any child that age is ready for that level of responsibility.  So, maybe, the parents were wrong in their decision to allow their son to walk on his own. We don’t know the parents, will never know the boy, and despite the insipid news stories, the public will never really know why the family made the decisions that they did. Ultimately, these details do not matter and are unimportant.  There is only one thing that matters in this case – an innocent little boy was murdered.  He was taken and brutally murdered by a deranged man.  The perpetrator of the crime is the only person at fault here. This tragedy is his fault, and no one else’s!  Any other viewpoint is akin to blaming the victim. 

People will draw conclusions from what has occurred. Maybe some people will decide to be more protective of their children and worry even more about what or who is lurking.  I suppose that has its good points but the lack of belief in our fellow man, the need to always be there for our children when maybe they need a little freedom is not a good thing. We get to debate this, while the Kletzky family tries to sleep, and find the strength to live on.