As I was driving home with my son and daughter from school and their friends piled into the minivan, my son said he was going to finish his homework right away because he said “Today is the perfect day.” So I asked for what. He replied with big smile on his face, “FOOTBALL.”
For a moment, the old man wrinkle in my brow came across my face as the wipers were frantically throwing the rain drops off my windshield. I told him no way was I going out in the rain. I just drove 2 1/2 hours to and from Kansas City for the Big 12 media day and I was cold and exhausted. Then it hit me. He’s right. It had been raining all day. It was 50 degrees. Yeah, we could throw the football around.
Ryan and I made up our own game where we have four chances to move the ball the length of our yard. If we can do it, we get a touchdown. If not, the invisible Green Bay Packers or Minnesota Vikings get a touchdown.
As we win games, we slowly lengthen the field until we start halfway into our neighbors’ yard as we play for the Super Bowl! I was the quarterback and he was the receiver, cutting, slipping, diving, splashing for every ball that was close…even when he didn’t have to dive he was getting down and dirty for each pass. It was fun. It reminded me of when I was younger. I did the same things. Whether it was me and another friend or ten of us getting together on the freshmen field at our high school, there is nothing better than playing football in the rain or mud in late October.
It is a rite of passage for any American kid. My daughter Allyson, who loves softball, basketball, and volleyball even goes out and plays football with us, but she elected to stay inside this time. Not the next. She will be out there in the rain slipping and sliding just like the rest of us.
By the way, we came up just short of winning the Super Bowl. The old man QB couldn’t get the job done, so he told the young rookie he would have to take over. He drove our offense down the yard and got us to 4th and goal. His quick pass was a little behind his old man who reached behind him and tipped the ball in the air only to have it slip from his grasp as his back landed in a big puddle. Man, that was fun.