Football has the capacity to consume. That is certainly the case with the members of our family who register important dates (weddings and births) as before, during or after The Season. Our kids recall their grades in school by which team their dad was coaching, and remember crisp fall Saturdays spent traveling to college games.
Now we focus on Friday night lights as our lovely granddaughter cheers for the high school team coached by her dad, and on Saturdays when three grandsons play on middle school and youth league teams.
At one point the oldest was the quarterback for his team; his brother was a receiver for his, and their cousin played center causing their proud Papa to say, “Only the best players get to actually touch the ball.”
The youngest two (The Rocket and The Jayhawker) visited last week during fall break, and I took the opportunity to interview the nine-year old Jayhawker about his views on his favorite sport. (The eight year old Rocket was interviewed last summer).
While both are football fans, the Jayhawker once clarified their difference, “I watch ESPN every morning instead of cartoons. I’m not a Curious George kind of guy.”
His interest gives him insight into who is doing what and how well when it comes to football.
Here are some of his answers to the questions I posed.
I had no idea who Teddy Bridgewater was so I Googled him, and apparently his poise dignity and accuracy make him a possible number one NFL draft choice after his college days as a Louisville Cardinal.
“The best quarterback in the NFL is Peyton Manning because he can make any pass on target whether it’s five yards or fifty yards.”
I know this quarterback legend and agreed wholeheartedly with my grandson’s assessment.
“The best college team is Alabama because they usually cannot be beaten. (But they might get beaten sometime.)”
Coach Butch Jones is building a Tennessee team that will give the Tide a run for next year, but as of this season the grandkid is probably right.
“The best NFL team is the Broncos because Peyton Manning can carry his team to victory anytime.”
Any team-anytime! Not only football teams, but he’s now taken Papa John’s Pizza to victory.
“On offense, the most important player is the center because without a center they wouldn’t get a play off to get yardage.”
At this point the Rocket commented, “Now that’s music to my ears”.
“Defense makes a good team because without a good defense the other team would be scoring all day long. The most important player on defense is the safety because without a safety the quarterback might throw it long and the wide receiver might shake off the cornerback and the linebacker might not catch him and the wide receiver would make a touchdown.”
The teacher in me rejoiced in his ability to think at a higher level and to see the big picture.
“My favorite running back is Jamal Charles because he plays for the Chiefs, and he can run fast and shake off tackles.”
It’s that kind of Texas running back that caused me to be ungracious to Texas A & M when they entered the SEC.
“My most favorite quarterback is Tim Tebow because on and off the field his heart is glad.”
A glad heart speaks much louder than words.
“My favorite wide receiver is Calvin Johnson, Jr. He is very athletic and tough. He can catch and run with the ball.”
Those qualities are reflected in his salary.
“In college, my first favorite team is the Florida Gators because of Tim Tebow and my dad’s parents went there. My second favorite is the Kansas Jayhawks because I was born in Lawrence, Kansas. My third favorite team is the Tennessee Vols because my papa went there and was a very good running back.”
Our efforts to move the Vols into first place in his heart have obviously failed, but we will not give up!
“My first favorite NFL team is the Chiefs because I was born in Kansas. My second favorite is the Tennessee Titans because now I live in Tennessee. My third favorite team in the NFL is the Redskins because I am a fan of RGIII.”
Their Papa’s offer of ice cream brought the interview to an abrupt halt as both boys headed for the kitchen.
In her journal Mother wrote, “Trust God to deliver in His own unique way. He begins with the impossible and goes on from there.”
Football is really a life lesson full of opportunities to learn how to behave as well as how not to, but for our grandsons it provides an opportunity to learn how to be part of a team while dreaming of being the next Peyton Manning or Jamal Charles playing in front of thousands of cheering fans.
Who knows, that maybe exactly the plan He has for them.