I don't usually post a whole lot about football around these parts, although in recent years, my Spartans have inspired me to wax rhapsodical from time to time. But this weekend was a kind of football-ish harmonic convergence around here. You would be very kind to indulge me. . .
7M is a high-school junior, and a linebacker for his school's football team. He's pretty darn good (if I may say so myself), and is usually among the leading tacklers for his team. It never gets old, hearing your son's name called over the PA, I tell you.
His team has had a really good season so far, going undefeated, winning their league championship, and qualifying for the state playoffs, besides. This Friday night past, they played another undefeated, highly-ranked team, and won, 27-22. It was the only game all year that they won by less than 30 points. It was actually kinda fun to watch a game that wasn't played with a running clock for most of the second half. . .
The team is sufficiently highly ranked that it wouldn't be a surprise for them to be playing in the domed stadium in Detroit over Thanksgiving weekend (ie, for the state championship). There being four rounds of games to win before that comes to pass, I'll stop short of counting any unhatched chickens. But it's been a fun ride so far. . .
8M played football for the first time in his life this fall. He hasn't been as athletically-inclined as his brothers, and I'm fine with that; he sure doesn't have to have athletic success in order to please me. He has his own really unique personality, and his own set of unique skills and proclivities that make him a really interesting and fun person in his own very estimable right; we're glad to have him in our family, no matter how stunned we were to find ourselves expecting our eighth child deep into our 40s, all those years ago. . .
Anyway, it's been a lot of fun, watching him learn to play the game, progressing from "Where am I? What am I supposed to be doing? I have no clue. . ." to understanding his assignments, and making plays. Last week, he got his name called over the PA for the first time (he made a tackle), and in today's game, he actually carried the ball a couple times. Mind you, I'm not so much living vicariously through the success he's had (such as it is), as I am proud of him making the effort, and learning to do something that he started out utterly clueless of. Very cool. . .
And just for the sake of saying so, I have to mention the way my Spartans man-handled the hated Wolverines over the weekend, the sixth time we've beaten them in the last seven games. Truth to tell, I didn't think that the Spartans played all that well, certainly far short of their best. But even so, they dominated the blue-corn guys from start to finish. It's a sign of how strong our team is, I suppose, that they can dominate their rival while still not playing their best.
I'm still getting used to this whole rivalry-dominance thing. Our friends from down the road have had far more success against us, in my adult lifetime, than we've had against them (though we pretty much owned them in my childhood; just sayin'). I'm just glad (*shedding a small tear*) to have lived long enough to see the tables turned, at least for a while. . .
And then this morning, the Lions played the Sunday Brunch Special from Wembley Stadium in London. That's London, in the UK, not Ontario. Five time zones to the east of here. NFL marketing-types, gotta love 'em. . .
The Leos started out terrible, trailing 21-0 at halftime. But they turned the tables in the second half and ended up pulling out a 22-21 victory on a last-second field goal (some real bizarre doings in those final seconds, which I'll decline to discuss in detail, but it did make things, um interesting).
I'm not quite ready to start calling them "MY Lions" just yet (6-2 and leading the division has gone down in flames too often, too recently, for me to jump on the bandwagon quite this soon). But this could yet turn into one of the better years of my own personal memory. . .
So, lots of football this weekend, all the way from middle-school, to high school, to major-college, to the pros. And all of 'em went according to my own humble rooting interests, which was nice.
And the weather in these parts was spectacular this weekend - mid-60s, brilliant sunshine, cloudless azure skies. . . So I put another 32 miles on my bike, bringing me to 876 miles for the year. Barring any nasty weather wiping out entire weekends, I should just sneak past 1000 before the snow flies. But, we will see what we will see. . .