Given the choice, I'd much rather raise a nerd. But boys are boys, and posturing is posturing, so I'd like that nerd to at least know what a post-pattern is, even if he never actually runs one.
Football never came up as a discussion topic. Not even when the game was on. But then, a few months ago, he came home from a Don't Call It A Playdate having spent the afternoon playing NCAA 2K9 for the Wii. And he was exploding with questions. What's a zone blitz? How do you show trips right? WHAT IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY IS A NICKELBACK?
I found a copy of the game online for about six bucks, and he's enamored of it. Devising strategies, relishing big hits, and--since the Wii rewards kinetic activity--celebrating TDs like he just got Churched Up.
Then came the truly rapturous revelation that you can name every player anything you want. Which is pretty powerful catnip for the 10-year-old mind. (Just ask Michigan's new placekicker, Anus Apenuts.)
He studied the game intently. He learned what LOLB stands for, and began arguing pass-interference calls. But his interest had always fallen short of learning to throw an actual spiral.
Until this morning, when this child, this born-again exertophobe, challenged me to a game of touch football. He and his brother against me, winner take all. (He soon clarified that "all" had nothing to do with his Halloween candy.)
So I laced up my shoes and met my sons on our newly-raked gridiron, and early on, the going was tough. TwoBert was just happy to be along for the fun, and he had some difficulty as a wide receiver. Soon, however, it became apparent that he was much more suited for quarterback, and before it was over he'd thrown 11 TD passes in an 84-70 win.
The winners did take all. And the loser took all the Advil.