Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I Heard

I was half awake, but here's what I caught on the morning news from a local radio station:

"Thanks for the memories -- there's lots of ones of 'em!"

On the plus side, this comment was made to a friend, and it was only a poor grammatic construct. On the minus side, it was recorded and broadcast because the speaker is the outgoing president of a major university. He's leaving his post here to become head of a national collegiate athletic association. (I won't name him here because I may have mis-heard his statement. Just covering my bases, so to speak.)

Golly gee whiz, we all say things that come out wrong. My mom used to say that she had foot-in-mouth disease. As a kid, I thought she should be able to guard her tongue better than that. It wasn't that she said anything foul -- in fact, she made a point of never swearing -- but either her timing or her content were sometimes very unfortunate. One time, visiting with folks after church, I heard her ask an older man, "Where's your big old fat wife?" His reply? "Right behind you."

Oh, mymymymymy. Unfortunate timing and content, indeed. Mom was always able to laugh at herself, but this was a biggie. She hadn't intended to say anything derogatory; she was just being silly, and out it came.

I did much the same thing recently. In a lighthearted moment, I said something that ended up sounding very racist. Me?! Racist? I'm too embarrassed to recount the details here, but it was one of those foot-in-mouth moments. I didn't realize the potential for harm in my comment until someone else reacted uncomfortably. Oh. (Unlike my mom, this is where I might have said, "Damn.") Well, the words were out, and I couldn't erase them.

The letter of James brings both a little reminder and a bit of comfort.

Let not many of you become teachers, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect person, able to bridle the whole body as well.

Teachers, public speakers, politicians, and people like me who know better. We all make slips of the tongue, and sometimes these errors are aired for many to hear. No one is perfect, but I'd better pay attention to the silly things I might say... before they escape my lips.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Football Time!

I thought you might enjoy this photo of me on the field at tonight's game. Isn't this a nice facility?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mustering the Gumption to Catch Up

Hot dog! Here we are again, ready to tackle a bit of writing. There are several things worthy of some catchup, so let's take them one at a time.

Today, more football!

My new scorebook is working well, although it needs a few minor design changes. After Week 2, I realized that there should be a master column/row for turnovers. (We had seven that night. It was ugly.) I plan to use the book as is this year, but at the end of the season I'll make up next year's model and get it printed while it's fresh in my mind. Coach O likes it, and the Athletic Director said, "You're the one doing the work -- it should be whatever you want!" I appreciated those affirmations.

For the first game of the season, my brother was visiting from the Midwest and got to patrol the sidelines with me. What a treat it was to be able to show my bro what I've been doing for about 20 years! We had fun chatting a little and watching the game. It was his first time ever on a varsity sideline. Pretty cool when you get to give your big brother a new experience! (He's way older than me, so aside from teaching him how to give me a bottle when I was a baby, I haven't had opportunity to expose him to many new skills in life.)

Week 2 of our season was an away game, but still at our district's stadium. It feels a little bit different to be on the other side of the field, but it's hard for me to remember is which locker room the guys are using. Not that I've ever been inside, but I'm used to them heading for the north room instead of the visitor's room on the south. Oh, well. The big deal this game, aside from losing big time and committing seven turnovers, was that the National Anthem singer's microphone didn't work. The kids got quiet enough that we could hear a little of her, all the way across the field, with no amplification. Cool! Eventually the home fans joined her, and by the end of the song the whole stadium was singing. The kids were kind of goofy about it, but it was a nice gesture anyway.

Week 3, this past weekend, was marred by rain. As I've noted before, I hate rainy games because I have to move up under cover to keep the book dry. But it's not all bad. This time, I stood next to Mr. F, who knows all three of my sons and remembered me from junior high conferences. Wow! He's a very nice guy, too. In football news, this other team is being led by its seventh head coach in ten years. Sad, sad. How can they ever feel like a team when everything keeps changing? But enough about them. My experience Friday night was filled with rain. Here's the rain, and then a shot of my view of the game from up at the top of the stands.

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The other good thing that happened because of the rain was that I found a couple more friends in the stands. Their daughter is now in the band, and their son is playing football in middle school. They could be around for several years! Cool -- someone else for me to say hi to and (if it rains again) people to sit with during the breaks.

Looking back over this post, it looks more like a report than a blog entry. Why do I care about high school football games? I love hearing the bands, I love the excitement of the games, I like the coaches and their wives, I love watching and listening to the players on the sidelines when no one else can hear them, and I get excited about everyone else's excitement. I'm not there to be noticed, and this is an activity that's definitely not about me. It's just fun, and I'm thankful to be allowed to be there.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Football! Football!! Football!!!

Bad news this week: Apparently no one in the Greater Puget Sound region has a football scorebook to sell.

Disclaimer: Okay, one store in Redmond had three books available. We drove up there to buy at least two of them, but stopped to look at the pages first. Uh, oh. These books might work well for college or professional ball, but high school football doesn't move fast enough to require one whole page per quarter. Since I do the offensive stats for both teams, that equals eight pages per game. Hey, it already takes me far too long to total everything up when each team is on one page!

Great news this week: Finally, after ten years of wishing, I took the plunge and designed my own scoresheet. Yay! Woo hoo! As with any standardized form, there were things on the old scorebooks that were great and things that I wanted to tweak. The form has to be easy for me to use, and also must be easy for the coaches to interpret later. I have no idea what Coach O will say when he sees my creation, but I'll do my best to butter him up when I drop the completed stats into our milk box tonight. (That's our routine -- I take the book home, tally up the numbers, my husband calls the media, and we leave the book in our milk delivery box so the coach can pick it up early the next morning. Very clandestine!)

Wish me luck with this endeavor. Coach O does not embrace change.

For your review, here's one of the old books and my new creation: