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So when Becky first mentioned that Jackson was playing junior pro football and thought Neill might also like to play … I just continued talking right over her.
You see, we are soccer people. We practice once a week…weather permitting. Play our soccer games in the morning…weather permitting. And hand out snacks and a fruity drink once the game is over. It’s such a civilized sport.
When I wouldn’t take the football bait, Becky did what she always does when I ignore her. She called Brody directly. Next thing I knew soccer was out and football was in!
“But we are soccer people,” I tried to explain to my husband. “We don’t like football.”
“No,” he insisted. “Your family are soccer people ….because you are all short. Neill is going to be – at least average height – and he wants to play football.”
“My people are average height.” I shot back.
“Not by American standards.” he continued to assert.
As I was about to give him a piece of – my five foot two and a half inch – mind, I noticed my little boy was already trying on his football shoulder pads and football pants. The look on his face was pure excitement. Not to mention the utter joy on his father’s face when Neill looked up at him and said, “Did you wear these when you played football, Daddy?”
I knew then and there, soccer was a thing of the past.
The first difference between soccer and football that I noticed, was that these football playing people are serious about their practices.
I mean in soccer – practice – seemed somewhat …optional.
But with football, I’m expected to get him to practice three times a week, rain or shine, for almost two hours at a time. And all the parents hover around, watching intensely, talking about defense and offense and plays.
I mean…not with me, but they do speak of such things…with each other.
The second difference between soccer and football is …the smell. A smell I’ve never in my life smelled before. A smell I can not get out of my car, Neill’s clothes and now …my house.
I’ve tried Febreeze, Lysol and Tide for Sports, in every strength on the market.
“Why does Neill’s football jersey smell like a vanilla?” my husband inquired before his first game.
“Thank goodness, it must be working!” I said in delight.
So Saturday, with temperatures hovering at 104 degrees, we had our first game. Becky was there, but she and I are no longer speaking. With my chair, umbrella, mister, sunglasses, sun hat and sunblock in hand, I tried with all my might to understand what was going on.
I think we scored a goal…or something. To be honest, I’m not really sure what happened. After suffering severe heat stroke, everything went black.
Of course, I hear from my soccer playing friends, their games were cancelled. God, I miss soccer.