Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Vikings Ate My Homework

Last week was the first week of football for the NFL. Millions of people sat on their couches or recliners with a bowl of chips or popcorn, drinking pop or beer and watched their favorite team. Some people do not care for football. Lady Di and Sweet Pea are two of them. Number One Son and I cannot understand that. We love to watch football. Mainly, the Minnesota Vikings. If the Viking game is over, which it often is by halftime, we will switch over to the Packers or Bears or Lions game. These are the teams we follow.

Now I wouldn't call myself a fanatic. If I miss a game, it isn't 'Life or Death'. If Lady Di really wants to watch "Bridezillas" or the "Creative Napkin Folding show" on HGTV, I will usually let her. I may go to the upstairs television or listen to the radio in the garage, but it is no big deal. Plus, listening to games in the garage rocks! But it does lack a bathroom.

Since the Viking team as been in a rebuilding mode for the last couple of years, the games have been less than stellar anyway. I usually get a couple loads of laundry folded while watching. Sweet Pea can usually beat me at a few games of Chutes and Ladders too.

I think what I enjoy most is the inactivity of watching football. I look forward to the Sunday game because it means I will have 2 to 3 hours of being lazy. Nothing to lift. Nothing to fix. Nothing to think about. I have vivid junior high memories of laying on the floor with a bowl of popcorn watching football with my dad or grandfather. When I was young, our family's Sunday routine was, church in the morning, followed by Sunday School, then usually a rather large Sunday lunch. My favorite was fried chicken. Then getting a big pillow to crash into and enjoy Tommy Kramer blow up at the referees. The big meal and comfy couch usually rendered us unconscious by the third quarter.

I'm not claiming that our Sundays were very productive. But they were family time. We would talk about the game, but that would always lead to many other topics of conversation. We would talk about school, music, news or any other issue that would come up. The game itself was not really what was important. The fact that our family would congregate every Sunday to enjoy each other's company was the important thing. At Thanksgiving we would travel three whole blocks to Gramma Peg's house and I would listen to the adults while watching the Detroit Lions. Even though not much got accomplished during the game, I don't see it as time wasted. I miss those times from my childhood.

Even as Sunday afternoons were some of my favorite times of the week, Sunday nights were my least favorite time of the week. I still feel uncomfortable and edgy on Sunday nights. I know it comes from not doing my homework for school during the week. Knowing it was due on Monday morning, I still would procrastinate and force myself to finish my homework on Sunday night. I hated the anxious feeling I would get when it would get close to supper time. Then I knew I only had a few hours left before bed. More than once, I was caught without proper resources and the library closed. This was before the Internet, of course. You know, the 'Stone Age'.

Now those days of homework and cramming for tests are behind me. But I still feel depressed on Sunday nights. I think it is because on Sunday night, the weekend is down to the last few grains of sand in the hourglass, and I feel like I didn't get enough done. I know there are jobs around the house that are not going to meet their deadline.

Which brings me back to football. I'm a little conflicted about making similar memories for my family now. Do I want a tradition of sitting in front of the television every Sunday noon for five months? Will my kids grow up to be procrastinators and thereby ruining Sunday nights for them as well? Right now, I think any excuse to be together as a family works for me. I think a few Sundays per month won't hurt. I might even learn to fold some awesome napkins.


Above Average Joe said...

I remember as a kid being over my grandparents house watching the Patriots or Giants. Dinner was always at halftime of the first game and we were back in front of the tv by the end of the 3rd quarter. In some ways it seemed like tradition and I'm not sure either if its something I want to continue.

pixie said...

When football's on, Hubby watches TV, while I go shopping. That way, Hubby's happy, and I'm happy.

Joeprah said...

Football was stolen from our town (Baltimore) when I was but a lad. My dad and his dad were both insane Colts fans and when we got the Ravens we all just kinda went nuts all over again. Its all about the food. If you can friends involved so the ladies have another lady to talk to than it works. I enjoy the fball, just family first mostly. That means my daughters have jerseys, so does the wife. Gotta include 'em or it gets ugly. Good luck this season with your teams!

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.