Happy Labor Day everyone.
Just a short post for today as I suspect most people are staying as far away from their typically connected-all-the-time lives as possible. I know I am.
If you’ve been reading here for a while, you may have picked up that as much as I love hockey, I am also more than slightly obsessed with college football. I attended the University of Michigan, one of the sport’s most tradition-rich programs, and I treat the opening day of each new season as my own personal national holiday.
Well this past weekend wasn’t just any opening game for Michigan. The Wolverines were matched up against defending national champion Alabama in the marquee contest of the entire weekend. I briefly considered taking the entire family to Dallas for the game, but quickly scrapped the idea. Cost, time, and a lack of interest from my kids were all factors I considered. I also suspected the game might not go all that well.
Understatement of the year:
But as depressing as the 41-14 drubbing administered by the Tide to my beloved Wolverines was, I found a couple of positives to take from the experience.
1) I won a gift certificate to a Michigan fan shop in a Twitter trivia contest during the game
2) Ryan watched some of the game with me!!!
I had been prodding both kids all day to watch with me, but neither showed much interest. Then, as the 8 p.m. kickoff neared, Ryan suddenly declared that he would watch. It wasn’t a ploy to stay up late — Ryan always puts himself to bed when he gets tired — but it might have been one to get more ice cream.
Still, he sat, watched, asked questions, reacted to what was happening on the screen. This is one of several recent instances of him showing an interest in football. This thrills me both because it’s something else we can share, but also because it represents a softening of his typical attitude of “if I like hockey I can’t possibly like any other sport.”
He didn’t last long. Ryan quickly tired and asked to go to bed. But he stuck around long enough to realize that Michigan was in trouble in the game. When I tucked him in, he wished me good luck and then told me he thought Michigan was probably going to get its [butt] kicked. Maybe he was paying more attention than I realized.
I wouldn’t put much stock in this interaction, except that when Ryan woke up Sunday morning, the first question he asked me, the very first one, was “Dad, what was the score?”
A sure sign of a genuine interest. As Veronica rolled her eyes, I quickly asked if he wanted to go to a game in Ann Arbor this fall (it would be his second such trip). He didn’t dismiss it outright. In fact, he said he preferred to do that than stay home and have to go one of Riley’s soccer games.
So there’s hope this is more than a fleeting moment, that we will share some Saturdays on the couch watching Michigan football this fall.
And that definitely takes some of the sting out of what Alabama did to my team on Saturday.