There’s Two of You Now

Geno Smith
Geno Smith: Ryan has some advice for you. What? You can’t hear him through the TV? (Photo credit: slgckgc)

Sunday afternoon, our house. Ryan has decided to watch the Jets game. He knows it’s a key contest for the Jets if they have any hope of making the playoffs.

It doesn’t go well.

The next two-plus hours, before Ryan gives up and switches to hockey (long after most Jets fans had left the stadium, by the looks of things on TV) are filled with loud complaints about the Jets’ play — none of which are inaccurate, I might add.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HOW CAN YOU NOT STOP HIM?

LET’S GET A STOP, JETS! GET OFF THE FIELD!

DO YOU EVEN KNOW YOU NEED TO WIN THIS GAME TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?

Veronica comes and goes, running errands, doing housework. She pops her head in the living room occasionally to see how things are going.

She knows.

She knows that even though both our teams are losing (I was watching my favorite team, Tampa Bay, put on an equally inept performance on my iPad so I could be with Ryan) this time makes me so happy. It’s more time for Ryan and I to spend together, engaged in a common interest. It’s proof that his nascent interest in football, while nowhere near as strong as his love of hockey, isn’t going away.

She and I make eye contact. She smiles. She knows. Still, there’s something that bothers her. Ryan is yelling at the TV again. He is growing increasingly frustrated with the Jets’ rookie quarterback, Geno Smith. He is, once again, spot on. Smith will be benched after halftime.

THROW THE BALL, GENO! GET. RID. OF. THE. BALL!

“Oh my God,” she says. “There’s two of you now! I can’t take this!”

She is smiling as she says it.

Yes, my son has become me when he watches a football game, proof that children learn by modeling their parents. I might have a habit of offering advice to my team’s players through the TV screen. I might know that it sounds ridiculous, but I do it anyway.

There are things I hope to pass on to my son: Wisdom. Decency. A sense of fairness. Passion for the things one cares about (sports included).

Yelling at the TV? That wasn’t on the list, but I take pride in it nonetheless. A small confirmation that my son — no matter his challenges — and I are far more similar than we are different.

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8 thoughts on “There’s Two of You Now

  1. I love this. You know, there are worse things…. I share the “coaching” trait with you. I yell at my Packers, too. And I have a lot to yell about these days.

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    1. Riley is nominally a Packers fan. Every Sunday she asks if RODGERS!!! is playing, and when told “no,” immediately loses interest. Sometimes I wish I could be a casual fan like that, but it’s not in my DNA. I’m not even going to go into what Saturday’s Michigan-Ohio State game looked and sounded like in my living room.

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      1. That had to have been insanity. I know how it went down at our house..and we didn’t have a vested interest. I have no idea how they pulled that off!!!

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      2. I may — or may not — have ended up face down on the floor after the failed two-point tray. You can’t prove it (because I made Riley stop filming me around the time of the second quarter brawl). Still, loved the decision to go for two and the win, loved the fight Michigan showed all day (and wondered where it had been much of the year).

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