This fall I’ve taken my kids to three college football games. One of the unintended consequences of this activity is that they think I don’t know a darn thing about how to play the game.
Take Saturday, for example. I take the kids to the park so we can play football. I divide everyone up into teams and hand the ball to my oldest kid. He gives me a quizzical look and hands the ball back to me.
“We can’t play yet,” he says.
“Why not?” I reply.
“Because we haven’t run out of the tunnel yet,” he says matter-of-factly.
Now it’s my turn to give him a quizzical look. “What are you talking about?”
“Before the game starts the players run out of the tunnel and you say what team you’re playing for.”
Now I get it. At the games I’ve taken them to, the teams run out of tunnels on the other side of the field. He wants to do the same thing.
“OK,” I say, “run out of the tunnel.
He and his brother run around the park and yell “Denver Broncos!” at the top of their lungs. They run back to me and I hand the ball to him.
“Hike the ball,” I said.
“We can’t Dad,” he said. “You haven’t run out of the tunnel yet.”
“I don’t need to—“
“All the teams run out of the tunnel,” he says. “Oh, and you’re the Indianapolis Colts.”
The Colts? I don’t want to be the Colts. I open my mouth to object but realize it could be worse. He could have asked me to be the Oakland Raiders.
So me and my daughter run around the field and let the world know we’re the Colts. When I get back to the ling of scrimmage the oldest hands me the ball.
“You start,” I tell him.
“No, Dad. You need to kick the ball to us.”
“They kick the ball off to start the game,” he says as tosses me the ball.
The kickoff. How could I forget that?
I walk back to the goal line. My boys back up. I kick the ball over their heads. Laughing, they both run after it. My oldest picks up the ball and I wrestle him to the ground. He jumps up and gets ready to hike the ball to his brother.
“We’re going to get a touchdown!” he says before hiking the ball.
Let the game begin.