Friday, October 19, 2007

the great game

But, as tempting as it was, we ultimately didn't change our name to the Corn Jerkers.

A few weeks ago, the father of my son's best friend died. It was kind of weird for me to watch my son deal with that; talking to the other boy on the phone for so long, about nothing, really, but just trying to make things feel normal. And I could tell he was looking at me like he was thinking what things would be like if I died, too, when he was still so young.

Then, at the funeral, my son's friend took him off on an off-road joyride in a golf cart and rolled it over in front of all the gathered people and scared the hell out of everyone because the boys got pinned beneath it. They weren't hurt too bad, though, but my son did end up having to sit through the services with blood all over his shirt.

And, just when things were getting back to normal, the following Saturday my son broke his collarbone playing rugby. He was tough about it. His mother was upset, complaining that her little egg had been damaged.

But rugby's the greatest game there is. It involves all the best there is with athletics, and you get all these brushes with the unexpected; but there is nothing a coach can choreograph from the sidelines to help you solve your problems. You just have to get through them.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

being a jerk

Being a jerk is something I'm pretty dang good at.

A couple years ago we considered renaming our rugby team. So I did a search on the internet for team names. I found a football team from the Midwest called the Corn Jerkers.

OK... I know you're probably asking why anyone would want to call their team the Corn Jerkers.

But why wouldn't you want to be called a Corn Jerker?

You gotta wonder, though, what would be painted on the sides of their football helmets.

Think of how easy it would be to develop one-of-a-kind fan gear. Of course they'd have to have a mascot... something yellow and long and cylindrical to dance around on the sidelines and annoy people. Maybe he'd get random fans to come up and give him a jerk.

Maybe they'd have those big foam hands... only they'd be grasping big foam corn cobs and the fans would wildly jerk them up and down in the stands when their team made a big play.

And then there'd be the cheerleaders -- maidens of the Corn Jerk. You wouldn't even have to be very creative to devise some interesting dances for them, jerking their big corns and all. Because, of course, they wouldn't flail pom poms... they'd all have cob-shaped things in each hand. Oh yeah, when you're in the Corn Jerkers' house, be prepared to be taunted by hypnotic cheers like, "We are the mighty Corn Jerkers! We jerk and jerk and jerk!"

I guess just being called a Corn Jerker takes some of the sting off losing.