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Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Not the real Cranky...stunt Cranky
I used to be a sports fanatic.  If the Yankees lost in a post season game I would be in a funk for days.  If the Giants and Jets both lost on the same Sunday, I would feel bad for a week.  When my older sons played high school and college football my heart would be in my mouth for every play.  (Sorry Mary Beth, I didn’t see your tennis matches, I was at work.  I did sit through some wicked cold softball games.)

Lately, I root for my teams, but if they lose I don’t take it badly…at least not for very long.  Except for when my son is playing.

My youngest, Spencer, is playing football in his senior year of high school.  When your son is involved you first root for him to not get hurt.  Next you root for him to not make any major mistakes.  Then you root for him to play well.  Of course you root for the team to win.  Finally, you hope that your son makes a big play to win the game.

My son is in Massachusetts, or as I call it the state with the missing “R.” (Think Paak yaah caah.)  I live six hours away.  It is a major event to see him play in a game.  Mostly I have to “watch” on my computer.  There is a site that updates the score as the game is played.  It is usually about 45 minutes behind.

On Friday nights I am glued to the computer.  Every ten minutes I go to the web site, refresh, and hope to see something good happen.  Several hours after the game there is another web site that allows me to see a replay of the game.

This week, Spencer’s team, North Andover played Methuen.  Every time I refreshed the site, the score changed. 

7-0 NA

7-7 tie

14-7 NA

14-14 tie

14-21 M

21-21 Tie at the half

21-28 M

28-28 tie

28-35 M

34-35 M

34-35 M FINAL


This was a tough one, and now I had to wait several hours for the game to be available in replay.  Spencer plays almost exclusively on defense as a cornerback. With the team giving up 35 points there was a good chance he did not have a good game.

It turns out he played very well.  All the points against them came on the other side or up the middle.  Spencer pretty much bottled up runs to his side, and there was very little passing.  He had ten tackles, five where he stopped the runner in his tracks and two shoe string lunges that stopped big gainers.

In the fourth quarter with the clock running down, NA intercepted a tipped pass.  I was curious how NA would score their last TD, and with Spencer on the bench I could at least relax.

On fourth and ten, the NA quarterback dropped back to throw and just before he got clobbered let go a beautiful pass.  The receiver, five yards ahead of two defenders, made a nice over the shoulder catch without breaking stride and galloped another forty yards to complete a 70 yard touchdown.

Who made the catch?  That gait looked familiar.  I ran it back.  The receiver wore white gloves.  Spencer wears white gloves.  The number was blurred…1 something.  Spencer is number 18.  Run it again…stop…wait…run it…stop…NO SHIT!  Number 18.  Spencer was in on a rare offensive play and he made the touchdown catch that almost won the game…almost…on the extra point they went for two and were stopped.
Spencer's catch.  
Picture quality is not too good.

My son did not get hurt. CHECK

He did not make any mistakes. CHECK

He played really well. CHECK

The team lost a heartbreaker. No check

He made the touchdown catch that gave them a chance to win.  Almost check

Dad did not get to sleep until 4 am.

Next week we are driving north to watch his game from the stands.

I am getting too old for this!*

*It gets worse, I just checked the newspaper account of the game, and a backup QB whose number is not on the roster was incorrectly given credit for Spencer's catch.  ARRRRGH!!


  1. I would do that for my son too :-)

  2. I think I was born too old to sit in the stands of any sport. Congrats to your son on his play!

  3. Kids are yours until you die. We root for them, worry about them, love them and give up time for them and I would write the editor of that newspaper to make a correction.

    1. Do it--Spencer should put it in his scrapbook!!

  4. You sound like one proud poppa, and with good reason.

  5. It must be so fun watching him play (even if it's on a computer screen). Make sure you are rowdy enough to embarrass him when you go to the game next week.

  6. As we say around here when the games get so close as to be nail biters, are these kids being paid off by the local cardiologists to drum up business!?!

  7. How cool!

    May I add that my college, Texas Tech, aka "Harvard on the Plains", is in DESPERATE need of some good defensive players, and on offense they are always in the top 5, with a wickedly good passing game. He could probably write his own ticket. Just sayin'. ;)

  8. Oh the last part was the worst part. Only the inner circle knows that Spencer did this great works. Yes, I can see where you're too old for this, but you're proud and you should be.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  9. Just as well you weren't actually there -- you'd have had a nervous breakdown! Well done, Spencer!

  10. We never stop being proud of our kids(and grand kids), even when we get older. It may be hard to keep score or even stay up through the game,but when results are out (or in) we will be proud of our children win or loose. Winning obviously is something to be proud of and loosing still proud for trying.

  11. That was one nail biter game and how cool that your son almost won it. Be proud Cranky. I really like the order in which you root. Wish all fans felt that way even when they don't have a son in the game.

  12. I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan for many years when I was a kid. The 1951 season taught me the "agony of defeat" and many of their years taught me not to suffer for a lost season. As we used to say, "wait 'til next year!"

  13. NO! That's even worse than not getting credit for buying a big salad! At least you got to see it on your computer. If you only read the paper, you would have missed his touchdown.

  14. Australia is a whole continent with the missing R, except for the visiting yankee tourists. We don't pronounce our Rs and a lot of the time our Ts get lost too, we put 'buddah on our bread and drink waddah with our meals, and so on. Australian "English" is very lazy.

  15. Oops, I meant 'wardah' not waddah. (water)

  16. That was a heartbreaker. Spencer did his part and more. I'd be proud too.

  17. Years from now the score won't matter one bit - only that Spencer had a dad who was proud of him and watched his games like a hawk - whether from the stands or on that computer thingie! He'll remember how good it felt - and then go on to do the same for his own kids.