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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Ulysses S. Grant
Skylar had so much fun attending the Cal-Arizona men's basketball game last year that I decided to ask her whether she wanted to see Saturday's football contest. Since she has never expressed interest in the sport and her mother has nothing good to say about it, I figured the answer would be negative. Surprisingly, though, she was eager to have the experience.

I doubt if it's the first time this has happened in father-daughter relations, but I'm pretty sure that her interest was stoked by reading about the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and then seeing the shots of the stadium in the movie version.

At any rate, since we're going -- together with her beloved "Corn Sean" tommix -- I suggested we watch the last five minutes of last night's Louisville-Rutgers game. When we'd arrived home from AJ's, the Cardinals were already up 25-7 with a good portion of the second quarter to go. It was shaping up to be a huge rout.

But then something happened. And, as I made her dinner and mine while she played with her legos, the Rutgers defense finally started to show it's mettle and the offense found a way to score. By the time we sat down to watch the conclusion, the score was knotted at 25-all and the Scarlet Knights were driving.

I was taken aback by how quickly Skylar seemed to grasp the concept of needing a first down and even more startled by her obvious excitement at seeing the teeming red masses in the stands. So I started to give her some historical context for the home crowd's frenzy. "Rutgers played in the very first college football game, 137 years ago. That's only four years after Abraham Lincoln died. Amazingly, this is easily the most important game they've ever played."

Skylar made a "connection" to Quidditch, but also noted that there were lots of signs for Ray Rice, the Rutgers squad's Victor Krum. Finally, it was time for the Scarlet Knights' placekicker to attempt what would in all likelihood be a game-winning field goal.

"He has to be incredibly nervous," I told her, "because he knows that this will be the most important play in Rutgers history." Predictably, he missed it. But a Louisville offsides penalty gave him a chance to atone, which he did. Then came the kickoff and a single play from scrimmage before it was all over. All of sudden, the stands emptied onto the film. This was the moment Skylar had really been waiting for.

The motion of the crowd over the playing field made it look like a kaleidoscope. It was awesome and beautiful. And I'm so glad she got to share the moment with me. What a great way to be introduced to football.

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From: hipsandquips Date: November 10th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I used to watch football with my father when I was a little girl. I was (in most ways still am) the epitome of a daddy's girl. My father always joked about how much I liked it, as my mother went into labor during Monday Night Football.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 10th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm much more of a basketball and baseball fan, historically. But since my team -- alma mater, that is -- has become good at football, I'm following that more closely of late. I love watching any sport with Skylar. It's a little silly, I suppose, but still feels great. Of course, I also like discussing Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings with her.
From: hipsandquips Date: November 10th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Haha, you sound like my father's much younger twinsie. He's read the LOTR triology once a year since the 70s, I got him into HP back when I first started college.

I'm a baseball (Red Sox since I was a small child) and rugby fan. I played rugby for 3 years in college and miss in terribly. I'll watch football with my father on occassion still (Superbowl, holidays).
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Rugby is great, but I don't fully understand it. It's nice to be able to bond over sports, as my daughter and I did today, even if they are taken more seriously than they should be.
siyeh From: siyeh Date: November 10th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That moment may have happened a little later for me, when my dad offered to take me to the Ohio State Notre Dame game in 1995 (the first match up in 60 years). I remember how awesome it was still. I was 15.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
She had a blast, even though the result was depressing and possible the result of larceny at the hands of an officiating crew that seemed to be trying to make good for the Oklahoma-Oregon debacle by giving a gift to Bob Stoops's younger brother. Ahem.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: November 10th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Love this post!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks! It was a great experience, even if I'm pissed off and depressed.
From: thewhitaker Date: November 10th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Are you agreeable to a getting-together this evening? Perhaps Belushe's? I'd like to have this happen before your alma mater eviscerates Arizona tomorrow afternoon. I can't shake the memory of watching from the stands two years ago as Aaron Rogers sexually assaulted us. Couple that with UC-Berkeley's ridiculous transfer policy that prohibited my admission, and that makes for a perfect storm of truculence.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 12th, 2006 06:38 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Oh, the pain. Well, I guess Bob Stoops's whining got some leverage for his younger brother. Anyway, Kim was out of town, so I couldn't meet Friday. But I'd love to get together.
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