Sunday, September 19, 2010

Football & Quilting

It's that time of year again, football season!

OK, I suspect that there are a lot of you out there that either hate football, or ignore it completely.  I happen to be one of those people who absorbed it slowly over many years.  My father is what we call a "49er Faithful" who had season tickets and went to the games with a group of friends for many years.  I was a total football fanatic in high school, cheering on our undefeated squad.  Nothing like Friday Night Lights!

My son is now playing the sport and it's been an eye opener.  I've never considered myself an overly protective mother, (I always teased my Mom who used to yell at my brother's hockey games, "Don't shoot the puck at my son!"....and he was the goalie....kinda the point Mom!), but I tell you if I could have I would have gone out on the field and kicked some kid's rear end last night.

I know it's an intense game but it's hard for a mother to watch her son get headbutted and then watch his head jerk back in a very scary way.  Then there was the offensive lineman who pushed, shoved, pummelled, spit on, and essentially tried every trick in the book to take my kid down.  I guess he'd never had to tell him that it was time to turn off the PS3....stubborn is his middle name.

The only good thing about the experience is that because of this same player's unsportsmanlike conduct, (when he shoved my son from behind after he was annoyed that his holding wasn't working), cost his team a touchdown and gave our boys the momentum.

Just goes to show you that bad behavior might get you a little yardage, heck, it might win you a game now and then, but it won't make you a winner.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  It's the time in my son's life where all the lessons we've taught him are coming home to roost.  Will he be polite when he's cranky, will he be kind to someone even when he's angry at them, can he turn the other cheek when necessary, and kick the crap out of the bad guys when the time comes?

I don't know yet, there are so many positive signs, and yet, he is only 12 so he's still a kid in many ways. Football has been a great teacher for him, more than we'd ever expected.

He's played team sports since he was 6 years old, but there's a team aspect to football that doesn't exist in most of the others.  In basketball everyone can score a point, same in baseball, everyone gets their turn at bat...but in football, if you're a defensive lineman, (or nose guard in his case), it's unlikely you'll ever make a touchdown.  However, if you don't stop the other team from scoring, your team could lose.  The offensive guys may get the glory, but if it wasn't for the defense their points are wasted.  If the other team keeps scoring when you do, your chances of winning get slimmer and slimmer.

The other big lesson is that actions have consequences.  Now, you see that in other sports as well, but there's nothing more humiliating than your team having to walk back 15 yards because you made a stupid mistake, or lose possession because you fumbled the ball.  The worst are the "Personal Fouls" mainly because they have to do with a defect in character.  Because you couldn't keep your cool and control your impulses your whole team suffers.

Isn't that just like life?  When my son complains that the whole team has to run an extra lap because a few players goofed off I just tell him, welcome to the world!  Groceries and other items are more expensive for all of us because of shoplifters, we wouldn't need to spend a fortune on insurance if people were safer drivers, we'd all pay lower taxes if our tax dollars were spent wisely,  and we'd all be healthier if people who were sick stayed home from school.

We are all interdependent on each other, so it's important to remember that what each of us does affects someone else.  It's to our benefit long term if we remind ourselves of that simple fact more often.

Now, how does this apply to quilting?  Well, just think of the quilt meanies you know.  They go around committing "Personal Fouls" and displaying "Unsportsmanlike Conduct "and too often get away with it.  Why? Because there aren't any referrees to call them on it.  That's why it's so important for the rest of us to stand up to these people.  To say, hey, that was "Intentional Grounding" and "Illegal Procedure."  They might claim that we're "Offside" but we can get our "Backfield in Motion" and make some heavy duty "Encroachment" on their attitude.  This is one time where "Too Many (Wo)Men on the Field" is a good thing!

We can also approach what we do with the attitude that we are a group of people who like to do the same thing.  Maybe we'll be the pass receiver who catches the game winning pass this week, and the defensive lineman who stops the encroachment of a quilt meanie next week.  The point is that we're all playing the same game, we may be at different levels, (you bet my son's Varsity squad would cream the cute little "Starters"), but we're still enjoying the same game and enjoying it together.

So today I say, "Are you ready for some football, (Quilting)!

Happy Stitching,


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