Caleb had the primary responsibility of naming the teams for this year’s contest. No small feat, as you know if you have been following the travails of teams like Baylor and TCU in this year’s college football inaugural playoff hunt. Caleb immediately wanted our team to be the Baylor Bears, of course. Always the Waco enthusiast. Jachin, however wanted to keep it a bit closer to home, so he wanted HBU. Ah, his parents would be proud. So would Caleb’s grandparents. Sadly a compromise was in order. Jachin rose to the occasion and suggested a move to the professional ranks, opting for the Denver Broncos, a nice selection. Not one to be denied, however, Caleb came up with a decision of his own. The final decision. We became the Lakers. Wow. That came out of nowhere. But this is Caleb we’re talking about.
Game action was exciting, to say the least. Zak showed his mighty quarterbacking skills, rivaled only by the youngster who came out of the same draft class, Micah. Totally different styles, though. Zak was ever the patient, methodical by-the-book QB, while Micah displayed a scrambling style reminiscent of Fran Tarkenton. Oh, who is that? Sorry, I date myself. How about the college years of Robert Griffin III? And speaking of quarterbacks, Jachin showed some amazing dexterity by making numerous last-second tosses on the run. Uncle Nathan showcased what remains of his agility when he turned a sure-incompletion (the aging QB at the time had an arm too weak to reach even the ten yard gain before them) into a large gain by employing a masterful soccer kick/hackey sack move on the football, gently flipping it up into his arms. Not sure if he was just that good or if he didn’t want to bend over, but the result was the same. It’s not often an offensive lineman gets mentioned in this column, but young Caleb, the greatly underestimated center (and somewhat undersized, as centers generally weigh in), thrilled the crowd with his daunting snapping skills. Wherever he found the ball, whether set in its proper place in the center of the field, or rolling away toward the sideline, he stopped it motion, immediately bent over and hiked it from right there. And by hike I mean he forced its movement backwards between his legs to whoever might be standing somewhere behind him. Certainly kept his offensive backfield on their toes. No one back there was ever sure who the quarterback would be from play to play. Oh, and Cory and Sarah and Josh Roach showed up during halftime. Just in time to eat. Hmm. Cory and Josh did join us for the second half, though, and provided some highlight reel-quality play, I might add.
We did our best to arrange a guest soccer appearance by our brand new neighbor. He was displaying his dribbling skills on the sidelines, but refused the potential accolades that could have been his had he turned his back on the sport he loved and opted instead for fame and fortune in the world of field goal kicking. No, he was simply too much of a soccer purist to betray the international king-sport. And sadly, none of the people driving by in cars would join either, although we invited every one. All they ever did was smile and wave. Except for Mrs. Chris from down the street. She stopped to apologiae for disrupting the game. Said she saw us when she first left her driveway, turned her car around and went the other direction. On her return trip, however, she simply forgot about the game and the intrusion she would be making. We accepted the apology and invited her to make atonement by joining us for just one play. She politely refused. Mario, our neighbor across the street, came out at tone point to good-naturedly harass me a bit about my lack of control over the leaves from our sycamore tree. I responded by inviting him to join us as well. He, too, refused, citing his last experience playing in a football game with grandkids. He had to be taken to the hospital with possible broken ribs. Whoa. That’s intense. I appreciated him not wanting to show us up. Problem was, that gave him time to return to his task for the day – putting up his outdoor Christmas lights. Ouch. Showed us up anyway.
Cailyn roamed the sidelines on her scooter, oblivious to the action on the field. She’ll make a great cheerleader, won’t she? Gorgeous and athletic and not at all interested in whatever the guys are doing with the little ball on the field. Mascots Noa and Luke toddled across the field a time or two as well, followed by their respective Mommies, of course, so it seemed everyone was intent upon making an appearance. Film making legend Christina was behind the camera, capturing action highlight. And guess who made certain we had a final Turkey Bowl Commemorative Photograph take before anyone could leave? That would be Nani. Oh, and unbeknownst to us all, Josiah, who occasionally made a brief entrance just to keep up appearances, was in hog heaven. He had the run of the entire house full of toys without the interference of his older brothers or his baby sister.
And now, on to what you have all been waiting for. The controversial final score. It all started with a somewhat questionable mid-play substitution wherein Josh Vaughan crept in from the sidelines to make a leaping interception of a potential touchdown pass to Cory. “Debate” immediately ensued. “Negotiation” followed in its wake. And then “Compromise” showed up. Since there was roughly a 50/50 chance that he would have caught it, Cory’s team was awarded half a touchdown. An official protest was immediately issued to grant a full touchdown. Results of the protest are still pending review by the league office. The real problem came to a head, however, after a flare-up of a previous day’s “helping father-in-law move” injury caused a pass to bounce harmlessly off Kel’s stomach, a miss that would have been the game-winning score. So the question remains: Should Cory’s TD count? Should the call on the field stand? Does anybody really care? Wade in with your comments. Perhaps the league could be swayed by your passion. Without the incessant hawking of on-air talking heads to egg it on, however, post-game discussions rapidly shifted from the game to much more important issues of world-wide impact - an in-depth investigation of Marvel vs DC TV shows, movies and universes.
Psalms 35:18 says, “I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.”
Father, thank you for occasional forays into street football and silly sports reporting. Families and friends sure are grand. Thank you for inventing them. Amen.