Category Archives: sports

The (Not So) Super Bowl

Husband remarked the other day that in the almost 40 years we have been married, we probably only watched the Super Bowl twice, both times at a friend’s house.

Neither of us follow sports, college or professional. In the last few years I have only been glad there was a Super Bowl because it was a good day to have our church annual meeting right after the last morning service. The annual meeting is a tedious affair, especially if there are contentious issues to discuss. People are far more willing to compromise when they want to get home for the pregame show. Things have simmered down over the last 15 years with the deaths of many of the more iconoclastic church members who would get up in arms about important theological issues like being opposed to installing air conditioning even though it would insure that the service committee ladies didn’t swelter in the kitchen while preparing the funeral lunches, and brides didn’t faint in the heat in the sanctuary during summer weddings.

When I was a girl we would usually go to my paternal grandparents’ home when there were important games to watch on TV. I always enjoyed listening to my dad and his brother, both high school and college sports officials, call penalties before the TV officials would. Our plans for this Sunday are to sing in the church choir and head home to take naps. Salmon and mussel stew with harissa are on the menu. The annual meeting was two weeks ago. Life is good.

How will you spend Super Bowl Sunday? What are your favorite things to eat when you watch the Super Bowl? Any meetings you dread having to attend?


We have only two moderately large universities in our state, the University of North Dakota, and North Dakota State University. Ice hockey is king at UND, while football reigns at NDSU. Passions run high on game days, especially when the NDSU Bison play the SDSU (South Dakota State University) Jack Rabbits.

Husband and I don’t care very much about any sports teams. We must admit to divided loyalties when NDSU plays SDSU, though, as our son and daughter-in-law both work for SDSU. Last week before the big football match-up between the two teams, Husband wore a SDSU jersey to a work meeting where he knew there were several NDSU aficionados. They teased him, saying they could no longer be friends.

Well, SDSU pulled a major upset last week and beat NDSU in a surprising comeback. Husband has yet to have a work meeting with the NDSU fans, but I hope he wears his SDSU jersey again, just to be a smart aleck

When have you engineered an upset? What sports teams do you follow? When have you been a smart aleck?

You Didn’t Want THAT To Happen!

Often times in my play therapy room, a toy is inadvertently broken. The child almost always feels horrible, and my stock response is “You didn’t want THAT to happen”, and there is no scolding and we move on.

Saturday, our three year old grandson and a female friend the same age were pretend sword fighting in the family room of our son’s house. Our grandson likes to pretend he is Darth Vader. (He has never seen a Star Wars movie, but knows about Vader.) His friend inadvertently wacked the large screen TV with the wooden block she was using as a sword, and the whole screen shattered. That girl packs a good punch. I am glad she wacked the TV and not our grandson. Our grandson announced at Christmas that he was going to marry her.

Son and DIL were having friends over for a Super Bowl party yesterday so a new TV was hurriedly purchased. I think that any future sword fighting will take place outside. We don’t want THAT to happen again.

What do you remember breaking as a child? Did you ever have any serious accidents? Have you ever participated in fencing or the martial arts?

Olympic Multi-Tasking

YA cares way more about her hair, her make-up and her clothing than I care about mine.  I think I’ve said here before that I don’t even own make-up and I only take the blow dryer to my hair about once a year.  And these days, wearing a pair of jeans instead of sweatpants is really dressing up.  So it didn’t surprise me when she wanted a pair of really sharp “hair scissors” for her birthday recently.  I assumed it would figure greatly into her quest to rid her world of split ends.

On Saturday we were watching the Olympics (the new mixed speed skate relay is fascinating) when she turned the scissors on me.  She’d been hinting (rather aggressively) the last few weeks that my hair is getting too long and scraggly.  Although I was a little worried she would chop off more than I wanted, which she has done before, when she brought it up again, I relented. 

I should have known that wouldn’t be the end of it.  Then she wanted me to blow dry it – I told her if she wanted my hair dry right away, she would need to do that herself.  After she spent way too long (in my estimation) drying and fluffing my strands, she decided that she needed to bring the straightener into my room as well because my ends were “curling too much”. 

All of this cutting and blowing and straightening took about 45 minutes and I will admit that I’m not the most patient.  For some reason that I don’t understand, the commercials showing on the tv coverage of the Olympics were bothering me — and more than usual since I was already ramped up about the hair fuss.  To combat my annoyance I grabbed a book off my bedstand and muted the tv.

So there we were, watching the Olympics, reading and running a hair salon in my bedroom all at once.  Multi-tasking at it’s best!

Do you have a favorite winter sport?

Play Ball!

The high school football season has started here. Both the high schools in our town play their games in the local college stadium. As I drove past the college football grounds this week, I saw two high school teams getting ready to play, and four striped shirt referees walking onto the field. I thought immediately of my father.

My dad officiated high school baseball, basketball, football, and volleyball for 68 years. He absolutely loved it. He umpired his last high school baseball game at the age of 88 in the Metrodome. Once, he started having chest pains during a baseball game in Iowa between Cherokee and Sheldon. Since it was the last game of the season, he didn’t want to call the game, so he downed eight nitroglycerin tablets and hoped for the best. The next day he had cardiac bypass surgery.

The rules for sports are fairly clear cut. The rules for human relationships off the field are not. I despise mediating. I refuse to provide marital counseling. I just can’t be that kind of referee.

When have you had to referee or mediate? Ever had any beefs with a sports official? Ever been thrown out of a game?

Buy Me Some Peanuts & Cracker Jacks

You all know I am not a big sports fan.  In fact, I think I’ve probably only been to 10 baseball games in my life.  Maybe 15.  I do enjoy the games when I’m there, but like Monday night, I come away with more questions than answers.

    • Why so many huddles? Visiting team did this six times.  Six!
    • Why don’t the outfielders get to huddle?  Don’t they feel left out?
    • Why is Hansel Robles called Caballo Blanco?
    • How many times can you actually hit a foul before you’re out? Seems like way more for some than others.
    • What’s with all the fidgeting on the pitcher’s mound and on the plate?
    • Why don’t relief pitchers get much of a chance? Four relief pitchers for home team, each only pitched 1 inning each.  Visiting team sent in one relief – but at least he didn’t mess around on the pitcher’s mound and just threw the ball!
    • Why do much spitting?
    • Why do they need to replace the bases halfway through the game?
    • If the game is tied at the bottom of the 9th and the bases are full when you come to bat, why do you keep swinging? Why not just hunker down and let the pitcher walk you?  Especially if you’re not all that tall?
    • Why do people go wild when they see themselves on the big screen?
    • Why, after paying so much to get in and then paying a boatload more for food, drink and merchandise galore, do so many people depart before the game is over?

Obviously none of these are burning, social-issue kinds of questions (well, maybe the spitting), but clearly not everything makes sense to me.  However, questions aside YA and I had a great time even when it went into overtime.

What is the meaning of life?


Scandal-No Place to Hide

We live in a predominantly Roman Catholic community. We are a town of only 23,000 people, yet we have four Catholic churches, two Catholic elementary schools, a Catholic Middle School, and a Catholic High School.

You can imagine the gasps when, last week, the Catholic School Board announced that Father H, the principal of the Middle School and High School had been permanently relieved of his duties, along with an unmarried, female Elementary Principal and athletic director. They had apparently been consuming alcohol in a school vehicle on their way to a basketball tournament in Minot in March, and then tried to hide what they had done. There is also much scuttlebutt about other misbehavior, but that didn’t make the newspaper. Oh, the scandal!

This is no place to misbehave, because everyone knows everybody else, people notice things, and there really is nowhere to hide. The two Principals should just have worn shirts that said “Shoot me now” instead of trying to be sneaky. Moreover, if you get drunk and disorderly in Minot, 230 miles away, even that news will make it back here. This is a small State despite the vast distances between towns.

What are some scandals you remember from your home town or where you live now? 


YA went snowboarding last weekend.  I knew that she had a snowboard; her ex was a serious snowboarder, although as far as I know, she only went boarding with him a couple of times.   But I was surprised by the amount of equipment she actually owns: board, boots, ski pants, helmet and some serious goggles.  I took a photo of it all that she had laid out on the dining room table before she left.  I was afraid to ask her how much cash she had sunk into this equipment.  She mentioned before she left that the lift ticket for the day would be $34.  Opinions were kept to self but it seems to me that this is an expensive sport. 

As I thought about it, there are plenty of hidden costs to most sports.  When YA was younger, her gymnastics was a big money suck.  Monthly team fees, individual meet fees, leotards and the inevitable “stuff” available for sale at every meet.  When she tried out for dance team, the price tag for everything was unbelievable; I had to tell her that I couldn’t afford both dance team and gymnastics.  Diving wasn’t quite as bad but the team swimsuit was $97.  Yowza.  Luckily for my pocketbook, she decided she didn’t like the 5 a.m. practice time before we had taken the tags off the suit. 

Swimming wasn’t too bad, although you always had to pay for pool time, either lessons at the Y or seasonal fees at local pools.  Rollerblading wasn’t too bad, as long as you didn’t want to blade during bad weather/winter – then again, fees for the rink or the rollerdome (as it was called).  Same for tennis; if you don’t mind mediocre courts and waiting times, once you pony up for a racquet and some tennis balls, you can play free in the parks.  Winter play costs money for indoor courts. 

In thinking about it, I guess running is about the cheapest of the sports – the only real expense seems to be the shoes, unless you feel the need to have gadgets for playing music or keeping track of your distance/heart rate, etc.  

Tell me about your sport of choice.  Do you participate or just watch?  How do you keep the costs down?

Bad News Bears

Our family often exclaims sympathetically  “Bad News Bears” when we hear about the bad luck of others. For the most part, we and our family and friends have not experienced much bad luck, save for one of my uncles who had years of successive crop failures. He was still able to sell his farm when he retired and buy a nice house in town, though.

Today is the anniversary of the bad luck of a woman baseball fan who was at a Phillies game in 1957 when one of the players fouled and the ball hit her in the face and broke her nose. As she was being carried by stretcher from the ball park, the same player fouled a second time and the ball hit her again. Bad News Bears!

Tell  some tales of woe. 


There has a lot more traffic on the creek this summer.  (OK, maybe there isn’t a lot more traffic, but because I’m out walking the dog, I’m noticing a lot more folks enjoying the creek.)   I’ve seen folks in canoes and I’ve seen kids in the creek down near Lynnhurst.  Then yesterday I saw five tween girls with huge inner tubes heading down toward the water.

The inner tubes reminded me of going down the Brule in northern Wisconsin with my folks as a kid.  The tubing company would take us up to a drop off point and we would tube back down to where our car was parked.  Nothing too rough – a perfect bit of river for a family with fairly young kids.  It was just a couple of hours and back then nobody felt the need to have an extra inner tube for a cooler of beverages.  The only problem with tubing was changing into dry clothes in the car afterwards; my sister and I were SURE somebody would see something.

So it was fun to see the girls hurrying down to the creek with the inner tubes and now I’m wondering where I can rent tubes of my own!

Tell me what you did for summer fun as a kid!