This is going to be an outstanding winter of sports, especially for someone like me. I never played a sport, which is why, even at home, when it comes to sports, I’m a lone wolf.
The men in my life are all focused on the Super Bowl. The testosterone fills the air and the insults are hurled from the New Orleans Saints fan (the 11-year-old) to the Seattle Seahawks fan (The Carpenter), with significant jabs from the San Francisco 49ers fan (Grampa Gary) delivered over the telephone. It’s the only time these fellas get dressed up in matching attire.
It’s a classic scene really, and despite the belching and farting games that add to the apparent boy’s club atmosphere, a football game in my house is a cultural experience. The Carpenter emerges from the bedroom in his Seahawks sweatshirt, stretched over his Seahawks T-shirt, with a matching toque on his head. He looks ridiculous, which only makes him act more so, and the volume of couch-coaching increases as he yells and cheers, “The road to the Super Bowl goes through Seattle, kids!”
Our son joins the televised event in his New Orleans Saint’s Drew Brees jersey. Taking it one step further, he wears a giant gold foam fleur des lis, which he alternates with his Saints touque, particularly after his father has removed the giant foam hat and whapped the child over the head with it repeatedly, which then turns into the boyish game of wrestling/home remodeling. The screams of laughter and father-son banter somehow make up for the jokes about body functions. Almost.
From the safety of the landing above, my daughter and I watch and shake our heads. Boys. Silly boys.
I can hardly wait for the Sochi Winter Olympics and the way the whole country seems to unite over sports most of us will never try. All that flag waving is good for the soul. Our whole family gets into it.
But as the lone wolf in my house, I’ll be cheering for the sport that gets the least television coverage and none of the media glory: lacrosse. The Toronto Rock open the 2014 National Lacrosse League season this weekend, and I will up the estrogen levels in my house and show my boys what fandom is all about, without the foul body odours and potty language (maybe).
I still find it hard, as a female with no male ties to the game, to admit I like lacrosse. I think it is the sexism issue. If I like lacrosse, I must be a cougar. Right? Because NLL players want a 40-something married mother of two hanging out in the dressing room. I assure you, I never hung out with the lacrosse team in high school, (read: band geek). It’s a little late now.
But I am guilty of finding it exciting to watch the Canada’s other national sport, because I have such respect for the athletes who play it. It’s non-stop action, full-on speed, big guys whacking each other with sticks and avoiding hits (sometimes), throwing a hard, small white ball around, wielding it at a tiny net with the largest, padded dude I’ve ever seen on guard. It’s a whole lot of skill, serious courage and just enough primal anger to make my day. And yes, the shorts help. I make no apologies for that. Actually, it’s kind of like home, without the fart jokes.