Excuse me as I Fumble for Words

I have never written an essay on football.  I can honestly say, I am not an expert.  All I know is that everyone is a Catholic including the Mormons at Brigham Young University, when they need a “Hail Mary” pass in the last few seconds of a game.  Though, truth be told, I actually enjoy watching a game on the gridiron if there be beer and burgers.  But as I am neither a jock journalist, nor an athletic aficionado, I usually give only a passing glance to those issues when the sports world’s panties are all in a tizzy.  Such as last spring, when the sports world shook up popular culture, as it did when the Patriot’s Tom Brady may have caused a kerfuffle with his “Deflategate.”   Everyone seemed to have an educated opinion, but I did not because admittedly, I did not know enough.  But now . . . I feel I must give my objective opinion on something that I do know something about.  But before I do, let me say, I was born and raised on Long Island.  I was born before the Jets won the Super bowl under Joe Namath and I fear that I shall die before I see them win again. Therefore as a transplanted Long Islander, with no skin in the this game. . .I am, a reluctant “Jets fan.”

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Besides knowing a modicum of football, I am also a mother of six.   My 18 year old son decided at a very young age to be a Green Bay Packer fan.

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My 14 year old son picked the Pittsburg Steelers:

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and my little guy, well he likes minecraft.

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As we live in Fredericksburg, Virginia, my daughters have divided loyalties.  Two honor their Texan father by cheering for the Cowboys:

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when they play and one daughter cheers for the Redskins, just to be contrary.

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You have never seen a more schizophrenic home than the Hiney house on a Sunday night.  I started watching Downton Abbey as there was less drama.

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Besides being a mom to six kids, I am also a teacher.  One, who has been on the “receiving end” as it were, of what is wrong with education in the United States.  Often, I am told that it is the teachers who don’t make kids accountable.  Or it is the educational system in general that is wrong with America.  Sometimes it’s the “woosification” of America in general or its the fault of one political party or the other.  You see, dear gentler reader. . .there are lots of “excuses.” We are about to enter the season of “Back to School Night.”  With six kids, and myself being a teacher. . .I know all too well the routine.  A whole lot of folks will not be attending the “Back to School Night” at these schools.  There will be a whole slew of folks who will not join the school PTO or the PTA.  Why?  “Because.”  Well, there are a million excuses.  Excuses.  Excuses.    From what I can see, a whole lot of folks seem to make time to go to sporting events.  Or, from what I can see, there are a lots of folks watching these sporting events. Many of these same folks are the same trash  talkers who complain about the “woosification” of America.  These same folks are the first to tell you what the problem is with the schools.  They will happily wax poetic about the “problems” of America.  They reminisce about a time when values “meant” something.  And how America has changed.  Now I don’t study demographics or statistics. . .but I can tell you that more folks watch football than attend a Back to School Night or join a PTO or a PTA. And I can say with supreme confidence, that more values are being formed by parents watching NFL coaches acting like churlish toddlers than by an empty auditorium of tired teachers waiting to explain the rubrics on hand writing without tears.  And if you would rather spend time with someone who makes excuses on why his team lost last night rather than with a tired mom who makes a cupcake. . .then perhaps, you might just be part of the problem in America.

Last night, the Steeler’s head coach blamed their loss on a broken headset that had nothing to do with the Patriots.  The STEELERS.  Pittsburgh was once a tough city.  Remember a time when a football team lost a game,  and the coach would show that team what they did wrong so they could improve their game?  They didn’t BLAME defective equipment. . .They figured out what THEY did wrong.    Dear heavens if America’s steel industry can’t stand up to a Gillette razor. . .than we really and truly have become a country of cheating Patriots.   Want to know who ain’t a woose?  It’s the person who can teach handwriting without tears.

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