GoofBoy is on a football team with a bunch of other kids from his Jewish day school. Football is the wrong sport for a Jewish kid – too many head injuries. He may have illusions of athletic grandeur, but I expect my son will make his living with his brains. A few tackles too many and he might end up being an accountant. But it’s flag football, so I’m not too worried.
In the practice before the game the parents are the opposition team. Naturally parents guard their own kids. For reasons I can’t explain I get motivated (I probably put more into this scrimmage then to a decade of gym class). When one of the other kids catches a pass and gets by his dad, I chase him down and dive into the dirt to pull his flag.
“Good hustle, parents…” the coach yells, haltingly.
My son mocks, “Hey dad, what’s like to really play?”
A few plays later when the pass goes to GoofBoy I run hard to knock it down before he can catch it. A bad thing happens in my ankle. Instead of yelling, “Booyah!” I exclaim, “Ouch!”
I hobble back to my place on the line. Another parent says, “You know, this isn’t worth hurting yourself over.”
“I know,” I called back, “But I hate these kids!”
All week as I limped around, and explained my injury, other parents laughed knowingly.
The game itself revealed the strengths and weaknesses of our team. A team of Jewish kids is unlikely to be faster or stronger then the opposing team – although they executed plays pretty well.
However, we were excellent at arguing calls. The parent-coaches were all attorneys – and litigation, that's a sport for Jews! (All verbal calisthenics, it exercises our strongest muscles.)