Football and the three little boys
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Football and the three little boys

Once upon a time there were three little boys. These boys grew up in a home filled with love, unhealthy snacks, poorly administered bedtimes, unlimited Xbox, a mother who lived in the basement, and the NFL package. (Since the little boys were bright, they all managed to do well in school and never had any issues with grades as a result of the poor parenting — just a side note.) Further explanation about why they had a mother who lived in the basement will be revealed in the right time.

The boys had a father who also loved football. And baseball. And hockey (both real — ice — and Jew — floor). The only time their father watched Jew hockey was when his boys played it. He had toyed with the idea of continuing to watch the yeshiva league games after his boys had all graduated, but God had other plans. His plans involved a global pandemic, because, apparently, that is the only thing that stopped the boys’ well-intentioned father from going to watch games that his sons were no longer a part of.

But enough about that. He thoroughly enjoyed watching these sports alongside his three little boys. And though he will insist that he got the NFL package for his boys, the mother who lived in the basement knew better.

Now the mother didn’t actually live in the basement. It was her bunker — that is what she called it — and she spent a lot of time down there. For the record, the washing machine and dryer are down there, and so are the ironing board and the iron. And her stationary bicycle, her step from those famed step classes of the ’90s, and some weights that she never actually used and could account for her very poor upper body strength. The mother never slept in the basement, and she still came upstairs to serve meals to her beloved family. She actually got kicked out the bunker during the weeks of football season, because one of the little boys had to watch “their game” on their mother’s television.

And she let them. Because she loved them. And because she really had no choice.

Many Sundays were spent on the couch in the family room, watching endless amounts of football. But they also were spent on a kitchen chair, on the mother and father’s bed, or the mother who lives in the basement’s lovely white Ikea couch (which was supposed to be black, but would have taken too much of an effort to return so now it is white with some very visible stains. Oh well. That is what throws are for). Because, you see, none of the three little boys or their father cheered for the same team.

Not that any of you is particularly interested, but the father loved the NY Giants. That always made sense, because he is from New York. The oldest little boy loved the Minnesota Vikings, and because his parents loved him, one summer we drove to Minnesota and were able to be a part of their training camp. The boys were in heaven. “Best day ever, mom!!” Ahh yes, what every mother loves to hear. And their mother learned that if you are bored enough, you actually can watch grass grow. Yes, it was a fun day for mother. The middle little boy loved the St. Louis Rams. He knew all of the players, the stats, the vision for their future, so we drove to St. Louis to take part in Rams training camp. “Boy, that was the best day ever!” The boys shared with their mother. And, again, their mother learned that if you are bored enough, you actually can watch grass grow. It truly is a miracle. The littlest boy was a Carolina Panthers fan. We have no idea why, and we didn’t take him to their training camp, but they did make it to the Super Bowl a few years ago, so that made him very happy.

As the three little boys grew, football became less and less a priority for them, but their father still got the NFL package, just in case they ever wanted to come back.

And then something amazing happened this year. The Rams, though not from St. Louis anymore, are going to be in the Super Bowl. The middle little boy actually was pretty excited about this, even though he hasn’t watched a game in years and won’t be watching this one either. But it still is nice to know that even though the boys learn Torah with each other every day, they still have spent some time reminiscing about football games past, and what an incredibly fun time in their lives that all was.

And they lived happily ever after. The End.

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck will not be invited to any Super Bowl parties this year, and that is okay.

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