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  • “Clif tells me that I would probably not be a very good NFL player.” But you’d be a crazy-good sports writer. I loved this!

  • I, like you Ann, really don’t care much about football – except – the older brother of one of my sons’ friends was just drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs (yea! #47!), and two of the office gals in my husband’s business are Seagals (The Seattle Seahawk Cheerleaders). Some wives would be jealous, but I am a very understanding wife. Besides, these girls are smart as whips, very hard-working and very nice. I like them alot! So I don’t care much about the Seahawks either, except how it affect my sweet Seagal gals – they really care about how the team does, so I do too. Football games are a good people watching (and KNITTING) opportunity. That’s what I do during baseball games!

  • Ok, I’ve got to stand up for my team here – the Seahawks do NOT suck! And, btw, they switched to the NFC a few years back.

  • fascinating– such good writing, and a peek into a whole ‘nother world. thx ann!

  • I love football, and I love this description of training camp… a properly-executed passing route really can be beautiful! Oh, and don’t forget The Replacements as another great football movie. If you haven’t seen it, please do — it’s one of those great, laugh-a-minute, lovable, guilty-pleasure movies!

  • I don’t care for football, but you actually made that sound like fun. 🙂
    And I loved “Brian’s Song.” Saddest. Movie. Ever. Just the theme song can move me to tears.

  • you are such a good mom! This will give you two something to talk about when he becomes a grumpy teenager.

  • GAWD I love football. And you, lady–if you ever decide to give up this knitting blog thing, you might want to look into a career as a sportswriter.

  • Oh, Ann. I am not a football fan, per se, but am a Texan. And you did the sport more than justice here.
    I wish you could go to a Texas high school game and write about it, since I feel like you might be able to capture in words what Friday Night Lights and Varsity Blues get close to portraying.
    You sort of made me miss home a little bit with this. 🙂

  • Another great football movie — Invincible. Loved it!

  • I have tears in my eyes. Your writing is beautiful. My youngest son just turned 16, and has decided to play football for the first time. He’s warning me not to come watch because he knows I’m worried about him getting hurt. (5’9″ and 135 lbs!) We also love Vince Young since he’s our UT (University of Texas at Austin) star. Thanks for the report.

  • I love that the agents think one of the players is “smaller than he thought”!

  • Ann, just wait until Cliff hits high school (or jr. high) and wants to play himself! Then the fun REALLY starts! 🙂

  • You are one heck of a writer to hold the interest of this totally non-sports-oriented reader. I think I get it now–football and everything. Which is strange because I grew up in Aladamnbama when Bear Bryant was seen in fake photos walking on water.
    And I admire your support for your son’s interest that diverges from the rest of the family. That’s a gift that will sustain him forever.

  • Ann–I learned about football in college and grad school in much the same way. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. (Although I, too, could make a very bad NFL player.)
    You might also enjoy today’s Frazz comic:

  • Beautifully written! And to keep this apropos to a knitting blog, I remember sitting in our family room in Pittsburgh (back in the 70s – talk about a great football town!) watching Brian’s Song with a knitted (or probably crocheted) afghan over my head so my brothers couldn’t see me crying. The pattern had holes strategically placed so I didn’t miss a thing. I still have the piano sheet music for the theme song. SO SAD!

  • Football…the very last thing I would have expected on your blog 🙂 (not a fan except for the odd game now and then: Superbowl with Peyton Manning; New England Patriots against (some non-New England team).

  • What a beautiful piece of writing!!
    I’m a huge football fan, but my best friend’s wife doesn’t know anything about football and is subjected to these same queries from her son, who has become as football mad as your son. It’s hard for her to come up with three teams, much less her third favorite in the NFC 🙂 So you’re definitely not alone! I admire your devotion to your child, though, to take him to training camp.

  • What a beautiful piece of writing!!
    I’m a huge football fan, but my best friend’s wife doesn’t know anything about football and is subjected to these same queries from her son, who has become as football mad as your son. It’s hard for her to come up with three teams, much less her third favorite in the NFC 🙂 So you’re definitely not alone! I admire your devotion to your child, though, to take him to training camp.

  • Tell that Clif the seahawks do not suck.
    You are a good mama. Hope you got yourself a lovely something iced after that outing!

  • George Will (who is — in the spirit of full disclosure — a baseball fan) once said “Football is everything that is bad about America: It’s violence, punctuated by committee meetings!”
    Every time I watch football that description runs through my head, and whether you love football or hate it, it’s hard to disagree with it!!

  • You are a better woman than I. I was about three miles away, over at the Bicentennial Mall, and even my desire to finally get some pictures of the beautiful WWII memorial couldn’t make me stay outside longer than about fifteen minutes. And I was in the shade.
    I was scarred in high school by being forced to attend every single football game (I was in the band). But you’ve reminded me of the important lesson I learned then: Learning about something is the best way to progress to at least appreciating it.
    I also learned the wisdom of making friends outside the band who would smuggle my knitting to me in the stands.

  • Remind Clif that the Seahawks went to the superbowl just as many times as the Titans 😉
    And I am VERY jealous of your knitting view…I just watch movies!

  • Don’t sell yourself short mamma, your sport is knitting and you’re definitely calling the plays.

  • Awww, Clif has got himself a good mom.
    Remember North Dallas Forty? It was, I think, the first tell-it-like-it-is football movie, with all the injuries, chronic pain, etc.

  • I hope Clif knows what a great Mom you truly are! Excellent post.

  • I like to watch football, but I simply can’t watch pre-season games. Most of the time, the coaches play the 2 or 3 players that are fighting for the third string spot, and it’s heartbreaking to realize that every turnover, botched pass, or missed block means that the player is one step closer to losing out on their dream.

  • Well, Nashvillian that I am, I for one am counting down the days to Hockey Season! Just think, a game that is played on ice! A whole playing surface covered with frozen water, oh yeah. That’s my focus on this umpteenth day of temperatures at or above 100. Please, God, don’t let the Preds leave Nashville!

  • As football was my first sports love, I have to throw a recommendation out there for “Rudy”. I’ve only just now reached the point where I can watch it without sobbing like a baby.

  • C’mon, a couple dozen people lining the chain link fench watching the Titans practice? Come up to Green Bay where we play REAL football. There are bleachers set up outside the practice field for the railbirds. It’s like this every day, rain, shine and hot sun (yes, it get’s hot in Wisconsin). And, we don’t ever play football inside in Green Bay, not even in January.
    And for the record, if there is any team with heavenly blessing given them, it would be the Packers–they have that big G on their helmets, and we have St. Vince (Lombardi) at every game).
    And yes, the Seahawks do suck, I didn’t watch the preseason game on Saturday night, but, it looks like Holmgren’s ol’ team showed the Seahawks what they’ve got!

  • What an awesome narrative! Wow, what a great writer you are!

  • If I were a boy I’d want a mom like you.

  • “Same as it ever was.”
    The squirrel line is perfect, btw. Well done.

  • Now, come on Kristin…..I didn’t say the Seahawks sucked. I said I don’t care about them as much as the gals in our office do (they’re supposed to – I would consider them lousy cheerleaders, if they didn’t). Baseball is more my game. I find football on TV boring, but football live is pretty interesting.

  • Dang, woman, you are one fine writer!

  • OK, your writing was so particularly beautiful in this post, I could almost like football! (Note: not almost play football; I, like you, would not make a good NFL football player.) Thanks for this wonderful word-picture, I really really enjoyed it.

  • We are in our last year of high school football here. After seven years of sons playing, I’ve come to understand a bit more. I even know a defensive back from a receiver. You have to learn about it, it’s what your kids do. You can however, knit between plays, especially during pro games. Just a shout out here for my OH-IO! State Buckeyes and the Bengals (WhoDey?)

  • I am Australian, and I’m not particularly interested in our own football codes, so you can imagine how much I care about American football. That being said, I was completely arrested by this post. Ann, if you’re not a professional journalist, you should be. If the sports page of our Australian newspapers were half as well-written, I’d probably give a crap about football, and be able to do more than nod wisely when my husband discusses it at leeeeeeength. Just don’t stop writing about your knitting adventures, okay?

  • That was a beautiful piece of writing. I felt like I was there. Well done.

  • What a great bonding activity! Football is GREAT by the way, and kids involved in athletics tend to be socially very well adjusted, and do better in school. (Actually, the same is true for kids involved in music programs). Hooray for you for taking Clif to see training camp. He’ll remember that forever!

  • Seriously, that is good writing. I can’t stand football, but if they wrote stuff like that, then I would. Awesome.

  • My middle school daughter is the fan in my family, she won her fantasy league last year. We had a similar experience at Browns training camp. her new prized possession is a glove one of the receivers handed her after practice.
    It’s good to be a cute girl among the boys and men! They were very envious

  • All (okay, most) of the joy in football for me disappeared when Pete Gross, the old-time play-by-play announcer for the Seattle Seahawks, died. That man could describe a game in such vivid detail, *on the radio*, I actually got interested. Then I went to live in Buffalo, where the Bills went to the Superbowl repeatedly — and lost every time. Now that you’ve taken up the sportswriting mantle, if only for a day, I feel the interest returning! Go, team!

  • Again, as others have said, this post is so well written I feel like I should give a damn about football. Excellent job! Now I feel like digging out the ol’ Marching Band memorabilia….

  • My cousin’s son was drafted by the Titans a few years ago. Cut at training camp, but still …. for a while he was there.
    What are the Titan’s team colors? I have a friend newly relocated to Nashville who needs a pair of Titan’s socks …

  • Ugh. Misplaced apostrophes in my comment … they’re going to recind my English Major Card.
    Titans’, not Titan’s.

  • Sounds like a lot of fun! Makes me want to check out training camp, tho I loathe the local teams. Go Giants!!

  • I have to say AGAIN that the ‘Hawks got robbed at Superbowl 2006; did anyone else think someone bought the zebra? And they totally have the best logo of any football team. 🙂

  • Hmmm. wish I had known in advance you were going to be viewing the Titans. There are a group of 12 women coming to my house tonight for a fantasy football draft. About 1/2 are knitters and we watch football or listen to football every Sunday in the fall and knit. We also consume lots of beer bread and spinach dip and beverage of choice. We also check our laptops every 5 minutes to see who is winning in the fantasy games. Much cheering, booing, hissing, laughing, lamenting, and general chit chat can be heard for most of the afternoon. Football can be very fun. I finished two blankets last season!!!

  • The best football movies ever (IMHO) are North Dallas Forty and the Replacements (so dopey ya’ gotta love it.) I went to the high school that Remember the Titans was ostensibly based on and the movie took indefensible liberties with the facts. BTW, I love the blanket.

  • The Titans won tonight! And they looked great! It still deserves exclamation points even though it’s just preseason. Now I want to take my nephews to training camp.

  • What a great writer you are, Ann. To actually write about football and keep me reading the whole way through is a feat no one has accomplished before! I now have a picture of Clif’s smile imprinted on my brain. I can just imagine how thrilled he was. Knitting wasn’t needed here at all. Thanks for something different and lovely.

  • Our Seahawks-loving son wears a Titans-logo Santa Claus hat (from when Daddy went to Nashville for an away game)…so, like the tweeds, we CAN all get along. (And, to your credit, Ann, until 2002 the Seahawks WERE in the AFC.)

  • Not only do I like and appreciate football, I think that Jeff Fisher gets the Dream-Boat Coach of the year award! I’m a Carolina Panthers fan and it’s okay to listen on the radio because, well, who needs to be watching John Fox? Ah, Sundays in the Fall. Panthers football on the radio, knitting, and snuggling with my honey on the couch. Doesn’t get any better than that. Unless there’s chili simmering on the stove.

  • Like Michele (aug 22 comment)I say “You are one heck of a writer to hold the interest of this totally non-sports-oriented reader.” Loved your writing, and they’re all right. You’d make a heckuva sports writer!