Week 42: Sports

The challenge word from Generations Cafe this week is SPORTS. As I watched the World Series this year I recalled how often “sports” events have impacted my family life. First I’ll have to say that I am not athletic. I flunked swimming and tennis in college. Most of my family are not active sports participants. Looking back at generations before me the main sports I recall family members participating in are horseshoes and poker accompanied by beer drinking! Is poker a sport?

More recently the active sports we joined in on were bocce ball and corn hole. (It’s interesting how so many sports involve throwing something at some kind of target and seeing who can get the closest.) My hubby Jim always joined in these two games at family events and although the oldest and the one with the “sore shoulder” he usually won.

Millburn Mustangs 1977

When our kids and grandkids participated in a sport and we all came together to cheer them on we experienced the excitement and adrenalin rush of winning the game! Hopefully! Son Jim participated in basketball and football all through his school years. One of the most exciting times I recall was the run for the basketball local championship in his middle school years. Our little Millburn school was up against the much larger Emmons team. We came so close to winning! The family had such fun following and cheering on his teams all the way into college years.

Proud Mama with son Jim

We then followed Grandson Bryan through his high school years playing baseball where he was often the starting pitcher. Many hot afternoons we joined the rest of the family to cheer him on. I think because of his avid interest in baseball, Angels baseball in particular, I became a fan of the sport. And that takes me to the other impact of sports on our family.

Bryan at All Star Game 2001
Grandpa Jim with Cowboy’s fan Naomi

Collecting around the TV with a table full of snacks on a Sunday afternoon to watch a football game is a great American sport! When our grandkids started to arrive Jim and I were avid football fans. We had to plan other events around football games, especially the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. (I think Jim just liked to watch the Cowgirls and I didn’t mind watching the hunky football players!) We had a lot of fun at family football parties and the Super Bowl was always a big deal, including putting money in the game pool and hoping to win.

In 2002 I got very interested in baseball as the Angels were really hot and the family followed them closely and cheered them on. We attended games in Anaheim and often collected to watch games together. These were very special family times. Cheering, singing, clapping, jumping up and down, eating hot dogs and beer….Great American sport, great camaraderie, so much emotion! The Angels won the World Series that year!

Getting autographs at Spring Training, 2004

Several times the family went to Tempe, Arizona to watch the Angels in spring training. That is a whole different experience because we could get up close and personal with the players as they left the practice field. One year we took Bryan with us in the motorhome to see a few games where we learned to never leave the game early as the Angels rallied in the 9th inning to win.

Looking back I know that “sports” is part of the culture of our family and fills our memory scrapbook with images of good times.

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