Of Bonds

Next Sunday is the Super Bowl. People gather together in different parts of the country to watch the top teams from the two divisions face off against each other. There’s food and laughs and yelling at the television. Sometimes there’s trash talk. Sometimes there’s betting. Many families have the tradition of watching this yearly event. It’s a big deal who gets to sing the National Anthem and who gets to perform at halftime. Often fathers and sons bond over the sport.

My brother and I watched a lot of sports when we were growing up. We learned names and stats; we executed plays with the nextdoor neighbors. When we played inside, I was the quarterback and Frank was the wide receiver. I’d throw his teddy bear toward the couch and Frank would make a diving catch and land on the couch for a touchdown.

Last year Reilly and I watched the Super Bowl at one of his friend’s house. There were burritos and other finger foods and a general lightheartedness within the group. The game went on as scheduled.

As I try to recall details from a year ago, the only thing I can remember is seeing a news ticker run at the bottom of the screen while the game continued playing. I was reading that Josh Powell had retrieved his sons from their grandfather. He locked his children and himself in their house in Washington state. He caused the house to explode, killing himself and his sons. He destroyed any knowledge of the truth of the disappearance and death of his wife, the mother of their sons.

If I think hard enough, I can remember who won the Super Bowl last year. It doesn’t matter who sang the National Anthem, who performed at halftime. Many families and friends had gathered together to enjoy each other’s company, to relish relationships. As much as I try to understand what kind of bond Scott Powell thought he had with his sons, I can’t.

Of Course You Have to Brag at the Beginning

Because, what if we suddenly suck as the season progresses?

I joined an intramural kickball team, and tonight was our first game.

The rules allow everyone to play an equal amount of time. And I think everyone had a chance to score at least once.

We had fun. So there’s that.

And we quickly determined the “weak spot” in the outfield, but I never kicked the ball that far. We do have strong guys who can blast them into the upper troposphere (I said I’d brag, not grossly exaggerate), and we have a girl who’s played soccer and another girl who plays hockey. Lots of strong legs.

My strategy from now on is just to get on base, because my legs cannot do what theirs can.

Also, I played catcher. And my team fielded really well. They knew where and how to move the ball; everyone knew how to throw people out.

The teams switched leads throughout the game, but we got to kick at the bottom of the last inning, where a team member coached at third base. We confirmed our legitimacy with that. We needed two runs to win, and I had pop-flied out, but the rest of the lineup delivered. And when we scored the winning run, the game ended. We high-fived and cheered the losing team; and we almost got away with sneaking the game ball — the victory ball — off the field, mostly because the next two teams were praying with the referees to begin the next game.

Prayer will get you every time.

That’s why I don’t close my eyes when I pray.

We like each other quite a bit, and I’m actually not surprised by that. There was constructive coaching and serious fun. I’m honored to be playing with my team.

We’re actually a good team.

So maybe I’ll just keep bragging.

Which will mean even more once we figure out a name for ourselves.


Let’s Start Circulating Rumors and True Stuff


Don’t we look amazing together?

For the 5 regular followers of this blog, you know it’s March Madness, and maybe you know basketball is one of my favorite sports. You probably also know I attend a university that seems to be doing well in the NCAA tournament so far, and I like when people do well. And I support the fans who support our excellent teams.

We have really creative fans. Maybe too many. Which is why I need your help.

If you’re on facebook, you should take this poll and vote for your favorite fan sign: http://poll.fm/f/2t8pd and/or here http://poll.fm/f/2t9wa

If you’re not on facebook, you should take this poll and vote for your favorite fan sign: http://byufansigns.questionpro.com/

Fun stuff, eh? The polls will be open until Friday. Don’t delay.

The Sports Gods Smile Upon Me

by Andrea Boerem, Guest Blogger

I don’t like sports.

There, I said it.

It’s just that I have this genetic defect that prevents me from understanding sports lingo. Also I was born without any hand/eye coordination. Tragic, really. What happens is my eyes sort of glaze over whenever a sport is on TV, and you might think I’m paying attention but actually I’m planning what I’m going to wear tomorrow.

If a ball is thrown at me, I will automatically duck and scream. If I have to throw the ball….well, I still duck and scream.

I’ve tried to like sports. Really, I have. I tried to like them in grade school when my friends Stephanie and Meridth were on soccer teams. I went to their games. I screamed really loud, because I thought that’s what sports fans do, which I guess is true except no one told me that people will also think you’re obnoxious.

Actually I thought I could be a soccer player for like five minutes, until someone kicked the ball at me, and I felt like peeing my pants and crawling under a table except there wasn’t any table because there generally aren’t any tables on soccer fields.

So, I decided I hated sports. Junior High gym class didn’t do too much to help. I mean, jeez! Pull ups? I still have nightmares about hanging from that awful bar, glancing back at the line of girls waiting as I willed my spindly arms to propel my body upwards, something I knew would never happen.

Running the mile was extra bad. I wanted to be a runner, it was just that I hated running. I hated running for two major reasons: first, we always had to run on a day when I had freshly crimped hair, and second, I was slow. So slow! Tiffany Efflund, she always finished in like five minutes, and would exit the track glowing and barely out of breath, whilst I limped around the track muttering to myself that section from the Doctrine and Covenants that talked about people who obey the Word of Wisdom. Yep. That was me, a ninety pound weakling with damp and frizzy hair repeating “run and not be weary, walk and not faint. RUN AND NOT BE WEARY, WALK AND NOT FAINT!! I never did faint, so I guess that’s saying something.

The only thing I was ever good at was the sit n’ reach, and is that really something to brag about? That I could sit on my boney gluteus maximus and push my fingers over a ruled line?

In high school we did step aerobics, and I felt pretty optimistic for about the first five minutes. Kathy Ireland can be pretty motivational, you know? She just sucks you in with her unnaturally bright eyes and super tight leotards. It turns out, however, that I have no coordination. None. Remember, genetic defect?

So, I gave up on liking sports. Not for me, I decided. I’ll just be the girl staring blankly at the TV screen during football games who every so often yells out IT’S ALL ABOUT THE OFFENSIVE LINE, because I know that is true at all times and can be busted out even if I have no idea whatsoever what is actually going on.

Until Monday. Everything changed on Monday. Why, you ask?

Trapeze class.

I went to a trapeze class, and it was magical.

It turns out that the Sports Gods created a sport for underweight weaklings with no affinity for sports lingo! You get to swing!! THERE IS A SPORT WHERE ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SWING!! I’ve been training for this my whole life! Nobody told me when I began my amateur career at the local swing-set that swinging was a sport!

So, I guess I love sports.

There, I said it.

– Andrea Boerem, 6/25/09