chelsea cookJust about now the entire world knows about the massacre in Paris, France. Sorry, geographiles, I had to add the “France” as several million people who live in a place south of Oklahoma would think I was mentioning them: as in Paris, Texas. Those people would probably call out the Texas National Guard and, if the pilots in the Champagne unit were not busy escorting girlfriends, they would be on full alert and demand they go bomb Mexico. But enough of politics. As is most of my USA readers, I am about up to “here” (he says as motioning just below his chin) with rabid politics. It is no wonder that TV programs which make no sense (something about really stupid home videos) are popular. People want to get away for a little while.
Even I, who am allergic to too much football, watched two games last Saturday and cheered and complained and groused at officials and instructed the coaches as to what was dumb and what was really dumb. Have you noticed the players get busy and forget to listen to us as we shout warnings, suggestions and very good advice. Yes, I try to not be too hard on them after a play has finished but, like 99% of you, I tell them what should have been done and what to do next. Then they just run back out there and make some more mistakes I tried to warn them about. It seems suspiciously as if they are listening to someone else rather than me. So- beginning this Friday night, some of you big mouths will just have to stifle your urges and let us more experienced coaches shout instructions at the TV. You should know, if either team loses Saturday, you will be blamed. And! that certain OSU/NOC doctorate person should take a three hour drive and not go anywhere near a TV set. There has been a survey taken and it was 101% in favor of that plan. (Max and Mad voted but they were unduly influenced so they only counted .5 each).  Then for you who have remained sotto voce, you may use all day Sunday instructing whatever professional team can use your help. There are those who think the football gods have a grudge against Dallas as they are very bad this year. Then, there are those who know the truth and know it is Jerry Jones’s fault who is to blame so we do not watch.
The good news is that Tulsa has a Rugby team and if I can dig out some information from whatever dark corner they have used to hide, I shall have a team for which to barrack.  For those not familiar with rugby football, it is the forerunner of gridiron football and is played worldwide. The players do not hide under tons of hard plastic protection and play is almost never stopped. It is full contact in shorts, jersey and rugby boots. That is shoes for those who do not speak British/Aussie English. They run into each other, smash each other, tackle and out run each other. They can also kick the ball 60 yards while running full tilt. It is an amazing game and I like it almost as much as Aussie Rules football.
Here in the Oklahoma part of the USA, young boys are started too early being indoctrinated in football. Each fall, across the street in the large school yard, fathers bring their sons to start learning how to play the game. Sometimes it is very amusing. The men probably have not played the game since high school and probably have never had a four or five year old boy before. Then it gets funny as the untrained dads think they can tell the boys what to do and it will be done. No, seriously! Telling a five year old how to block or fake a run is like telling a puppy not to piddle. It ain’t gonna happen. The men remember back to the good ol’ days when their coaches screamed at them as to how to do or not do something. Fortunately so far, these men have not screamed at the boys as they know some other father would take offense and the screamer may end up with a total time out.
But basketball season is finally here. I did not get to play basketball in high school but I think I would have been as good at basketball as I would have been at football if I had been allowed to play. I couldn’t run, pass, shoot or see very well without my glasses but, as so many others who are now grown, I could have been awesome if only given the chance. That’s my story and I am sticking with it.