Monday, October 04, 2010
beavers, ducks, and women
Football (the American variety) has never been my favorite sport.
Give me a good game of basketball, and I will be happy.
But this weekend, I donned my football fan togs twice. Both times because it made women happy.
There is a woman I have worked with for over twenty years. Let's call her Beth. Because that is her name. She was my first paralegal. Then she went on to better positions in the company.
I have been meaning to take her out to dinner before I head south. When I suggested Saturday night, she informed me dinner would have to be early or late -- either before or after the game between her beloved Ducks and Stanford University.
I suspect she thought I would not be interested in the game. But I was. If I could share a bit of conversation with her. So, we split the baby -- and decided to have dinner in a local sports bar.
The game was advertised as a major match-up. Both teams were undefeated. And the Ducks were seeking revenge for a humiliating defeat last year.
There is something about watching sports in an eating establishment. All of the usual dining protocols disappear in favor of rank chauvinism. This being Salem, there was not a large Stanford contingent to defend the Cardinal (the color not the bird; Stanford having become so post-modern that mascots become Teutonic concepts).
And there was emotion to spare. The Ducks started off slow enough to qualify as a Pop Warner team. After the first quarter, they trailed 21 to 3. Librium was distributed freely.
You can imagine the pandemonium when the Ducks finally realized football was the game of choice, and pulled off a 52-31 victory. Leapfrogging them into the number 3 position nationally.
But the best part of the evening was renewing my friendship with Beth. After all, relationships even trump sports.
I had another example of that on Sunday afternoon. My niece, the angelic Kaitlyn, is a freshman at Oregon State University. When she enrolled for her classes, she stopped by the marching band booth. Piano and violin are her instruments. Not the best marching band choices.
Instead, she signed up to be part of the band's flag team. Even though she had never twirled a flag in her life, she signed up. Lack of confidence not being a Cotton personality trait.
On the first day of football season, there she was. Right up front -- leading the band onto the field.
A football weekend? Certainly, it was.
But, more than that. It was a great weekend to rebuild relationships.