Back Around the House II: Learning to like spectator sports


As folks who know me are well aware, I am not a real sports fan. In fact, I’m not even particularly enthusiastic about sports unless one of my grandchildren is involved.

In high school during gym class, I perfected a method of seldom being involved in various athletic endeavors. When we were told to stand in line for our turn, I would wait until the gym teacher turned her back, and I’d return to the end of the line. My junior and senior years I always volunteered to interview the girls’ gym teacher for the high school page in the Advocate, and I would do the job during my gym class. So most of the time I really didn’t take gym.

By my college years, we only had to take one gym class. Since I was going to be a teacher, I took a class in children’s games. The second week I managed to sprain my ankle which didn’t heal until the end of the term. I think the college gym teacher was as grateful as I was that I only had to take one class.

So usually when sports are on our television, I find something else to do. Until this year’s Super Bowl. The news a local lad whose parents I knew was on the Patriot’s Super Bowl team moved me to watch the whole Super Bowl game.

The beginning was good, and the ending was spectacular. There were all of those sportscasters trying to tell the Patriots they should just wait out the clock, and go for the overtime, while the Patriots’ quarterback marched the team right down that field and won with a field goal.

Heartiest congratulations to the Patriots and to Matt Light and his parents from this new New England Patriots fan.

I have discovered another sport which involves a grandchild — basketball at the Y Saturday mornings. I enjoy the teams made up of boys and girls in kindergarten through second grade. It is real entertainment.

The kids in kindergarten are easy to spot. These little ones are only 5 years old, and sometimes they just run and forget to dribble until a parent’s voice yelling “dribble” permeates the kid’s brain cells.

The first game I watched one of the little ones was bouncing around shouting “Give me the ball!” Suddenly someone passed him the ball. He looked pleased, then looked up to see the other team coming at him. Pleased turned to horrified, and he just threw the ball at them.

If in the course of play someone knocks another player down, the smaller ones have a tendency to make sure he or she is OK before they dribble on down the court. If a ball drops, they all scramble after it, and it begins to look like football.

They have some difficulty keeping their eye on the ball and the guy they’re supposed to be guarding. But when they realize they’re alone, they just look around until they find their guy and lope on over to wave their arms over him or her.

The most amazing thing is how often they hit the basket after sometimes dribbling, sometimes just running down the floor. I don’t think anyone even keeps score at these games, and no one seems to care. The coaches and refs are great. They don’t seem to discriminate between players or teams. They just help whoever needs it.

Last Saturday I was watching a game and envying the children’s obvious energy as they ran back and forth over the court. I began to scold myself for not being more athletically oriented.

The game ended, the players found their parents, and as the gym emptied I heard one little one sigh loudly as she told her mom, “I cannot even feel my legs!”

I smiled at her as I wondered if she would figure out how to get to the end of the line in a future gym class without ever getting to the front of the line.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate Feb. 13,2002.

By Kathleen Floyd

Back Around the House II

Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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