buckle your chinstraps
since this is the lad's last year of high school, i'm seeing all events, scoring all merch, saving all clippings, and savoring all moments. i've missed too much over the years, and time and tide wait for no dad. the football season starts in a couple hours, so i'll indulge in a quick personal post (while keeping pubcrim confined to professional matters).
i can tell that tor is trying to suss out what role sports will play in his post-high school life. if he attends a big division-I school, such as the minnversity, his football career will likely be over. if he opts for a smaller school, he'll have strong incentives to keep playing. i've got opinions on such matters, of course, but being a professor gives me surprisingly little expert knowledge. no matter how much i know about a particular university or the student-athlete role at that university, the young man ultimately makes his own choices.
tor and linemate billy (above) got some rare o-line publicity in the strib's football preview this week, as well as that of the pi press. last year, tor and billy were the new kids on a big, veteran line -- who earned their moniker as the mounds view moving company. now they're the veteran tackles, bookending guards and centers with less experience. i can't really judge tor's individual play, since the team's trapping, pulling, n' misdirecting wing-t offense remains a mystery to me. the most reliable performance indicators are collective -- whether the team is getting a good push and moving the ball. of course, if your lad plays on the line you rarely even look at the ball.
i'd always been skeptical about high school athletics, due in part to my personal sports history (i.e., "he's small and slow, but makes up for it with a bad attitude"*) and my reading of the literature on sports and delinquency. but lately i've seen tor's rugby, wrestling, and football in a more positive light -- as supervised collective projects with age-graded responsibilities that reward discipline and planfulness. that doesn't mean i don't worry about potential injuries or the opportunity costs of participation, but as long as he's enjoying the games, i'm enjoying the games.
*i didn't play much football beyond junior high, but one story comes to mind. coming off the practice field one night, i got into a beef with a real tough player. when he shoved me and threw down his helmet to fight, i kept mine on my head and buckled the chinstrap. i said i was ready to fight, but there's no way i'm taking off this helmet. he pawed at it a bit, but soon lost interest. if he hadn't cooled down, i'd still be wearing that helmet.