Football-crazed nephew an eager pupil

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I am blessed to have a wonderful daughter. She’s well-behaved, takes time to smell the roses, is smart, listens to her parents (she’s 11, so that may soon change) and just enjoys life. She’s a girl who likes a few hard rock songs, a lot of rock tunes, watching baseball, and a score of other interests that we share.

However, she loves to dance (fortunately, she’s got moves, unlike her dad), loves pop music (ugh), doing girly stuff (again, not my thing), and dislikes football.

What?

Yeah, she is not a fan of the NFL, which sometimes causes me to almost shed a tear.

I thought it was because the game is just too violent, but recently she said it was boring, and she preferred baseball because it was a faster game (I think she must have been watching Mark Buehrle fast-pitch for the Jays, her favourite team).

I love both sports, so I won’t argue one over the other, but I also know she’ll never be one to come down on a Sunday afternoon to watch some football with her father.

But I think I’ve found a substitute, her cousin.

He’s a Chatham-Kent Cougar, entering his second year in the house league program. Ever since he signed up in 2012, this dude began to eat and breathe football!

He’s 10.

So as the start to this NFL season loomed, I received a text from his mother, wondering if he could come by to watch some of the first game of the year, which was on a Thursday night. The boy had a choice between hanging out with a buddy or watching some football with his uncle, and he chose me.

I said it would be no problem, but pointed out kickoff was slated for about 8:40 p.m. (and it was subsequently pushed back due to a lightning storm until after 9 p.m.). Too late on a school night.

But three days later, he and his father showed up to watch the afternoon games. And they were loaded for bear. Well, Bears, as in Chicago Bears.

The lad is a Chicago Bears fan. And the Bears were on the tube on this day.

To keep our energy levels up for six or seven hours of watching football, in came a crock pot full of meatballs, a box of chicken bites, a tray of meats and cheese, and various bags of snacks.

For three people!

The ladies smartly went out for an afternoon of shopping.

I fell into a meatball coma about halfway through the second game.

The nephew returned the next Thursday, as he slept over because his mother had early work commitments out of town. He got to watch most of the first half of the Jets-Patriots game before I sent him up to bed.

“Aww, but I’m not tired,” he said, looking at me through slitted eyes that spoke otherwise.

I told him I’d watch the rest of the game and let him know how things turned out.

That worked well until about midway through the third quarter. I woke up a couple of hours later, missing the end of the game.

Ooops.

We caught up on things the next morning with Sports Centre and Fruit Loops.

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