The professor’s wish as a father of three boys has come true; his trio of mini-me’s has finally come around to the idea of watching sports with him. Basketball, baseball, and ‘soccerball’ as the Hen calls it.
Because every sport has ‘ball’ at the end of it.
The act of watching sports naturally requires forming some sort of allegiance to one of the teams. Because what’s the point of watching a game if you’re not going to favor one team over another? If there’s not an element of competition even among the couch potatoes?
The Hen and the Gort – who do not have any recreational allegiances at this point in their young lives – lend their support based on one criterion: the color of the team’s jerseys.
The Celtics were playing against the Heat last week. When they sported green jerseys, the Hen happily supported them. But when they switched a couple of nights later and wore their white uniforms, he cheered for the Heat.
And the funny thing is, he seems to be on a streak of picking winners simply by honoring his color preferences.
Holland and Denmark were playing soccer on Saturday. The Gort opted to support the orange team. The Hen favored the white uniforms of Denmark. [They never pick the same team.]
The Hen watched faithfully, cheering ‘his’ team on to victory while the Gort disappeared after a few minutes of feigning interest. ‘Gaga, the white team is winning,’ the Hen couldn’t help but relay when his brother briefly resurfaced. ‘I don’t care,’ the Gort shrugged, causing the professor to laugh.
‘The ultimate oldest brother trick: acting like you don’t care.’
Except in the Gort’s case I don’t think he actually cared how the Dutchies had fared in his absence.
The next game was Croatia against Ireland. The Hen chose the ‘blue’ jerseys – possibly because they closely resemble the color of his U6 soccer team. Sure enough, Croatia beat Ireland 3-1.
I could see the wheels turning inside the professor’s mind; as he briefly considered harnessing his young son’s ‘gift’ to become a fixture on the local sports-betting-scene.
As it turns out, the Hen also applies color theory to his own sportsmanship. At last night’s soccer game, the opposing (pale yellow) team had a whopping 3 players compared to our 10 blue sharks. The sharks’ coach kindly asked the Hen if he would consider donning a yellow polyester mesh vest over his blue shirt and playing for the pale yellow whatevers. The Hen refused.
He is a royal blue man, not a pale yellow man.
Which means the sharks’ goodest player joined the yellows and dealt his own teammates a harsh 7-4 defeat. The kid is a whirling dervish, one-man-show on the field; single-handedly dribbling the ball, stealing it from his opponents and scoring all the goals.
The Hen managed one assist and two goals for the sharks – a new personal best. As I cheered him on in a volume that suggested we were in the finals of the Euro Cup rather than a biweekly U6 game, a fellow mom pointed out that the reason it was all going so well was because the ‘goodest player’…….was sitting on the sidelines, having a snack.