Saturday, December 5, 2009

Leif and Football

During this fall season of football madness I'm reminded how little interest either of my sons had in the game. Even their dad didn't show much interest in it until we moved back to Manhattan, Kansas in 1992 and the Wildcats had a winning team. It seems that we always had a football, and periodically their dad would suggest that they go throw it around to each other, but that was about the extent of football at our house. We didn't watch games much, either.

Thus this is kind of a rare photo of Leif, with the green Nerf football. There were about three shots taken during that same afternoon, and I can only think of one other picture of him with a football in his hands. This picture was taken in our yard at Am Römer 9 in Sachsen bei Ansbach, Germany. You can tell it was already pretty chilly that October as Leif was wearing a warm jacket. He was four-and-a-half years old.

Even as a high school student and as an adult, Leif showed practically zero interest in football, and although he knew who some of the well-known players were, he couldn't really discuss the games, players or the season with any real background or enthusiasm.

I've often wondered why this was so. He was enthusiastic about soccer, but never showed any interest in playing football, basketball (despite his height), or baseball, or any other games involving a ball. Aside from soccer, about the only sports he participated in were discus and javelin throwing in junior high school, swimming (primarily because we taught him and took him to the pools and beaches). The two giant exceptions to this were judo, in which he earned his first degree black belt at the age of fourteen, and the sport of fighting in the SCA.

As an adult, it would have been good for him to have some physical sport outlet to help keep him in shape and raise his endorphins, but he preferred riding a motorcycle and playing computer and online video games. He did have a set of weights but I have no idea whether he used them.


Peter W. tells me that Leif used to play touch football in the yard across the street from us with some of the neighborhood kids when he was in junior high, but I have no memory of this whatsoever. I know he never went to games or talked about it. I know he played volleyball at times, but that and soccer are the only ball games I remember him playing.

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