Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lose Some, Win Some

Here’s how bad a dad I am:

The kid’s playing today in the girls 12 and under city-wide soccer championship. I’m there of course—I’m not THAT bad a dad—standing in the chilly rain with a couple dozen other parents and I’m rooting for her team—the Supremes—to win, thereby culminating their so-far-undefeated season with a victory in the big game.

But in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “Well, of the two sporting events this weekend that I’m into—the other, of course, being tomorrow’s American Football Conference semi-final between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers—if it really were to come down to a victory in one or the other (and don’t tell this to the kid or her teammates) I’d take the Pittsburgh win.”

Now, naturally, it’s not a zero-sum game; there’s no reason why all the teams I’m rooting for can’t emerge victorious, but you know how the Gods of Sport are: they don’t want to give you too much. Nothing leads more consistently to failure than overreaching; pride goeth before a fall and all that.

No doubt this admission marks me as some kind of soulless monster: I’d rather have a team of overpaid men in spandex pajamas win a game thousands of miles away than have my the squad of my daughter—right in front of me—come through on top after working so hard together all season long.

But so be it; that’s the guy I am, warts and all.

So, guess what? Mimi’s team scores first and goes into halftime ahead 1-0. In the second half, though, their rivals tie it up and the teams find themselves 1-1 after regulation. Finally, on the last penalty kick of the shootout, Mimi’s teammate misses and the Supremes go down to defeat.

Twelve year-old girls are crying left and right (but not my daughter, who just shrugs.) I’m sad, too, on the outside, but inside, I’m thinking, “Cool! Steelers, FTW!”


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