My son was born at the end of May. He’s basically lived in a world without sports for the majority of that time. Everything was on hiatus. The NBA and NHL came back but I’m not a huge fan of either. I watched some of the NBA Playoffs just because I was starving for sports but my son was never around. The Reds made the playoffs but their games were played during the day while he’s at daycare. Well, Saturday was the first time my son actually watched sports. It was an adventure.
The game kicked off at 3:30 PM as you all know. What you don’t know is that this is playtime in the Jumbo Heroes house. As anyone who has been a parent of a newborn knows it is very important to keep a schedule. Thank the heavens for my wife because she has been phenomenal with all of this, and she also knows how much I love Purdue sports. So while my wife worked out pre-game my son and I played in the basement with some pretty amazing toys. Just after 3:30 my wife took over playtime and learning duties and I headed upstairs to watch the game. Just after 4:00 they came upstairs. This is normally wind down/nap time so the TV was on a low volume and my son got his first look at Purdue football.
Since he’s so young we severely limit the amount of screen time he gets. Generally we don’t even have the television on if he’s in the room since he now has complete head and neck control so that he can try and watch the TV regardless of how he’s sitting. This was an exception though. As he sat on my wife’s lap getting his first taste of Purdue athletics I could tell he was hooked. Poor kid is in for a lifetime of disappointment. Despite being pretty tired at this point he watched as David Bell put the Boilermakers on the board. Then he really needed to take a nap. The little guy likes to snuggle into our chests before being put down. For whatever reason he wasn’t relaxing on my wife so it was up to me. My wife looked me in the face and said “you know this means you can’t talk to the TV right?” I of course knew this and took the little guy on. However, he still didn’t want to sleep, he just wanted to watch football. Instead my wife took him back and we eventually got him down in his pack and play which is in the living room with us. That meant no yelling at the TV and continued low volume. Sacrifices must be made.
At halftime my other duties around the house kicked in and I took the dog out on a walk. We also decided to go with an easy dinner and so I cooked a frozen pizza. This allowed for minimal prep time so that I would miss less of the game. However, since we are currently working on eating solids with our son that means we are eating at the dinner table with him in his highchair so he can see and model our behavior. I missed a large majority of the third quarter but ya know what, some things are more important (Plus I could still hear it from the other room, and I might’ve run in to check plays from time to time.). That’s not to say that I wasn’t anxious to be missing the game though. I was stressed the whole time.
As the fourth quarter ticked away and it looked like Purdue was headed to defeat my wife and son again went downstairs to play. Then came 6:45 PM EST. That doesn’t mean anything to you but in our household that means it’s time to read. There was just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter and Purdue was driving for the go ahead touchdown. What could be more exciting!??! Well, it turns out that reading to your son is pretty darn great. I hit record on the game and ran upstairs for my 15 minutes of reading time before dinner. Then I hung out for feeding, burping, and changing time.
For anyone who has ever tried to time-shift a sporting event you know how hard it can be. No opening social media, ignore the vibrations of your phone from the Hammer and Rails group text chain, don’t look at your texts from friends of family, etc. It’s a grueling process as each vibration alerts you that SOMETHING is happening but you just don’t know what.
With my son snuggling in with my wife as he drifted off to dreamland I turned on the nightlight, kissed everyone goodnight, shut off the hallway light, and creeped downstairs as quiet as a mouse to finish the game. As Purdue wide receiver, and namesake of my second son should I have one, David Bell caught his third TD pass that put Purdue in the lead for good all you got out of me was a muted yes and a silent celebratory fist swing. Things sure are different watching football as a father but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
p.s. I think I understand noon games now...