Sunday, September 18, 2011


This was a great sports weekend.  Even though the sport pages will tell you that the Yankees dropped two out of three to the Blue Jays, that the Nittany Lions eeked out an embarrassingly slim victory over perennial punching bag Temple killing any chances at a return to the Top 25, and that the Seahawks got blanked on the road, I'd still call it a complete success for two reasons.

First, this weekend marked Finn's first request to play catch.  Granted, he wanted to play catch with the toy basketball in the basement, but he still said, "Dad, let's play catch."  I got choked up.  It was just like Field of Dreams.  Plus, he was actually able to catch the ball when I threw it to him.  I used to state that Finn was destined to play shortstop for the Yankees on these very pages, but I haven't done that in a while.  Mostly because he has proved to be terrible at catching balls with anything other than his face.

But not anymore!  Whereas I used to have to very carefully toss the ball directly into the area where his hands were already clenched in order for him to catch it, this weekend he deftly picked the ball out of the air time after time like he was intercepting either of Penn State's ridiculously poor excuses for a quarterback.  Plus, once he picked up the bat, he was able to make contact on enough pitches that he easily could have made the top of the Mariners batting order.  Finally, when we took that basketball and pointed it at the hoop, he nailed four in a row from about 10 feet out.  Amazing, even if the hoop is only three feet off the ground.

I have no idea where this athletic talent suddenly emerged from, but I'm pretty sure it's not his Y chromosome.  For all my big talk and fandom, the only sport skills he's going to pick up from me are the ability to look incredibly awkward in tiny little track shorts, prodigious mediocrity across the board, and an affinity for drinking games.

Even so, it's nice to see that my dreams of retiring on his talents are still alive.

Second, this weekend marked the return of the Puyallup Fair and with it, the greatest spectator sport known to man:  Mutton Bustin'.  

That's not Finn in the picture, but it will be next year.

I don't know whether it was the wet weather or if we just got lucky with a good crop of sheep jockeys, but the Busters this year were awesome.  We saw at least four kids go the distance.  Maybe wet wool is easier to hold onto, but it was impressive.

Finn kept saying that he wanted to ride, but given how he reacted when we put him on the stairs to the slide by himself immediately following this, I'm pretty sure he was just talking smack.  He does like the mud, though, so I'm really hoping that next year is our year.  You can ride until you're six, so we've got some time.

Of course, if we've got major league scouts sniffing around, I may need to put the kibosh on the whole thing.  We can't risk my... er, our future financial security.

What we can risk, however, is our arteries.  Since I chickened out last year, I was determined to end my fest with a Krispy Kreme fried chicken sandwich this year.  Behold, you can actually see my heart attacking.

Now that's good doughnut.

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