Light posting lately as I’ve been touring coast-to-coast performing as my doppelganger, the enormously popular middle-aged white rapper known as Travis T. Or not. More likely, I’ve been feeling that sort of lackluster that I get when I’m inundated with projects and phone-stalked by clients with justifiable grievances. And since a couple-three of them venture here sometimes, I feel funny about taking time to post when their projects are going begging. Not that I’m at all out of the woods right now, but I’m claiming the hours between 2am and 4am as my own, dammit!
So, a little summing up. Of course, I spent a lot of Saturday watching football. It was like Pickett’s Charge, half of the top 15 teams disemboweled and gasping on the greensward. The most stunning of which was Stanford’s regicide of USC. That game gave Jim Harbaugh, Stanford’s first-year coach and former Michigan quarterback, instant street cred and deflected some of the attention he’d gotten when he made these peculiar remarks about his alma mater. (An aside of astounding relevance: I delivered the Toledo Blade to Harbaugh’s house when his dad coached at my high school).
The Buckeyes’ game with Purdue was shown to 85% of the country, but here we got the unsightly spectacle of UCLA allowing Notre Dame to once again breathe air in the same time slot, so I sucked it up and bought the game PPV from Comcast. You’d think they’d make it easy for a strung-out junkie to buy a hit of ESPN crack, but nooooo. You can order all manner of depravity from the cable company with just a couple of flicks of your (unoccupied) wrist and the remote, but you can’t order ESPN Gameplan - you have to call Comcast. Which is what I did a half-hour before kickoff. It was a rude awakening to apprehend that they were woefully understaffed, and my only option was to accept a call-back in 40 - 45 minutes. I fumed, cursed, and did exactly what they asked me to do and paid them everything they asked me to pay.
I only missed about 4 minutes of the first quarter. When I watch a game at home, Mrs. Perils takes the cat and disappears to a safe room somewhere where the paint won’t peel when I scream. My companion for these events, oddly, is my 90-year-old mother-in-law. She spent a lot of Saturdays watching football with her husband, and I think it has a familiar feel for her. She’s got some cognitive issues, and it doesn’t help when I flick from game to game during time-outs. She follows it for the most part, though, and every now & then has a moment of clarity, like when I do a drive-by of a Penn State game, and she exclaims, “Is Joe Paterno still coaching?”
Then there was this priceless moment a couple of weeks ago. Mrs. Perils had alighted briefly among us, and I was saying something to her about a player. She said, “what year is he?” And my MIL grinned and said, “he’s a fifth-year freshman!” We looked at each other with a “where’d that come from” look, but it’s not that far-fetched. She (my MIL) has been pondering all the various increments of academic/athletic status like “red-shirting” and, one of her favorites, “true freshman”. She was a school-teacher and a parent of two valedictorians, and her view of academic progress is decidedly less malleable than that of a college athletic department.