Monday, June 14, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Eh, who am I kidding?  I'm still going to write a thousand words, as usual.

I consider myself to be pretty “sports neutral.” Now, my “sports neutrality” comes not from a person who likes all sports and doesn’t care what the team is, but from a person who doesn’t like any sports, and doesn’t care what the team is. Well, I do tell a fib here…I was brought up in South Jersey, a portion of the state that aligns itself with Philadelphia rather than New York, and differentiates itself from its North Jersey counterparts by proclaiming that it would rather secede than have anything to do with land north of the Black Horse Pike. Philadelphia was the home town, and a place where I attended numerous Phillies baseball games with my family when I was a child. The Phillies (and baseball) will always have a place in my heart. I was always pretty bad at sports in school, and the last one picked for the teams. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll save it for another blog post when I don’t have anything else to write about. I’m sure this is where my sports apathy comes from, though.

Now my husband, an English transplant in this great country of ours, is a true sportsman. Absolutely any sport (or individual activity, for that matter) that he tries his hand at, he masters rather quickly. He’s got a competitive nature, and this makes him quite driven to do well. And, being English, soccer (er, football) is his calling. He’s supported his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers (and the English national team, of course) since he was a child, through thick and thin. He eschews those who are fair-weather fans, jumping loyalties with the success of the team. Oddly enough, he, too, embraces the Phillies and all teams Philadelphia since we lived in Philly for the first 5 years of our marriage, his first 5 years in this country.

For me, thinking about sports, or listening to Steve talk about sports always brings to mind an old Far Side comic. It had two pictures of a dog and its owner. The first image showed the owner saying, “Good Ginger, good girl, go fetch the ball, Ginger!” The second image had the caption, “What Dogs Hear…” and the owner is saying, “Blah blah blah, Ginger, blah blah blah, Ginger.” That’s pretty much what it’s like for me.

Anyway, this weekend marked the beginning of the World Cup. Saturday saw the occasion of the US team playing the England team. His English pride decorated our car, our front steps, our daughter and himself. One of our neighbors created a shrine to US soccer in our front yard when we weren’t home. It was very funny and actually flattering, really, that he took the time to do that. We definitely appreciated it. Sadly, we had to take it down just a few hours after it went up, as a storm was coming and we didn’t want it blown across the neighborhood in the wind. I’m kicking myself for not taking a photo. The photo above (with some creative editing to keep our salt-damaged front steps from looking like we live in the projects) is Steve and Samantha before the game. She kept her hat on just long enough to take the picture and her shirt became thoroughly soiled by chocolate ice cream at a playdate less than an hour later.

Even though I’m American, I really don’t mind the obvious slant in our household. As proud of my own country as I am, it almost doesn’t translate to sports for me. Call me a traitor, but my daughter is half-English, and should be allowed to appreciate her heritage. I remain neutral.


april narretto said...


Monica said...

I LOVE it. Sammi looks ADORABLE and I love the face paint and headgear. Truly priceless. While we're American citizens, I'm 100% German and my husband is 1/2 Dutch, so while we root for the USA at the World Cup, we also cheer for Germany and Holland. So I guess we're "slanted" here, too :-)

Stephanie said...

Well, (for Steve's and Sammi's sake) I hope England does well.

Me, personally, can't get into soccer LOL!!

Kelly said...

OMG, how cute does Sammi look?!! LOVE the hat:)

Sally Carter said...

How cool - I'm a Brit and my husband is American! It's always good to meet someone who understands the vast gulf in cultural differences there can still (even after 15 years together) be!

RobMonroe said...

I have my favorite hockey team, but aside from that I am with you - just a fan of sports in general. Much more fun, to me.

Love that she got decked out - and completely understand about the chocolate ice cream follow up. Happens more often that I would like to admit in our house - and not just with naturally messy ice cream!

Melanie said...

ha! I love this pic! Please tell Steve hello and give Sammi a hug! Sweet Pea United!