Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This is the football field around which I've run at least forty gazillion laps since the early 1980's. When I was in high school, my mother organized the fundraising effort to put down a track surrounding the field.

For all the grief I give her, she really was very inspirational as it related to our participation in sports. She played softball into her 40's and encouraged us to play; she made me join a bowling league with her (my highest score was 198, yes it was); and when she was young, she was one of the first females to letter in varsity basketball at Gloucester High School. This was in the days when women only played half-court.

Have I mentioned here lately how old I feel when I say stuff like that, things like, "My mother played basketball when it was only a half-court sport," or "My great-aunt took a horse and buggy to get to town," or "I must have my 13-year-old show me how to do anything that has a wire attached to it," or "You won't believe where I found a hair growing today?"

Last night I attended a Mathews High School j.v. football game, and today I watched two Ware Academy soccer games. Can I tell you that in spite of being a 43-year-old female, I wanted to jump right out onto both playing fields and tear things up? I wanted to race up and down the soccer field, kick the doggone ball until the stuffing came loose, tackle someone on the football field and later score the winning touchdown.

Yes, I even want to play football when I'm watching it from the sidelines. Would you believe that I have actually played a game of football on the MHS field before, under the lights, in front of an audience, and it did not happen when I was ten toes up asleep and dreaming? Would you believe I scored a touchdown, only it didn't count and I was so pissed off I couldn't see straight and steam was coming out of my ears? Would you believe that I was so angry that my touchdown didn't count I cannot even remember WHY it didn't count? It had nothing to do with me, but something to do with someone else. I'm sure of it.

By the way, even though sometimes I have been known to embellish or tweak the facts of a story for effect (or because I can't remember the facts), the truth is I really did play football on this field, one game: the Powder Puff game. Girls played football, and boys played cheerleaders. My heavens there were some ugly looking cheerleaders that night. And there was at least one female who was robbed of a touchdown, but she's not bitter or resentful or anything, even over 25 years later..

My point is....I'm not sure. Actually, I belive there are several.

I thank my mother for influencing me to love participating and competing in sports. The best memories of my life have been around high school (and county league) sports -not watching but participating.

I can't watch a sporting event without wanting to run out and start playing, regardless of the sport.

I was a darn fine football player, and I did score a touchdown. Whether it counted or not is absolutely, positively, 100% immaterial.

I was made to play sports, not watch them. Just ask my children, they can tell you. I embarrass them on a weekly basis as a spectator who feels that no age is too old to get out there and compete, or at least to scream with the enthusiasm of a Middle-Aged Wanna Be who wishes she could play and who will not get old without a fight.

The End.


Bear Naked said...

CBW I have a question for you.
What is the population of Mathews now in comparison to when you were growing up?
Increased or decreased?

Bear((( )))

Grandma J said...

What great memories you and your family have!

Mental P Mama said...

Woot! Good for you all! And, I grew up during the half-court era as well. *sigh

Anonymous said...

I remember that Powder Puff Game because I was on the sidelines wearing a jacket and a mustache, as an escort for one of the guys (dressed up like girls) on the "court." Unfortunately, by the time it was my turn to be in the Powder Puff game, our class had gotten into so much trouble that they robbed us of that delight. I think that there were too many behavior problems at the regular football games and they didn't want us to get out of hand...or something like that!!

-Middle Sis

Big Hair Envy said...

I recognize that school, and I vividly remember Powder Puff football games!

Did you guys ever have Donkey basketball games? Everyone (teachers and students) rode around the gym on donkeys and tried to score points. The refs all carried shovels around.....just in case. Those games always sold out :)

foolery said...

Here's where the "separated at birth" thing ends, Miss Cheeky. I LOATHED sports in school, for many reasons, none of which I will go into here. Married into a sports family, sigh. Please please please please please someone fix it so I don't have to go to any soccer games? Baseball, softball, basketball and volleyball would be fine, but no soccer, please.

My body may be a temple, but it's from the sixth century B.C. and it's in dire need of an overhaul, or a razing.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Middle Sis, I too was robbed of the POWDER PUFF game. However, I can tell you that if there HAD been a powder puff game, I would have left several people with gnarled up phalanges, just like I did at the skating rink...
Baby Sis

tj said...

...Yeah, I don't have a competitive bone in my body. Somehow I missed out on the "sports" gene. And the breasts gene. And the great hair gene. Oh, and the good vision gene... I guess I oughta quit while I'm ahead 'cause this could get ugly. Which reminds me, the beauty gene...missed the bus on that one too...(*sigh*) lol... ;o)

...That's great that you and your family have so much history there in Mathews. I bet your kids get to hear stories from school on how their mom did in sports and their aunts did in class and etc...etc...etc...

...Oh, and, "You won't believe where I found a hair growing today?"...(*shudders*wince*) lol...

...Blessings... :o)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Bear - Our population has fluctuated upwards, but not by much, relatively speaking. I will try and remember to look into the figures. You know me and numbers, not a good combo.

GJ - There are many memories, some great and some, well, just memories. But the good ones outweigh any bad ones.

mpm - I had no idea half-court went on as long as it did...I was always under the impression - given to me by my mother- that half-court was the sure sign of ancient basketball. I know for a fact you're not ancient.

MIddle Sis - I forgot about the escorts! I can't believe you were robbed. It was very liberating to get out on that field and SCORE A TOUCHDOWN THAT THEY DIDN'T COUNT AND I'LL NEVER FORGET. EVER.

bhe - thank the good Lord above you can verify these stories, otherwise people might think we're loonier than they already do. I recall donkey basketball, but I'm not sure if I remember it from Mathews, Gloucester or Middlesex. Regardless, teachers playing basketball on donkeys? That has dysfunctional written all over it, and therefore fits right in around here.

Foolery - I knew it was too good to be true, but I totally understand what you are saying. If you want, I can be your stand-in at these soccer games you don't want to attend. Warn your children they will need earplugs.

Baby Sis - You definitely would have ruled in football, just as you did in baketball, track, and every other sport where you BROKE RECORDS, NOT THAT I'M BITTER OR ANYTHING. Seriously, you would have loved it.

tj - You have too many gifts to list here, but they include sincere kindness, a wry sense of humor, an appreciation for what is important in life, and the ability to find beauty in places others might overlook. Don't underestimate your gifts.

Anonymous said...

Oh, we are soooo singing out of the same song book! About the feeling old part. And also, about the "my mom played basketball when it was a half-court game" part. You forgot about the underhand free throws.

But not so much about the athletic part. No, what makes my feet twitch and makes me want to fall in step with the kiddos is watching the marching bands in parades and halftime shows. Once a band geek, always a band geek. Seriously. It was the best. I seriously get a little choked up when I watch a stupid parade. I just want to be out there!

AHEM. Sorry, lost myself there a little bit.

Lovely post, CBW.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Oh, Soup. I forgot about the underhand free throws.

Band members were not geeks, they just played a different role in the game. I think it is important to just feel passionate about something, no matter what that may be.

It's all about the passion.