I’m not sure exactly when my oldest son became interested in sports. I don’t even really care when it was, it’s just important that he looks forward to Saturdays just as much as his mom and dad. In our home, Saturdays=SPORTS. While we’re watching a football game, it melts my heart to watch Mulligan get down, and wait for the “down…set…” and then he plows over whomever may be in his path. (OK, so honestly, it doesn’t melt my heart when he pummels his sisters, or baby brothers, but when his imaginary guys get tackled, my heart leaps for joy!)
A few weeks ago, he was watching the Auburn vs. Alabama State game (Anyone else hear about, or watch that game? ;). He watched Ace get all excited about the amazing touchdown in the final second. Since then, we’ve had several opportunities to re-hash that play. He tells everyone, “I watched that Auburn vs. Alabama State game, and this guy from Alabama’s team missed a field goal, and a guy from Auburn caught the ball and ran down the whole field and scored a touchdown. Auburn won the game!” I’m pretty sure (Alright fine, I’m crossing my fingers, hoping) that is what he was talking to the Echo lady about, while I was passed out on the table holding Bogey (You know the old adage: “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” Yep, I was doing that.)
Every day last week while we were in California, Mulligan reminded me that Stanford was playing Arizona State, and that we needed to make sure we were home to watch that game. (We saw a huge billboard near campus that was advertising the big game. Nice marketing Stanford athletics. It worked!) He wants me to keep him informed as to what teams are “versing” each other. (We’re still working on the lingo…) When he hears the ESPN app notification on my phone, he knows to ask for a score.
So, I guess I’m not sure why I was so shocked last Thursday night when I crawled into the bed in our hotel room and switched the channel from a football game to The Sound Of Music with Carrie Underwood (Usually, I never opt out of sports on TV, but the commercials for the musical had me hooked, right away. Those people in marketing are good! Or maybe we’re just too easy to sway.) and Mulligan about lost it! He dropped to his knees, saying; “NOOO! Why did you turn the channel?” followed by a fake crying sound. (Speaking of TV, acting, and dramatics….) To which I replied, “You don’t even know who is playing, or who you are cheering for.” Wrong. Evidentially, Louisville has a new member of their fan club.
Football isn’t the only sport he obsesses over. He was Kevin Durrant (well, a red-haired version of the NBA star) for Halloween. When his little friend comes over to play, and Mulligan wants to play basketball, he always chooses the Thunder team, and then usually has to inform the friend that “The Dragons” or “The Tornados” are not real teams. Mulligan then proceeds to give his little buddy a play by play that always ends up with Durrant, er, Mulligan slam dunking at the buzzer.
Ace and I have loved coaching him on his little 1st grade team. He has a bit to grow before he fits into his jersey just right. Similarly, he has a bit work on before he catches up to the player he imagines himself to be. I am amazed at the things he’s learned to in such a short period of time. (i.e. Dribble down the court at a “faster than walking” pace without looking at the ball the whole time.) On occasion, I’ll see him pretending to dribble a ball, and then shoot to an imaginary hoop. I assume he makes it every time, because each “shot” is followed by a less than subtle fist pump.
I am hoping this trend continues. It’s fun to have a little buddy to talk and play sports with. I love how it is creating a little extra bond between him and Ace. Ace always takes the time to explain referee calls, or work on skills to boost Mulligan’s talent.
Now, if we can convince his little sister that sports are great, she can officially be part of the family. (Ha ha! I’m kidding. We love Birdie! She can love ballet and dancing more than basketball. She’s young. We’ve got plenty of time to change her mind. We just need to get a hold of those Stanford and NBC marketing people!)