Gut Rumbles

September 29, 2003

Things I thought about today

* I thought about Palestinian fathers who strap bomb-belts on their sons and daughters and send them off to die. Then, I thought about the pie-fight I had with Quinton and Jack this weekend. How can ANY father love his son and still strap an explosive belt on him, and tell him to go detonate himself in the middle of a cafe? What kind of savages are those people? I would throw myself on a hand grenade to save Quinton's life. I would NEVER take pride in seeing him become a "martyr" in a totally useless, totally stupid cause.

* I thought about my job. I thought long and hard about the fact that I don't qualify for the package that's being offered to people that are a mere three and one-half years older than I am. I wish I could take it. Hell, I would throw my clock number in the hat RIGHT NOW if they would let me. I can retire with reduced benefits on February 16th of next year. If they would sever me NOW and throw in about two years worth of pay, I could do what I really want to do.

I could write, full time, and see how much I could sell.

* I thought about football. I did a lot of coaching with Quinton this weekend about how to line up a tackle in the open field and how to "lead" a runner when he's trying to cut the corner. I also told him to use his helmet first and shoulders second when making a tackle. I don't give a shit what some have-no-clue-about-football pussy such as this one has to say:

admit I have misgivings about Rob's attitudes and values. To teach his son to 'hit to kill" in a game of football does not strike me as wholesome. Macho yes. But wise? I don't think so. It's okay to encourage competitiveness, but that's not the same thing as what Rob said he wanted to encourage.

Dumbfuck. DID YOU EVER PLAY FOOTBALL??? It AIN'T a NICE-GUY GAME. If you are not willing to "hit to kill," your pussy ass has no business on a football field. That ain't fucking soccer you're playing out there. The helmet and shoulder pads protect you, but they are WEAPONS, too. If you can't use them as such, you don't need to jock up and go out there.

I LOVE listening to wimmen talk about football. They have nary a fucking clue, but that fact never stopped a woman from pretending to be an expert on ANY subject. I forget who said it in my comments, but somebody who ACTUALLY PLAYED FOOTBALL mentioned that the boys who try to avoid contact are the ones who get hurt playing football. He was absolutely correct.

If you EXPECT to hit or GET hit on every play, you're ready for it. You learn how to take a lick, how to fall, how to give a lick and keep on your feet. You learn to stay ALERT all the time. People who go to sleep on the football field get hurt. If I stay on my toes all the time, I'LL be the one who hurts YOU. I don't see anything wrong with teaching my son to play football the way I played it. He gives away a lot of size out there, the same way I did. I am showing him how to WIN in spite of physical shortcomings.

Sometimes, in football, it boils down to who wants it badly enough. If you won't hit, hang up your jock and go home. Football just ain't your game. It's a collision sport. If you ain't willing to collide, you'd better just quit, RIGHT NOW.

And mamas who can't handle that fact should NEVER let their darling, precious boys play football. Buy them some goddam Barbie Dolls to play with. You always wanted a fucking girl anyway.

* I thought about Blood Mountain. For some reason, I dreamed last night about being back in the cabin. I dreamed that I had slept all day (Bejus! I wish I could!) and I was late for the blog-meet. I was alone and I couldn't find my car keys. I went into a panic. (I have this real anal part of me that demands total punctuality in everything I do. I live and die by deadlines at work and I'm still alive.) I went running out of the cabin with no pants on and realized that I couldn't ride to Dahlonega UNDRESSED the way I was. I started back to the cabin to find my pants and woke up at 4:20 this morning.

Yes, I dream vividly that way.

* I thought about my mama. We didn't go visit her this weekend. Me and the boys had pie-fights and football games, and I am a shitty son for doing that instead of visiting my mama.

That's what I thought about today.


I love playing football. Tackle football. I have already started teaching my daughter to play like you are teaching Quinton. Play with all your heart, or don't play at all. My boys learned it, my daughter will learn it. And my grandkids will learn it.

Posted by: drc on September 29, 2003 08:29 PM

A lot of people don't realize that being passive and going about things in a half assed way on the football field is probably the quickest way to get hurt. I played long enough to realize I wasn't real good at it and got hurt by just going thru the motions. You're right to be teaching your boy the fundamentals. I didn't have a clue and probably would have enjoyed it a lot more if I'd have had someone explain the basics to me. Of coarse, I'd still have been slow and uncoordinated and couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. I had target written all over me!

Posted by: Jmon on September 29, 2003 09:24 PM

hell yes, rob! i'm 5 feet tall, 110 pounds, and i've played pickup football with guys just about twice my size. as long as you expect to smash into them, you're alright. quinton can't possibly be smaller than i am, and he's definitely much tougher.

yes, i did get hit and go flying into the bushes, but then i stood up, shook myself off, and went back out again.

man, i miss all that... thanks for reminding me.

Posted by: tzippora on September 29, 2003 09:37 PM

Your commenter would probably really dislike my 7th grade football coach (I did too, but that's a different matter; he still managed to teach my scrawny ass how to tackle someone twice my size). He taught us much like it sounds you would, with little added bonuses like walking on our stomachs while we were doing situps. Wearing his golf cleats, of course...

Posted by: Steve Gigl on September 29, 2003 10:17 PM

You need to get him a t-shirt with Fresno State's football motto "shut up and hit someone".

Posted by: Michelle on September 30, 2003 12:17 AM

Rob...if Quinton was a father and spent the day with his son, like you did with him, would you be home thinking that he was a shitty son or a damn good Dad?

A damn good Dad.

Which is exactly what you are. I'll bet if we asked your Mom, she'd not only say the same thing, but also rip limbs offa anyone who called you a shitty son. And..she'd be right to do so.
Hell, next time, bring her over to your house. Then, she can watch you guys play and keep Jack from running into the house. (I can just see her in your doorway like a goalie...yardstick and all.)

Posted by: Stevie on September 30, 2003 02:41 AM

I wouldn't go so far as to say that life is like football but it is competitive. I went to college at a very late age and some of the saddest things I saw were kids out of highschools were the staff had the PC attitude that competetion was bad and that school and learning should be fun and enjoyable. Then the kids would hit a major state university and die like flies. The proffs grade on a curve that is designed ot eleminate a percentage of the class. Learning turns into work. Premed students were known to throw a wrench into another premed' s chemistry experiments, etc.
Then there is the wonderful world of work and job seeking. If you are trying to get a job that pays well and that you think you would enjoy I can almost guarantee that it is going to be competitive getting it and keeping it. People who just coast and don't keep a head up, even though they show up everyday, will be out the door during hard times. Whoops! I just meant to write a comment not a column!

Posted by: toad on September 30, 2003 03:42 AM

I LOVE football, and was broken-hearted when my 6 foot 15 year old son decided not to play last year (after having played 4 years). He played the right way - in his words, "I like to knock kids down". He was big, tough and good. BUT, you shouldn't teach Quinten to hit with his head!!! That is SO dangerous. Yes, it is effective, but could break his neck.

Posted by: Susan on September 30, 2003 08:16 AM

Listen Dude, if you're not doing what you want to do with your life you're a fool. On the other hand,If you had the talent to make a living as a writer you probably would have done it by now. Freelance writing is a grind. If you do it for a lviing, your living won't be very good. Even the best among us don't make much. There are a few exceptions, writers of books, who have a best selles, they make some decent dough for a couple of years. With your style, opinions and level of skill, ranting on a Weblog is probably the best you can do. Try the lottery.

Posted by: Brian on September 30, 2003 09:04 AM

Acidman, I've played football and have to agree with you on the fact that though it is physical, it is also a cerebral game of strategy. You have to think, and stay focused ALL the time, or you get hurt a lot worse. Your job IS to take the other guy down. Even kickers and quaterbacks, the two people you NEVER want to see hurt, have to dish out the licks and hits when the time comes.
You also learn quickly, what it feels like to get "hit" and "hurt", and pick yourself up and get ready to do it again. That IS real life experience. Your JOB, the person after YOUR job, is going to do it again and again. And we won't get into the home life side of it.
You learn how to react to life.
BTW, in the early 70's, my cousin ( a girl) was the top kick returner for her high school ever. Record still stands. SHE got pounded every day, at practise and at games. Once suited up, you couldn't pick her out on the field. So she got pounded, let me tell you. And she had her collar bone broken and still played.
I can hear the next comment coming, YES, she likes MEN, and football. Ask her husband and kids.

Posted by: Wichi Dude on September 30, 2003 10:02 AM

I've never played football and I don't have children. That being said, Rob's method's may not suit some of his namby-pamby readers but I wish someone had taken the time, and made the effort to teach me what he's teaching his son. Its not just football either, life in general will knock you down if you leave yourself open