My son, who I love, wondered aloud "what would it take to get you to coach high school football?" This wondering did not hurt that love. He made this comment as he wandered into the living room as I was watching an NFL game, and I asked him to notice on a replay how a defensive back lost two steps when he crossed his feet as the receiver he was covering came out of his break. This left the receiver wide open for an easy touchdown. This appeared to my son as a very impressive insight. Enough that he felt compelled to suggest a change of vocation for me.
Well, not exactly a change as much a shift. If I were to coach high school football, I would most likely teach something at the school for which I would coach. Because that's pretty much how it works. So I could teach math or civics or something, and then in late summer I would shift priorities and focus on teaching kids everything I know about football.
This is where I should point out that I played football for two years when I was in elementary school, and another one when I was in ninth grade. The rest of my years have been spent staring at others playing. Plenty of time watching from the stands. On TV. Live and on tape. I have spectated my ten thousand hours worth, and then some. I have paid attention during all those hours, hoping to gather insights and wisdom that would aid me in some way. Primarily these cues have been used for conversational gambits on Monday mornings. I suppose in some alternative reality I might have used this acumen to become a professional gambler, analyzing trends and lineups and looking at point spreads.
That didn't happen.
I sat and watched all those plays and players in all those games. For what? So that one day my son might suggest that I find a new path in my golden years. Or late silver. Whatever. I was flattered, but when all was said and done, the call from the gridiron was not loud enough to get me past the A in avocation. But for those ten minutes, I was ready to give it a shot.
And now back to reality.