I have a family dilemma. Daddy told me there’d be days like this.
My wife has a best friend whom she’s known since college. They’re the type of text all day, chat all night brand of buddies. So, naturally, it makes sense that my wife would want to pile our family of four into the car and drive three hours to her friend’s son’s first birthday party.
If only he’d been born a month earlier.
Little man’s birthday party, the one where parents stand around and gleefully snap pics on their iPhones while the newly minted 1-year old smashes cake and frosting in his hair for the first time, falls on a very inconvenient day for me – September 12.
I’m a USF Bulls fan. My wife and I met in college at USF. I covered sports for years in TV. I have covered the Bulls more closely than any other TV reporter in this market since I care about the team and nobody else really gives a rip. I have a good relationship with head coach Willie Taggart.
So, how am I supposed to explain to dear ol’ Willie that I won’t be able to see our Bulls take on the Florida State Seminoles on September 12? The birthday party is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kickoff in Tallahassee is 11:30 a.m., roughly around the time of the ‘Happy Birthday’ tune.
I already asked one of my college roommates if he’s going. He is. My best friend is a campus cop in Gainesville. The Gators will be playing ECU at home that night in the Swamp, so he’ll be busy and probably can’t watch the game BUT AT LEAST he’s at a game!
Just go in the other room and watch on TV, you say. Just pull up the game and watch it on your phone, you say. I say, you have never been to a 1-year old birthday party. There is no other acceptable form of entertainment permitted at such a party outside of watching the little drool factory try to excavate frosting from his nostrils. It’s ALL about the kid. I mean ALL.
Do you know the stares that would come my way if I even suggested slipping into a spare bedroom to flip on the game? My wife says record it and watch it later. Come on. We know that extinguishes all the magic that comes along with live-sports action.
And there will still be magic on September 12!!! It’s only the second game of the year. You know, that moment in late-summer where everyone still has a little semblance of hope flickering in their eye. After a 2-win season in 2013 and a 4-win season last year, hope is all I have!
I hope USF gets in a bowl game. I hope Willie keeps his job. I hope USF clobbers Florida State.
I also hope I get to watch it, but I can hear the ‘Happy Birthday’ tune already and it’s not much of a fight song. Sorry Willie. Text me at halftime so I can know the score.