October 28, 2000
Not My Game
I had occasion again today to remind someone that I'm not a football fan. I never have been, and don't plan to change.
When I was in high school, I went to a lot of football games, because I was in the band for most of my high school years. In a physical education class I had to learn some of the basic rules of the game---not to play, but to pass a written test. But as soon as I didn't need to remember them anymore, I forgot them.
I never went to a football game when I was in college (just as well, my legs are too long for the stadium), and have turned down all chances to go since.
My non-fan status, however, is peanuts compared to my mother's.
In her first years of teaching, some school systems' requirements for athletes in terms of academics existed, but were, ahh, interestingly enforced. In the system in which Mother was teaching, football was the most important sport. So if a student was failing her Spanish class, and needed to pass it in order to continue to play football, Mother was required to give the kid the points necessary, at least till the season was over.
And she hated having to do this, although in those years the practice was quietly accepted.
But my mother was a stubborn woman, and made a few rules of her own to parallel those of the system. Since they required her to pass the football players, she would look through her gradebook for students who were really trying, but who for whatever reason were not doing well in her classes. For every grading period that football players got a few points, so did the earnest students.
She referred to it as some for them, and some for her. I liked that.