A Little Friendly Family Competition

My sports skills are legendary. I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but not enough not to.

I hit balls in play exactly two times in three years of playing baseball. One was a pop-up the second baseman caught. The second was a grounder the first baseman easily grabbed and stepped on the bag. Foul balls were my gift. I hit a few that were never recovered.

My football career lasted two days. Enough said.

I only played basketball in the eighth grade. I touched the ball in games, I think, four times. I was no good in actual games, but over many years I got pretty good at making shots, especially hook shots.

I was substitute teaching in a high school PE class. It was open gym and the boys were shooting hoops. I was standing about ten feet away from half-court along the sideline. I asked a boy standing near me, “What do you give me if I make a hook shot from here?”

“No way.”

I swished three in a row.

Once I was shooting baskets in the gymnasium of a university my wife was attending. I liked shooting from the left corner baseline. I’m left handed which made it easy. I swished thirteen in a row. A young guy came over from a serious game at the other end of the gym.

“Hey, do you want to come and play with us?” he asked.

I smiled and said, “No, thanks. I’m really not good in a game.” He believed me.

Today the sports gods of the universe, if there was such a thing, shined down on me. Our family had a picnic at Pointe aux Barques Park in Huron City. Several of us were taking turns throwing a small football at a popcan sitting on a barbeque grill.

I took my turn several times, with three throws at each turn. On my last attempt, from about twenty-seven feet, I nailed the can.

The ball hit the can squarely and crushed it! I strutted like I just fanned the last batter in the world series, kicked a winning field goal, got hole in one at Pebble Beach, or took the checkered flag at Daytona.

It was fun. I’m still basking in the glory. Not really.

My family all cheered. Our daughter said, “Dad, we would all be jealous if it was anyone but you.”

It was a great day. Being with family is always a winner.