Monday, November 10, 2008

Jamie, The Football Player?

My son, Jamie (#25), is an excellent soccer player. He's been playing since he was five. About six weeks ago, while I was saying goodnight to him, he turned the knob on his bedroom door, looked back at me, said, "Oh, by the way, I'm on the varsity football team," and went into his room.

What? What did he say?

Turns out the football team needed a kicker because their usual guy was injured. They tapped into the soccer team, looking for someone with a "strong foot." (Note: I am COMPLETELY ignorant about all sports. Yes, I've been on the sidelines of Jamie's soccer games since he was five, but I still don't know what's going on. I'll be quoting other people a lot in this blog entry.)

Jamie has been "taking the kick for the extra point" since then. (Yes! I'm that bad- I didn't know what that meant until Jamie started doing it. What happens is this: When Jamie's team scores a touchdown, he puts on his helmet and runs onto the field. Some guy passes the ball to another guy who holds the ball for Jamie so he can attempt to kick it through those big posts in order to score one more point. Jamie then leaves the field. Isn't my ignorance adorable? I'm smiling and winking at you right now in an attempt to win you over. Kinda like Sarah Palin.)

Jamie taking the kick for the extra point:

Last Friday was an important game. If Jamie's team, Elkins, won, they would go on to the playoffs. If they lost, the season was over for them. Much to my dismay (because it makes me nervous), they used Jamie in the game more than ever. I don't know why, don't ask me. He kicked for the extra point (we know what that means now) AND took the kick-off:

Later on in the game, when Elkins was down, they had Jamie try some special kicking-offing-thingee that he's never done before- not even in practice!! What the heck?!! My husband, Greg tells me he did well, even though it didn't have the exact outcome they were hoping for.

I just looked it up. Here's what they wanted Jamie to do (in the last game of the season, with absolutely no experience doing it!!)

"The Onside Kick

A kicking team can attempt an onside kick. The ball must travel ten yards from the spot of kick, before the kicking team can recover it. Therefore, a kicker can try to kick the ball in such a way that it pops up, giving his unit a chance to recover it. The success rate of these are very low, and it tends to be a desperation move."

Hey, look! I have video of Jamie:

Despite Jamie's best efforts to help the team, they lost. I'm told they should have won because they were the better team. The mood as we all left the stadium was somber.

When Jamie came home that night, he was obviously moved by his brief experience on a football team. He told me he had never seen such dedication before in his life. He was impressed by the rituals, the traditions and the devotion the players had to the game.

"I saw kids at practice who I've passed in the halls at school and wrote off as losers, work their asses off in hopes of getting a scholarship in order to lift themselves up out of poverty," he told me.

That's SO Jamie. He gets on the football team in his senior year in their last six weeks of the season as a lark and winds up having a profound experience. That means more to me than all the times they announced his name for making the extra point. (Though that was pretty awesome!)


havingfun said...

Jamie sounds like a wonderful young man !! Best of luck to him !

Will he play soccer in the spring?
(shows how much I know about soccer season)

caryl said...

Yes, he'll be on the varsity soccer team in the spring. He's a helluva kid. He plays guitar like a madman, too, but he won't let me record him. Maybe someday before he leaves for college.

Anonymous said...

Hey - A guitar-madman-kid is great to have around, isn't it?
I have one, too.

(hint. Record him anyway. He will be the first one to want to watch it back !)

havingfun said...

That was me above, as anonymous.
As I said, I'm new around here.

jerseyirish said...

With all the explaining you did of the kicks I am still lost. Jamie sounds like a terrific young man, caring and compassionate. That is a direct refelction on you and your husband, you guys did a great job raising him.

My son plays guitar, bass and drums. He gets lost in the music when playing.

lois meyer said...

Now this is Grandma talking - you are all absolutely right - Jamie is a terrific kid. He doesn't talk all that much about what is going on in his life, but when he does, he is well worth listening to. He is tall and handsome, a definite heart-breaker as well as very smart. We are very fortunate. His goal for a career is to work on developing alternate energy sources. He respects the fact that his Dad has made his living in the oil industry but would like to go in another direction. I am sure he will be successful because he is very focused on his future. Jamie turns 18 this Friday, the 14th. Happy Birthday, Jamie, love you.