Most nights at the dinner table, I think to myself that we – my sisters and friends and I – never talked about stuff like this. The Falcons game when Matt Ryan…. But Aaron Rodgers is… Who’s better at…. Who’s gonna win at…..

And the other day, overhearing my ten-year-old son and his friend argue the merits of Iron Man and Black Panther, I caught myself thinking the same. Boys are so different.

But then, I remembered Sabrina.

In my mind, she was the best Charlie’s Angel. The smart one. Never the one who sprained her ankle, got caught by the bad guy, or was stupid enough to fall for him. If we were playing Charlie’s Angels, I claimed her. She was going to solve the crime.

Kelly, of course, was a fan favorite, or Jill, or Chris, and their merits could be argued, for sure. Better hair, if nothing else. But I always fought for Sabrina, the grown-up, slightly nerdy tomboy.

Iron Man. Black Panther. Iron Man. Black Panther.

“The suit made him. He wasn’t a real superhero.”

“He made the suit. His brain made him a superhero.”

She was the smartest. The prettiest. The fastest. The bravest. The best.

Iron Man. Black Panther.

Sabrina. Kelly. Jill.

And then… Joe. Beth. Amy. Meg.

Laura. Mary. Carrie.

And we – my sisters and friends and I – talked about stuff like that all the time.

A Ferris Bueller Kind of Day

My husband likes to promise prizes to those who get good grades. Three trimesters of straight As, you get to do something really special.

Falling behind on prizes with our now 8th grader, who likes a challenge, the two traveled this weekend to the first regular season Falcons’ game at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

What’s a Denver boy doing being a Falcons fan, you ask. Who knows?

But it’s been forever, and he even produces a Falcons Youtube channel. Husband and son both came home thrilled by the experience.

Passes for on-the-field pre-game warm-ups. An invitation from a good friend to the owners’ box. The photos show our son standing, the field below, even though he describes the cushy leather chairs with the amazing view. “I was too nervous to sit.”

Photos of the stadium. Arthur Blank talking to Roger Goodell. My son with Takeo Spikes, two-time Pro Bowler. Close-up video of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, and the tight ends who they described as 6’10” and HUGE!

“It was a Ferris Bueller kind of day,” said my husband. “We’ll remember it forever.”

“You need to get straight As,” said the 8th grader to his older brother, a Packers fan who tried hard not to be disappointed that the Falcons won. “You have to go to Lambeau. If you have a hundredth of the good time I had, it will be amazing.”

Then he added, “…and if you go, I’ll use my next three trimesters of As to go with you. How cool would that be?!”

The Flawed Timing of Fantasy Football

“Can Matt Ryan take a team to the Super Bowl?”

“How could you lose against the dog last week?”

“Why do I keep losing with that many points from Peyton? Is anyone else playing out there?!”

Distracted boys.

Globs of oatmeal on the kitchen table, spoons frozen mid-journey to debate rankings, Super Bowl chances, quarterback records, and fantasy teams.

Lots of 6 a.m. chatter.

“You lost to the dog again!”

“The Buccaneers are going down!”

Missing sports pages.

Thousands of “I just need to check my fantasy team” when they should be…
tying shoes
eating breakfast
memorizing vocabulary words
studying metamorphosis, maps, math and Mesopotamia
brushing teeth
practicing guitar
eating, playing, bathing, sleeping
listening to their mother…

…who wishes that football season and the start of school did not collide like this.

Family Fantasy Football: Week One

After a stellar showing during week one of our family fantasy football league, kickbuttmama is in the lead.

YESSSSSSSSSS!!!! Mom is the best! Mom is the best!

But I can’t gloat too much. I beat the dog.

Of course, I was surprised that when I threatened to beat my eight year old, who I am pitted against next week, he talked football. He’s apparently switching his quarterbacks, and with Matt Ryan at the helm, he thinks he can win.

I have nothing to say to that. No valid football expertise with which to smack-talk back.

The fact that I only beat the dog didn’t weigh into it. I forget that the kids think our dog is smart. Beating her is a victory like any other.

So, though I may have a championship team of players, I just danced around the kitchen taunting my boys with “kickbuttmama rocks!”

Ignoring me, the eight-year-old sports fan rubbed behind the dog’s ears and told her not to worry, she will beat his little brother next week. “I didn’t know mom was that good either.”

My Son’s Puffle

What would NFL quarterback Matt Ryan think if he knew there was a Puffle named after him? A red puffle, in fact, in keeping with Falcons’ team spirit.

A Puffle is a fluffy ball with big eyes that a fictional penguin can purchase and feed and walk as its pet. This fictional penguin is part of an online social game site for young kids called Club Penguin.

My guess is that when Matt Ryan was seven, like my son, and he dreamed of being a NFL quarterback one day, like my son, that dream did not include having a Puffle named after him.

Maybe a bobblehead, but not a Puffle.

I like how the cool and the uncool become one through the eyes of a child.

Matt Ryan, I apologize, but in my house, you are a much-loved and respected red Puffle.