Stand Up

I saw Chris Stapleton at Red Rocks last night. The sky was clear. The city lights twinkled at us from below the rocks. He played all four songs I know. And Peyton Manning joined him on stage to sing “Tennessee Whiskey.” Plus, he has the most creative intro of band members I’ve ever heard, which makes him really likable.

I just want to know why people feel the need to bug you if you sit down to listen to the music. Like you’re making them uncomfortable.

Christ Stapleton’s music is mellow. His low voice and the acoustics at Red Rocks are impressive. But seriously, I can only sway for so long.

And just to impress the stander-uppers – because if you don’t, they feel the need to nag you – why do you have to stay on your feet until midnight with thoughts of “my-back-aches, wow-that-guy-is-really-drunk, and please-play-faster-I-have-to-get-up-at-5am” running through your head?

Although it may not look it to the stander-uppers, it is way “cooler” to sit and appreciate the awesome guitar playing, listen to the story-telling that is country music, watch a hawk soar above the rocks, and identify the constellations on a crisp, cool night in May.

Acronyms and My So Smart Teen

My boys were very happy with their week with Grandmom. She loves Jimmy Johns as much they do and kept them at their homework. They enjoyed sitting with her at dinner, stating their strong opinions about the Presidential primaries and picking her brain about her Democratic leanings, mostly because they contradict, at times, the views of Dad.

They loved that she calls Peyton Manning “her boyfriend”, can talk about football, and had a blast watching the Super Bowl with them… on the television.

For my thirteen year old, a funny little thing caught his attention. The day after Grandmom’s departure, I caught him giggling and muttering “the television.”

“What’s so funny?”

“Grandmom always says ‘the television.’”

Blank stare from me.

“‘Let’s watch the television.’ ‘Can you turn on the television?’”


“Doesn’t she know we use acronyms now? Like TV?”

What a funny thing to pick up on.

Colorado Skiing and Broncos Football

“Are you watching the game up here?”

“You heading back before kickoff?”

On any Broncos game weekend, that’s what friends and strangers alike will ask you on the chairlift, slope-side or riding up the gondola.

This past play-off weekend, despite plenty of snow and gorgeous sunny weather, avid skiers, gunning for their “vertical-feet” record, put seasonal legacies aside for something bigger. Something worth sacrificing a perfect ski day for – our Broncos.

“We’re leaving at 7am.” On Sunday. A ski day.

Everywhere you looked Saturday, skiers wore football jerseys over their jackets. Orange and blue was everywhere. Men, women, children, boys, girls.

And then, there were my skiers and their friends. “We’re leaving at 7.” “Go Broncos!” Huge fans.

Yet of five boys age eight to thirteen, not one wore a Broncos shirt. Expressing their individuality. Egging each other on in competition for best team, best favorite player, best team trivia knowledge. They donned Packers, Falcons, Chiefs, Lions, and even Patriots jerseys and welcomed the attention they got as they sped down black diamonds and crashed off jumps they didn’t quite see.

The Lions’ fan counted ten “Go Lions!”

The Packers fan boasted five or six “Nice jersey, dude! Go Packs!”

But on playoff Sunday, we left at 7.

“Go Broncos!” “Go Peyton!” “Our defense rocks!”

And we were all home for the game. Yelling. At times, covering our eyes. Praying. Cheering. Jumping up and down. Hugging. A team worth the sacrifice of a perfect ski Sunday, because we get to do it again in two weeks.





Peyton Manning and the Party City Guy

The leaves are changing colors, and we woke up to our first snowfall this week. The clothing style at school is confused – shorts with ski jackets. Talk of Halloween costumes started weeks ago. So yesterday, I took the boys to Party City to pick theirs out.

Pulling into the parking lot, we passed a guy in a Frankenstein-like costume with a scary mask the size of three heads.

“I wonder who that really is,” my fourth grader said, as Frankenstein twirled a big Party City arrow to entice drivers to visit. “What if it’s Peyton Manning?!”

“Yeah!” shouted the kindergartner, “Go Peyton!”

Then spoke the sarcastic preteen from the back seat, “Right… Hey, Coach, I’ve got to miss practice again today. They scheduled my Frankenstein shift at Party City.”

Peyton came up again later, as he often does in our Denver home. “Did you know that he makes $50,000 a pass, even if it’s not a completion?”

The fourth grader shook his head, “Guess he doesn’t need that Party City job anymore.”

Fantasy Football: Peyton versus Copernicus

A second year of Family Fantasy Football has begun. Mom’s team, named Last Place Lulu for her last place finish last year was on a comeback after Week One.

First, Yahoo ranked Last Place Lulu the best draft picker of the five-person and one-dog league. Go Mom!

Then she came away with a huge first week win over the nine year old, even though she did not play Peyton, who rocked the house.

But in Week Two, she faced Bacon Puppies, and for the second year in a row, lost to the dog. Again, she benched Peyton because she assumed that when playing his little brother, who he loves, the game would come out fairly even. Apparently, not that even.

Basically, Last Place Lulu has a quarterback problem. She drafted two excellent quarterbacks: Peyton and Colin Kaepernick. In the first two weeks, both played well, but Peyton has been on a roll. Last Place Lulu, almost ten years his senior, keeps thinking the “old guy” will get tired or hurt. Knock on wood, he looks stronger than ever.

And Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener. On any other fantasy football team, he would be a smart choice.

So here we go into Week Three. Last Place Lulu is set to play Orion, managed by a smack-talking ten year old who is studying the constellations for fun.

Sitting at the computer, Last Place Lulu looks at her quarterbacks. On the advice of her nine year old, she actually reads the player updates. She debates. She avoids a Week Three decision by looking at her growing Running Back problem (none of them are scoring).

“Go Peyton, mom,” says the nine year old, “You can’t even say the other guy’s name. It is not Copernicus.”

Still, what if Week Three is Kaepernick’s time in Copernicus’ sun?

Last Place Lulu is playing Orion. Will it be the Week of the Astronomer? Or the brilliant Peyton once again?

Reading the Signs

In the last few years, I have taken to reading the signs outside of churches where, if you haven’t noticed, many churches post inspiring quotes.

They are sometimes very creative and even funny. And when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning last summer, all signs read “Welcome to Denver, Peyton!” A Second Coming with lower case “s”, lower case “c”.

Recently, I passed a church that still had its Easter signage up. It read:

“Jesus has left the building. I saw Him.”

I thought the first line was cute. The second has me worried.