Father-son conversations and one Giant catch heard ‘round the world

I engaged myself in conversation with a father and son the other day.  At least I believed them to be father and son.  The younger gentleman bore a striking resemblance to the older fellow sitting to his right but I didn’t pry into the details of their relationship, nor did it ever come up.

Football highlights were being broadcast on the big screen behind them; the recurring highlight du jour was Odell Beckham’s Spiderman-like catch from the evening before.

If you haven’t seen it yet, it was one of the most insanely acrobatic NFL catches we’ve seen in years.

Odell

I pointed out that ESPN was showing the replay and asked if they had seen it yet.

The father, a gentleman in his mid-to-late-40s brushed it off, telling me that the boy was far more interested in that sort of thing.

The kid, his demeanor a little more cheery, had in fact seen the catch.  His eyes lit up upon watching it once again recognizing the difficulty of such an accomplishment.

As SportsCenter is prone to do, they continued to show the replay numerous times from every angle known to man.  This time around, it was worth it.  That’s when I heard the old man mutter something along the lines of “Imagine that. We’re talking about a guy getting paid millions of dollars to make a catch he’s supposed to.”  I’m not quite sure those were his exact words but the vitriol was unmistakable.  And for the record, neither the boy nor I mentioned anything about salary in our conversation, merely how impressive the catch was.  Note: Beckham, a rookie, will make $1.9 million this year.

A silence came over us, his comments we let slide.  Until he brought it up again angrily and entirely unwarranted.  By this point, I had removed myself from the conversation but the father went on, repeating how he couldn’t believe athletes are paid that kind of money “to play a kid’s game.”

Clearly this gentleman was not a sports fan.

I left the conversation alone, to each his own.  I get that there are a fair number of Americans who feel they’re underpaid and who are also upset with the exorbitant salaries some athletes make to “play a kid’s game.”  It’s not my place to convince anyone who is worth what to whom, especially if they fail to understand the value a superstar athlete brings to a franchise, city or community but let’s put it this way.  The Lakers aren’t losing money on Kobe Bryant.

That’s when the boy chimed in, talking back rather surprisingly to his old man.  Even he sensed his father’s bitterness.  It was hard not to.  The two proceeded to get into a fair debate about the catch, the ability to accomplish such a feat and an athlete’s unique ability to draw a salary for doing so.  I finally declared the conversation won by the lad when he asked whether his father could so such things.  The elder gentleman replied “Of course not, I’m old,” as if his shortness, whiteness and inherent lack of athleticism could be cured with the help of twenty years, a DeLorean and some plutonium.

Back to the FUture

I played a fair amount of sports in my day.  I was good at some things and not so good at others.  I made my fair share of one-handed grabs on the baseball diamond and timely jumpers and rebounds on the basketball court.  What I lacked in grace, I made up for in effort but I would never in a million years pretend I could make a leaping grab like the one Odell Beckham made on Sunday night.  Not even with a spring board, stickum and a whole lot of luck.  And a DeLorean.

The father-son debate continued, healthily and constructively, with the father resentful and the son trying to convince him otherwise.  I let them be.

We’re never going to get to a point in this country where we feel tens of millions of dollars constitutes justifiable contracts, not when so many of us live paycheck to paycheck.  I understand why so many are resentful of that.  But if we just take a second to embrace the skill with which it takes to play these games and not concern ourselves about the salaries, we might just enjoy them a little bit more.

Are you not entertained?

15 thoughts on “Father-son conversations and one Giant catch heard ‘round the world

  1. Chris, So Odell Beckham is the most interesting thing to happen in East Rutherford New Jersey this season apart from the usual inclement weather at this time of the year ? Why am I not surprised , given the fact the New York Giants and New York Jets share MetLife Stadium and all of the abomination to have place on the field of play? Eli Manning and his teammates currently have the longest losing steak (seven games and counting) in the NFL . Only the Oakland Raiders , Jacksonville Jaguars have either equaled or surpass the mark . Mind you, if the Carolina Panthers continue as present , then they will be joining that ignominious figure.

    Another boring @ss Thursday night game !

    So comparisons are being made to the incompetence and current levels of ineptitude achieved by both Roger Goodell and Barack Obama ? Perhaps, both can share a beer or two, while discussing their synergistic traits when it comes to their managerial styles ?

    Two thumbs up, to the Tampa Bay Rays and their continued end of year bargain basement clearance . To hell with Black Friday and Cyber Monday . How ’bout ….the ‘Rays make me an offer I definitely won’t refuse days or should it be referred to annual year-end “clearance sale”? The organization is now definitely and resoundingly pitiful. Matt Silverman will never fill the shoes of the departed Andrew Friedman . Likewise , Joe Maddon’s successor .

    Tophatal …………

  2. Don’t look now, but the NFC South is definitely heating up while still inept . Mathematically all four teams are still in with a chance to gain a playoff berth , while bearing sub.500 records . Makes you wonder how anyone can stand behind this on field product.

    Are fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually proud to show their support of this team ? Lovie Smith is the epitome of failure, because he appears to be in over his head , while showing no signs of managerial acumen or sense of urgency. Raheem Morris , Greg Schiano and now Lovie Smith ? This organization really has a knack for picking failures as coaching candidates and then have them actually coach the teams. Fans are not actually show their angst just sheer apathy as usual . I bet the guys from the Pewter Report are still looking for positives . Other than Mike Evans what is there ?

    Tophatal …………

  3. I’ve been infinitely more entertained by your moves on the dance foor, Hump Daddy.

    How about my finally competent Fins squad. Now if Tannehill could only figure out how to get the ball downfield…

  4. I agree with you, Chris. I, too, am annoyed when salaries always enter a sports conversation. If the franchise can afford it, it’s because their fans want it. Simple equation.

  5. Al…

    Beckham was doing that sort of thing at LSU so it’s not so surprising to see him do it in the NFL.

    Yeah, this season has been a bust for Thursday nighters. I guess the NFL thinks if they pit two mediocre teams together, it’ll end in a competitive game.

    And still no word on the new Rays manager yet they continue to make roster moves. I hear they want someone by Monday. And what the hell was Raul Ibanez doing in the mix?

    NFC South heating up, Al? It certainly couldn’t get any worse. Bucs fans will give Smith a pass this year, what with not really having an offensive coordinator and all. That patience will wear thing next year if they still suck.

  6. Donny C…

    You and I both know my dance moves are legendary. They helped me win the Latin Ho-Down, a loss from which you still haven’t recovered.

    ANTI-FREEEEEEAK-UA!!!

  7. Reese…

    I give Colin Cowherd an occasional listen. His response to people whining about athletes’ salaries is simply that we can’t do what they do. LeBron makes that much money because his abilities are unique. Teachers not so much.

  8. If the pain continues there’s no excuse for giving Smith a pass as a great deal was expected of him this season . He was meant to their go to guy after the Schiano fiasco . Now they’re no better than they were before .

    Will Beckham be a one year wonder ? Same time next year and we shall see . This is a Giants’ team devoid of confidence with a quarterback whose remarkable decline this season has been staggering . Eli Manning is most definitely not a leader at all . Two Superbowl wins and he was seen as a star. Since then what has he actually achieved ?

    The NFC South is heating because the projected win total for the divisional winner has moved from six to seven wins at best , if that , LOL,LOL,LOL !!!
    Now we have Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers believing his team can make a spirited run to the divisional title . Based on what might I ask ? Was he taking advice from a soothsayer or a voodoo witch doctor ?

    Let me ask you this concerning Lovie Smith . If he’s assembling a coaching staff , how is it he has failed so miserably in that context ? No more excuses , either he has what it takes or he hasn’t . This season has proved that he has nothing at all, other than wishful thinking and a great deal of asinine optimism .

    Tophatal …………

  9. Al…

    I think Beckham has enough pure talent to at least be a threat in some aspect of the deep game, something New York clearly needs at this point. They’re horrible.

    And in light of what happened with Jeff Tedford, I think all Bucs fans are interested in seeing who they hire as his replacement.

  10. You asked…. Are you not entertained?
    Oh, yes…. I am entertained, Triple SC.
    Even through disappointing losses, coaching turmoils, trades, PEDs, criminal charges, strikes, suspensions, high dollar salaries and  high ticket prices. Hell, I’m entertained even through my own bad picks and mediocre fantasy teams! Ha Ha! Drama drives me crazy! I am not resentful of these players and I truly embrace the skills it takes to play these games. I can easily not be concerned with these “issues” in the sports world because I get so much enjoyment from just sports, period. Why spend energy on things I can’t change anyway? Is my head in the sand? I dont care; I’m not whining or complaining about it. I still say it’s all mighty good stuff to this sports obsessed woman and I’d rather have it… than to suffer without it.
    Dee Dee

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