Monday, July 30, 2012

The Olympics Has Overtaken My House (As Has a Rogue Yankee Fan)

My 13-year-old daughter has been consumed by serious Olympics mania and it's threatening to overtake the house.

However I'm having a hard time putting the kibosh on her enthusiasm because the Olympics are the one time when women's sports receives even close to the volume and quality of media attention as the male athletes receive, so I've decided I'm going to try not to sweat her watching the events too often on TV (or on my iPad that she's slyly squired away from my office).

In the process, I'm kind of getting into the Olympic games too. Loved the Queen-James Bond thing during the otherwise yawn-fest known as the Opening Ceremonies. (I Tweeted all manner of snark during the ceremonies but couldn't stay up to the end. The Girl put herself to bed that night.) The Olympic events have been relatively exciting fare, though I could do with fewer shots of U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte's flashing his ridiculous diamond-encrusted American flag grill. (What a way to ruin a good photo of the talented swimmer.)

Now that we're several days into this, it's growing tough for me not to get on my daughter's case as she's watching events for hours. But I have to keep in mind somewhat inane house rule that I decreed many moons ago in a weak moment: Watching sports or news doesn't really count as the sedentary evil known as "watching TV." (That way they won't harass me when I'm watching hours of the now sad Boston Red Sox or am riveted to Morning Joe.)

The same, however, won't go for my now 11-year-old son who'll demand the opportunity to watch a gazillion episodes of wholesome fare like The Simpsons or Family Guy that he's recorded on our DVR. He will and in fact has argued that, hey, ya know, if she's watching TV he should get to watch TV too. (My response to his protests, "Dude, you can watch the Olympics too.")

Speaking of the 11-year-old and the Olympics . . .  I remain curious about for which country he'll be rooting during the games. It's not necessarily a given that he'll be rallying 'round the Stars and Stripes. You see, he's been in a rather defiant stage when it comes to sports teams for several years now, with no sign of easing up.

Many years ago, the kid decided, for some unexplained reason, that he was going to be a Yankees fan . . . when he lives in the heart of Red Sox Nation and hails from 100 percent Red Sox lineage. After I got over my initial shock, I argued with The Spouse that it was just a phase and that if we fought it or tried to persuade him of the error of his ways, his faux affection for the Evil Empire would become even more strident. So when we allowed him to get a Yankees cap, as much as it went against every that is good and holy, I figured this infatuation would be short-lived.

I was wrong.

In fact, his Yankees fan taunting has become more vocally grating this season as the Red Sox have fared about as well as Michael Dukakis' presidential general election campaign while the Yankees sit smugly atop the AL East. And The Youngest Boy, he's reveling in the mire of this Sox season, gloatingly calling my attention to the standings as I read the paper while drinking my morning coffee each morning. (Yes, I'm a dinosaur. I still read an actual, paper newspaper.)

So when we all sit down, as a family, to watch the Olympics together, I'm never certain for whom the kid'll be rooting. (Watching Sox-Yankees games have been rather unpleasant as of late as you might imagine.) But if he chooses to root for the team that's playing against the U.S. women's soccer team, he'll be on his own facing the wrath of his super-fan of a sister.

Loyalties aside, the grousing The Girl has done -- about the officiating at the U.S. Women's soccer game, about what she sees as an injustice done to Jordyn Wieber who'll be ineligible for the all-around gymnastics competition because the Olympic rules limit eligibility to two gymnasts per team -- has been epic. But it's only because of her unbound affection for all things U.S. women's soccer and U.S. women's gymnastics. The posters she made and placed in our family room featuring great female U.S. Olympians, while she's been donning her Abby Wambach jersey and eating the red, white and blue cupcakes she baked just for the Olympics, are visual reminders to her dedication. Crossing his parents and rooting for the Yankees is one thing. Crossing his sister and rooting against the U.S. women's soccer team is another thing entirely.

Go team.

1 comment:

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