Thursday, February 21, 2013

The park sitter observes football

I am a park ranger.  Well, more of a park monitor or park sitter.  I work in county parks.  Not the great lovely national parks.  County parks, which are complete with baseball diamonds, soccer fields, play grounds, walking trails, wide open spaces to run in and shelters with picnic tables.

I've seen and done some interesting things.  I've only been working this job four months and only in the fall and winter.  I'm sure spring and summer will only bring more stories as people come out of their warm homes to the fresh, warm, humid air.

I came on in October.  The days were getting shorter and the nights cooler, but many days were still warm and pleasant.  It was mid-football season.  Football.  It is a highly misunderstood sport - by me.  I don't get it at all.  Why would anyone want to put on 10 lbs of plastic gear and run head first into someone else wearing 10 lbs of plastic gear? 

Apparently, I am not the only one baffled by this sport.  Each week, hanging out on the playground next to the football fields were four girls who looked to be the ages of 9-11.  They would sit on top of the monkey bars and talk.  I imagine they met at the first football game and formed the "I'm Stuck at the Playground and Bored Out of My Mind While My Dumb Brother Plays Football Club."  Similar clubs exist during baseball and soccer seasons.

My own brothers played soccer.  The first couple of years, I had to go to all the games.  Luckily for me, my best friend lived next door to my brothers best friend, who played on the same team as my brother.  She would often come to the games and we would hang out together.  Is that a best friend, or what?  She didn't have to come to the games, but she did, just so we could hang out together.

There were no bleachers at the field my brother played on.  You brought your own lawn chairs and blankets.  My friend and I would alternate watching the game, walking around the field, or sitting in the grass, making clover flower necklaces.

So, I feel for these sisters - drug off to games they have no interest in, sitting on the monkey bars with other sisters, plotting their revenge on their brothers.  Just wait until drill team starts, mister!


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