Sunday, October 01, 2006


My brother Philip says that he lives with the Michigan Tribe and that I live with the Ohio Tribe. We both used to live with the Iowa Tribe. Football is incredibly stupid, but also addictive and cathartic. My latest thought about it is that the world could use more football (violent, American-style football.) I'd like the University of Bagdad to play Tel Aviv State in the Big Game. I'd like North Iran U to take on the winner of the OSU-Mich game in the Fiesta bowl. If we could all bundle up on a cold fall day and scream for three hours at the players from that hated other tribe, or sit in front of our televisions and curse and pray and try not to say things we shouldn't in front of our children to watch the beloved home team fall behind the hated others, or (horrors) watch or beloved home team lose to the hated others on a last second field goal, maybe we would be a bit slower to draw guns on one another. We might end up with some burned furniture from drunken riots, but I'll take that on my evening news over bombed out buildings...

I went to a football game a week ago and yelled and screamed like a good Buckeye fan every time the "others" had the ball. And we won. Nothing like it. But I've had my heart broken over and over when my team lost. You pick up and go on. And somehow, we are able to sit at table with those from the hated Michigan tribe, and friends and family from the Iowa tribe will welcome me into their homes even though the Buckeyes won last night. Well, I hope I'll be welcome. We (or most of us) get over it. Is sport what keeps the United States together? Does Soccer enable the European Union to flourish? Do humans have inate needs to live in tribes and needs for those tribes to fight it out? I'm not a sociologist, and someone has probably done research on this that I will never read, but raising Alex shows me how much pent up violence is in little boys. (As with all things, Joseph is on a different planet--He is a gentle soul and has almost never shown any violence. Yet another way he teaches us big lessons.) Girls have a fair amount of agression and anger also, I know I do and did. Being raised a pacifist meant I buried mine pretty deep, but it is in there. I enjoy a good afternoon standing with thousands, yelling at the boys whose uniforms are the wrong color and cheering for the home team. I've enjoyed that since I was a girl watching and cheering for my big brothers' teams. I'm enjoying it very much this year. Go Tribe Buckeye!

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