Keeping Score

They should make a law against 11 o’clock morning NFL football games. – President Rutherford B. Hayes

Lemonade Lucy

Lemonade Lucy

I will come clean right off the bat. President Rutherford B. Hayes didn’t actually say those words. I can’t confirm that he actually said any words. Have you ever heard any famous and meaningful quotes from Rutherford B. Hayes? I suspect he had some words with his mother regarding her name selection of Rutherford. And I’m certain he had a few choice words for his wife Lucy, who was referred to as “Lemonade Lucy” because she wouldn’t allow alcohol in the White House. “Lucy, how am I supposed to watch a Redskins game without a pint in my hand?” he might have said.

I’m actually the one to whom the above quote should be attributed. Because seriously? An 11 o’clock game on Sunday morning? And that would be 10 o’clock in the morning in California and Arizona. Heavens to Betsy. One still has sleep crust in the corner of one’s eyes.

Truth be told, I was wide awake at 11 o’clock Sunday morning when the Broncos began playing football against the Cleveland Browns. I just wasn’t sitting in front of my television. Instead, I was sitting at Wellshire Presbyterian Church watching Alastair, Dagny, and Maggie Faith – along with several other children — sing an African hymn to the congregation. Off to the side, Adelaide played the glockenspiel as accompaniment, and quite well. She’s a young woman of many talents, glockenspiel-playing being only one.

I was foresighted enough, however, to set our DVR to record the game so that I could watch it when we got home from church. In fact, I invited Court and his kids to come over to watch the delayed viewing of the game. Court is used to watching recordings of the Broncos since he usually has parent-of-young-children type duties every weekend. He will generally text me something like I am not watching the game live so I will watch the recorded game later. If you text me one thing about the game, I will come over to your house and personally place a flock of plastic flamingos in your front yard. I keep my mouth shut.

But that was the thing. Just as soon as the minister said amen, Bill was out of the church with his cell phone turned on and was determining the status of the game. “Oh my gosh,” he said. “The score is….. .”

“STOP,” I yelled, making the 12 or so senior citizens (who were the only ones besides us in church as the other Presbyterians were at home watching the Broncos game) look up from their walkers. “I don’t want to know the score because I’m going home to watch the game.”

Bill has lots of wonderful traits. Keeping a secret such as the score of the game is not particularly one of them. Still, he did a pretty good job. The trouble was, Alastair was with us, and he asked his papa to show him the score.

“Don’t you dare,” I said to Alastair, just as he opened up his mouth to spill the beans. “I mean it. Don’t you even think about it.”

Well, he could think about nothing else, really.

“The score is an even number to an odd number,” he couldn’t help but tell me. And Ladies and Gentlemen, it took EVERY FIBER OF HIS BEING to keep himself from telling me who was ahead.

But I will tell you a secret. I sometimes read the ending of a book first. And apparently to me, watching football is the same thing. So, while Court was in one room watching the recorded game, I secretly went into the kitchen and watched the end of the game live. I justified it by telling myself that I would enjoy the game so much more if I knew we had won.

Of course, Peyton was being Peyton, so it was a nerve wracking experience to say the least. And seriously, has anyone mentioned to Demaryius Thomas that he’s a wide receiver and is, by definition, supposed to receive the ball and keep it? And maybe even run while carrying it? Sunday I’m not even sure he could have caught the downtown bus. Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest. I am very happy to be 6 and 0, even if our strong safety has scored more points than our highly-paid wide receiver. As far as I’m concerned, a TD is a TD.

Anyhoo, by this time, Court had figured out that I was watching the game live in the kitchen. He had likely also figured out that the game was in overtime because I was in there a long time. I could only pretend to be preparing baked beans for so long. Besides, as hard as I tried, I was unable to prevent myself from letting out mewling sounds when balls were dropped or interceptions were thrown. “I can hear you in there Mom, and I know what you’re doing.”

At the end of it all, the Broncos had another mark on the win side of the scorecard, and Court forgave me for my indiscretions.

Serving a platter of barbecued ribs for Bill’s birthday dinner helped. Take a look at this satisfied group….

McLains and Zierks gathered to celebrate Bill's birthday by eating barbecued ribs! Alyx is present, but taking the photo.

McLains and Zierks gathered to celebrate Bill’s birthday by eating barbecued ribs! Alyx is present, but taking the photo. And by the way, see the enormous platter of ribs? All gone by the end of the meal.