Football and Quantum Physics: Spooky Sports Action at a Distance

I wrote an e-mail similar to what’s below to my daughter last football season, but it seems especially appropriate today with Tebow’s departure from the NFL:
Sports these days is becoming a sore subject.  I am at once happy and sad about Peyton’s success on the field Monday, as I also am concerning the Jets’ win.  If I were the type of person to appeal to a sports deity I would definitely say he/she has some sort of controversy with me right now.  Not believing in the power of my fan-dom in the first place in that it has any effect on the outcome of games or even who is put into the game for longer than two snaps, my inclinations are only confirmed in the fact that NOTHING is going the way I would choose in the perfect JJ Stone’s-World-of-Sports scenario.
I should have seen this reality rising to expeditiously smack me in the face since in that very same world the following truths exist:  I run marathons; John Elway’s team never wins; Michelle Beadle is on SportsNation;  Tebow plays quarterback, free safety, kicker, special teams, coaches, and announces every football game, although I’m beginning to tire of hearing how he’s wanted to be quarterback since he was a little boy; I have a black belt in karate or some other Asian-sounding thing; you go to the Olympics in boxing but none of your blood is ever spilled forth from your beautiful face; child #3 wouldn’t have a torn ACL; child #2 would still be playing baseball; Daddy would admit that I’m better than him in basketball.
So you see, I’m in quite a quandry.  My biggest sports “victory” this week was that child #3’s fantasy team pulled out a come-from-behind victory going into Monday Night Football with Eric Decker’s good game for the Broncos.  His bench outscored his starting lineup because he benched Aaron Rodgers accidentially (who had 39 fantasy points) and played Andrew Luck (who had a whopping 5 fantasy points).  This all begs the question….when your greatest satisfaction in sports for the week can be attributed to your son’s fantasy team victory, how many standard deviations from reality does that make you?  Sports inhabit the entertainment realm in the first place, and now we have fantasy sports on top of that?  With all these extra dimensions of reality maybe string theory is truly that unification model physicists are searching for.
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Lessons from a Politically Incorrect Mom

One cold December night our family had the privilege of spending time with two children from a foreign land.  My brother had befriended a classmate, David, who had moved with his family from Israel to America.  David and his little sister ate dinner with us one night and afterwards attended our church’s annual Christmas party for kids.  They seemed to enjoy it.

Later that evening we dropped the two beautiful children off at their house, their big brown eyes wide with excitement from the night’s festivities.  Their sweet mother stood in her driveway thanking us profusely in broken English for letting her children hang out with us.  As my mom turned to leave she paused as if a light bulb of awareness suddenly came on, a tiny voice letting her know that some sort of disclaimer needed to be made.

She turned back to the Hebrew mom still standing and waving in the driveway.  “By the way, I really didn’t think about this before…but I hope it’s okay.  We had hot dogs for supper tonight.  Your kids loved them. I buy the inexpensive kind so they probably don’t have much pork in them at all, your family being Jewish and everything.”  So after dropping Hiroshima, she continued by immediately delivering Nagasaki .  “Oh, and we took your kids to church, and they sat on Santa’s lap.  They also sang Christmas carols.”  She basically couldn’t have potentially offended them more if she would have replaced David’s yarmulke with a Santa hat and handed him a basket of Easter eggs to replace his dreidel.

I like to imagine in my mind that the next day as David’s family hightailed it on the first available flight back to Israel that security guards arrested my mom as she chased the plane down on the runway holding a box full of Jimmy Dean sausage and American flags, something to remember us by.

My mom meant no offense, and I truly don’t think any was taken, but when she got back in the car that night she thought for a minute and then let out the tiniest of laughs.  Then, slowly, as the scope of what just happened fully hit her, her laughter picked up until she was in full-blown crying mode.  And I was right behind her.  My mom has always found it easy to laugh at herself, and from times like this I learned two important lessons.  First, it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.  Second, don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself, laugh often, and laugh so hard that you cry.