Fatherly time well spent

The following conversation happened between my son and I while we enjoyed a nice dinner consisting of macaroni and cheese with green beans. A spot on ESPN about the Buccaneers’ lowly performance this past Sunday happened to be on at the time, and elicited this dialogue:

“Well, son, looks like the Buccos are in a bit of trouble.”

“Why, Dad? Did they do something bad?”

“Kind of. They lost to the team with the worst defense in the league, and their offense – well, it looked like poo.”

Giggling, my son said, “No they didn’t, Daddy. The Bucs are number one, right? They won the Stooper Bowl!”

“Actually, son, that was about three years ago, and they haven’t made the playoffs since.”

“But they have the new Cadillwac, right? He’s awesome!”

“Yes, he is,” I said, “but I don’t know if the rest of the team is. The new quarterback they have, well – let’s just say he’s a little inexperienced.”

“He’s in-uh-what?”

“Inexperienced. That means that he’s got a lot to learn.”

“Well, he can go to school with me. This week, we’re learning about how to count to 10.”

“Son, if Mr. Simms doesn’t make better decisions during Sunday’s game, that’s how many interceptions he’s going to have. The team the Bucs are going up against has a very mean defense that eats quarterbacks for breakfast.”

“You mean like my favorite cereal – Cinnamon Toast Crunch?”

“Exactly! Simms will be toast and you will definitely hear him crunch.”

“Stop it, daddy. You don’t really mean that,” he said, giggling again.

“Oh, yes I do, and you know what else?”

“What, daddy?”

“The glue that holds this team together is the defense.”

“You mean like Elmer’s?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. The defense is the one thing that coach Gruden can depend on to weather any storm.”

“Like Wilma?”

“Even stronger than that, and now one of the players – Simeon Rice – well, he didn’t follow the rules.”

“Well, daddy, when one of the kids in my class is bad, the teacher puts them in timeout.”

“That’s exactly what Coach did – sort of. He wasn’t allowed to play in the game.”

“Will Mr. Gruden let him play this week?”

“Only if he behaves and doesn’t talk back.”

“Well, daddy, like Grandma says, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, shut up.'”

“You’re right, son. You are absolutely right.”

My son yawned, and after taking a sip of juice, he said, “Dad, all this talk about the Bucs is starting to get boring. Can we watch Spongebob now?”

“Sure, son. I mean, after all, the Bucs can’t be that bad. They’re 5-2, right?”

“Yes, daddy, whatever you say. Can I have the remote now?”