The Old Cardinal

Our nightly ritual of dinner and TV had us watching the local news.  Mom has taken to mixing it up as far as mealtime TV fare is concerned.  We never know from night to night if we’ll be graced with a news program, a game show, a talk show, or reruns of America’s Funniest Home Videos.  But tonight it was the local news and the Sports segment led off with a story about the Cardinals, Arizona’s NFL team.  And, as Arizona sports fans are often witness to, Head Coach Bruce Arians sat down in front of a bevy of reporters to relay some significant/grave/up-beat/disappointing/make-up-your-own-reason sports nugget.  This time it was about the procurement by the Cardinals of a new – and hopefully winning – quarterback, Carson Palmer.

Bruce Arians

     Carson Palmer

Bruce Arians


Carson Palmer

As the two men sat behind a table, addressing questions and trying to produce a pep rally-like atmosphere, Mom inserted her own thoughts.

“He looks too old to play football,” she commented.

“Which one are you talking about?” Bill asked.

“The one in the red shirt,” she said, waggling a Tater Tot at the TV.

“Mom, they both have on red shirts,” I said.  “Are you talking about the bald guy or the one with the hat?”

“How do you know he’s bald if he has a hat on?” she asked.

“Because he doesn’t have a hat on,” I said.  “Okay, never mind.  Do you mean the one who’s talking right now?”

“I guess except they keep switching,” she responded, craning her neck forward and squinting at the 51” TV screen.  “And I can’t really tell now if one is older or not because that guy’s got a hat on.”

“So which one did you first think was too old to play football?” Bill asked.

She paused for a moment, either to chew a bite of French Dip or to ponder her response.  “The one with the glasses,” she finally clarified.

“Well he isn’t the player, he’s the coach,” I said.

“Oh.  Then I guess that’s okay.  I just couldn’t figure out how he could be a football player.  One tackle and he’d probably break every bone in his body.  That can happen to older people really easily.  Just like when I broke my Humerus,” she said, rubbing her left arm for effect.

“Yes, Mom,” I said, rising up off the couch with my empty dinner plate.  “We all know about your Humerus.”

“Well, I’m just saying,” she replied, handing me her plate.  “You can’t be too careful.  Football isn’t a good job for a senior.  Checkers, maybe, or Mah Jong, but not football.”


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