Monday, November 14, 2005

Ric And Blaine Go To The Seahawks Game

There are three people in my world who know a ton about sports, my two daughters, Stacey and Amy, and my step-son, whom I just mostly call my son, Blaine. Blaine Deatherage-Newsom. My daughters come by their knowledge of sports honestly, since they played a lot of sports as kids, as did I. Additionally, they have always had the advantage of being able to draw a great deal of sports knowledge from people in their mother’s family, their uncles, their mom, even their grandmother. But Blainey, he’s a different kinda cat.

Blaine’s mom, my perfect wife Marie, likes some sports, especially the less than violent and time honoured sport of baseball, and she will sometimes watch sports with Blaine and I, especially if it involves a home team, like our Trailblazers, or a team from a school she attended, like The University of Oregon Ducks. We love her company at these times, and don't get me wrong, she gets most of it, the strategy, and the skill required to put the ball through the hoop, with someone's hand in your face. Just dont ask her to give you the definition of the ice hockey term, “icing”. Or watch boxing. So Blaine has come by most all of his vast sports knowledge pretty much on his own.

First, Blaine is a brilliant guy, a numbers guy, and he can follow game stats and players stats like nobody’s business. Secondly, Blaine has a strong natural bent toward competition, having been a chess champion at an early age, and if you know him well, as I do, you just know you are in for a battle if you challenge him on something.

So since I like sports too, that’s one place where Blaine and I find some serious common ground. On Sundays in the Fall and Winter, at about 10 a.m., when the NFL football games come on TV, Blaine always lets me know, as he sits on the edge of his bed getting ready for the day, that it’s time for me to come around his room, by hollering, at the top of his lungs, the simple and Sunday Activity Defining word........”FOOOOTBALLLLLL!”

Since Blaine is disabled, and lives with his mother and me, in an environment designed for his needs, he doesn’t have a lot of room to spread out. He has his room, and a great accessible bathroom, but Blaine’s possessions, his chess trophies, his sports memorabilia, one thousand chess and sports magazines, sports and chess books, on and on, well, let’s just say, it’s everywhere. It is difficult to get him to let anything go, so we mostly don’t. And when it’s time to think of a gift for Blaine, for his birthday, or Christmas, man, dude already has everything. People love this guy. He’s lovable. People give him stuff. So we often try, as we consider a gift, to maybe go for something less tangible than say, another knick-knack. Maybe we get him something like, oh, software, an iTunes gift certificate, or a TV upgrade, or....... tickets to a Seahawks game!!!!!!

Last summer, when Blaine turned 26, his mother (and I) gave Blaine a certificate for two tickets to a forthcoming Seahawks game, for Fall 2005, and Amtrak tickets, along with the promise that I would accompany him. We went yesterday, and watched the Hawks basically crush the St. Louis Rams, 31-16. We had a blast. The seats were great, (inside The Wells Fargo Club) the train was fun, my traveling companion was his typical swell self, and we won!

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Pacific Beach, Washington, United States