Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Bob and Kaye Leap from Football and Relationships to SAVING THE WORLD!!!

September 18, 2013

Why is history important?  We’ll get into that in a minute.  But we’ll kick off this post by letting you know that from this Saturday, September 21 through Wednesday, September 25, Amazon will be offering the Kindle version of our book, Football is for Lovers, for FREE.

Now, since it’s the start of the NFL season, and since Football is for Lovers explains the game of American football so that you can finally figure out what’s going on, it’s about time we offered you the opportunity to learn the game for FREE, FREE, FREE.  So that’s what we’re doing (see paragraph one above)!

But Football is for Lovers also gives you quite a bit of the history of the game.  Which turns out to be quite a bit of our social history over the past century or so.

So. You may have noticed that, although we’ve dealt at some length with both the football and relationships aspects of this blog, we have yet to make any statements, profound or otherwise, about the save-the-world thing.  But watching the Washington vs Philadelphia game on Monday Night Football inspired us.

Have you by any chance gotten around to reading Thomas More’s Utopia?

Sarah Palin recently made the statement that man is made to work.  What an odd thing to say, we thought.  Sounds like something the Lords of the Manor would have put up in the serfs’ locker room.

So what does Ms. Palin have to do with Utopia?  It’s a matter of contrast: black and white, so to speak.  Those of you who grew up before the ubiquitousness of the computer and its kin may remember that one of the main hopes for a computer age was that humans would have more time to learn and experience and evolve without being burdened with the need to spend most of their lives in survival mode, working to make a living.

In Utopia (written, by the way, back in the 1500s, long before the computer), they had already figured out that if everyone pitched in, we’d all only have to work half a day, tops.

They also thought money was rather silly, and used gold for toys and plumbing fixtures.  Well, they also had group housing, but when you read the book (it’s in two parts, and you can skip the first section if you’re in a hurry), please bear in mind we can get rid of the group housing thing and still have the Utopian lifestyle.

Anyway, the point is that all Utopians had the time to think about life and explore their talents, and the opportunity to do whatever they did best.  See?  The whole ‘follow your passion’ school of living made a whole lot more possible.

Which brings us back to the Washington/Philadelphia game, and, yes, the history that preceded it.

As we’ve evolved (more or less) over millennia, there has been increasing opportunity for everyone, in spite of the ‘station in life’ into which they were born, to move onward and upward, to ‘follow their passion.’  Once upon a time, a serf was a serf forever, and his children after that.  And, even centuries later, right here in American, a slave was a slave forever, and his children after that.

We moved on in the most sweeping way after the Civil War, but, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.  We all know about the vote thing, and . . . well, lots of ugly stuff like lynching and other nastiness.

But there are also the little things that kept folks from having any real chance at attaining their dreams.  Oh, there’s the obvious: unequal educational opportunities.  But did you know that there were black jockeys back in the 1800s, and that they were banned from the sport thereafter?  We’d guess for the same reason they were banned from the major leagues of baseball and football.  Why was that?  Hey, you figure it out.  All we’ll say is: look at today’s roster in professional sports.

Anyway, one of the last details in professional sports was the handy little myth that blacks couldn’t play quarterback.  Really.  And there they were, on Monday night football: two black quarterbacks, Michael Vick and RGIII, facing off against each other.  Such an unremarkable sight in 2013 that, unless you know the history, you may have missed the glory of the occasion.  So we thought we’d point it out just in case you didn’t know.

And for a little more pertinent history, we’d also like to give a salute to that marvelous myth-buster, Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.  He got his chance, and he wrapped it up in spangles and silver ribbons.  It was Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins, facing the amazing John Elway of the Denver Broncos.  Mr. Williams led his team to a 42-10 victory, which included five touchdowns in the second half, and won him the MVP Award.  It was Super Bowl XXII.  The year was 1988.

Now, we’re hoping you won’t go all ‘race card’ on us.  If it helps, as far as opportunity goes, let’s remember that women have had the right to vote in this country for less than a hundred years.  And some American adults still don’t have the ‘right’ to marry.  All our presidents until this current administration have been Caucasian.  And male.  And heterosexual (at least as far as we know).

And globally . . . the amount of talent – even life itself – left unfulfilled should make us weep.  It never ceases to amaze us that with all the millennia we’ve had to work on it, this is the world we’ve made.  Come on now: surely we can do better.

For now, though, all we’re trying to say is that we don’t agree with Ms. Palin.  We think humans are made to dream and to experience and to learn and to grow.  All human beings.  Not just those of one gender or color or religion or degree of wealth.

So hey: please read Utopia.  At least the second half.  Maybe there’s a way that this world of opportunity can happen.  And no: this isn’t wishy-washy liberal weeping heart, ah, grow up stuff.  It is both logical and reasonable.  And possible.  After all, who else but us made this world?  Ain’t no Martians around here (at least not as far as we know).   Just us humans.  So we can make our world – and remake it – anytime we have the will to do so.

Which reminds us of a great old Langston Hughes poem:

Question and Answer

Durban, Birmingham,
Cape Town, Alabama,
Johannesburg, Watts,
The earth around
Struggling, fighting,
Dying–for what?

A world to gain.

Groping, hoping,
Waiting–for what?

A world to gain.

Dreams kicked asunder,
Why not go under?

There’s a world to gain.

But suppose I don’t want it,
Why take it?

To remake it.”

Langston Hughes, The Panther & the Lash

 Boy, when we get started on the ‘save-the-world’ thing, we just can’t seem to stop ourselves, can we!?!

Anyway – why not check out our free Kindle version of Football is for Lovers.  It may not lead you to Utopia.  But at least you’ll know a little more about what’s going on with all those guys rushing around on your TV screen.

And if you already know all of that, well, maybe reading our little historical factoids will make you want to read Utopia.  Or not.

Either way, from September 21 through September 25, Football is for Lovers is free, so what the heck.






Winner, Losers, and the Eye of the Beholder

September 9, 2013

We’ve been a bit distracted of late as baseball season wanes and football season waxes.  Our hearts have been broken repeatedly by our beloved Yankees.  But finally, they won one against Boston.  So then we had our hearts broken by our beloved Giants.  Oh, well.  At least Serena Williams came through for us at the U.S. Open.

We know, we know: it’s not about us.  Or so they say.  Actually, when you think about it, it’s really all about us, isn’t it?  We are the ones interpreting good and bad, happy and sad, and all the colors in between.  In the end, the world is what we think it is. 

Yes, we’re about to segue into the relationships part of this football-and-relationships blog.  The tough season our Yankees have had (not due to lack of heart, but to multiplicity of injuries) got us to thinking.  How long do you keep rooting for your team if they’re having a losing season?  That is, are they still “your team,” win or lose?

We’ve had some pretty decent seasons with both the Yankees and the Giants.  But there are teams that go for decades without making it into the post season, let alone the World Series or the Super Bowl, as the case may be.  So.  Do you root for losers?

Then again, how do you define ‘losers’?  See, that’s your call.  Your decision.   If “your team” has a lot of heart, but also a lot of injuries, are they still “losers” when they don’t have a winning season?  What if they’re just not bankrolled as well as the “winners”?  Are they still “your team”?

Which reminds us of our niece.  Actually, this is probably more silly than instructive, given who she had to make this decision about: her sixteen-year old lifeguard son.  The one at the top of his class who won the French medal.  The curly-headed cutie besieged by all the teenaged girls in the neighborhood.  The soccer star.  Yes: that kid.  Winner,winner winner.  Right?

But our niece (Master’s Degree and all) was concerned.  Apparently, her friend’s son did something “better” than her own.  Can’t even remember what it was.  After all, given her own son’s resumé, what’s left?

Which brings us to the point we’re trying to make here: comparisons are . . . well, downright silly, if you ask us.  And even if you don’t ask us.

Here’s the thing: if only “perfect” people could be loved, then we sure wouldn’t be loved.  And we bet you wouldn’t be either.

And yet, if you think about it, each of us is perfect.  Perfectly us, that is.  There’s a car commercial about that.  It says something like: “Be yourself.  Everybody else is taken.”  Good thought to keep in mind.

So your team may not be racking up as many wins as the competition.  But if we only rooted for the “winners,” we’d all root for the team that won the Super Bowl.  Or the World Series. 

So the question remains: win or lose, are they (whoever ‘they’ are) still “your team”?  Moreover, are they your “perfect” team?  Because if you don’t see their perfection, maybe you should choose another team, not just ‘settle’ for a loser.

Ditto for your mate.  After all, who wants to be “settled for”?  But you should bear in mind that if you don’t see his/her true perfection, it’s you, not your mate.  Beauty (and all other good things) is in the eye of the beholder.

 And hey: don’t you want to have your own perfection beheld?

 So go Giants!!  Although we do like us some Colin Kaepernick . . .


Football and Oatmeal: the Connection.

October 5, 2008

Most things in life – including football and oatmeal – work on at least two levels.  Usually a lot more. 


There is, of course, Football the Game.  It’s a specific sport played with it’s own set of rules and regulations.


To begin with, there is a difference between playing the game and watching it.  And what that means to the individual player and to the individual watcher.


Same with oatmeal.  It is, of course, a cereal.  It has rules of a sort: half a cup of dry cereal to one cup of water.  Or milk, if you prefer.  A dash of salt.  Unless you’re on a low sodium diet.


But oatmeal may also be considered from the differing viewpoints of what it means to the individual who cooks it and to the individual who eats it.


For the parent preparing oatmeal for the kids on a cold winter morning, it may be an act of love.


Ditto for the significant others who prepare oatmeal to help lower the cholesterol of their dearly beloveds.


The eater, then, may obtain from oatmeal more than insoluble fiber.  The memory of Mom or Dad making a raisin face for the morning oatmeal may provide solace on other cold winter mornings long after the kids are no longer kids.


That is, there is the thing itself – like oatmeal – and then there is the feeling attached to that thing.


For the kid whose parent burnt the oatmeal and screamed at the kid to shut up and eat it anyway, the memories may be a tad less heartwarming.


And that’s the way it is with football.  Granted, at bottom, it’s just a game.  But, like oatmeal, it can also be a good or a bad memory.  Or a power play.  Or even a weapon.


Next post, we’ll explore at least some of these possibilities.


Football . . . Relationships . . . World Change: Time to Connect the Dots

September 28, 2008

Okay.  We got a little sidetracked.  We love football.  And we could go on talking about football and talking about football and . . . well, need we go on? 


Actually, that’s the point: we have gone on.  And on.  That is, thus far, football is pretty much all we’ve talked about.


But we really did name this the Learn Football, Improve Your Relationship, Change the World Blog for good reason.  So we think it’s time we moved on and started connecting the dots.


For now anyway, we’ll leave the play-by-play to consummately capable pros like John Madden and his broadcasting brethren and . . . how would you say that?  Surely not sistern?


Anyway, that doesn’t mean we’re done with football quite yet. 


The thing is, football – like most everything else in life – has many faces.


What the heck do we mean by that?  Well, in our next post, we’ll begin by pointing out the connection between football and oatmeal.


Football, Relationships . . . and Brett Favre?

August 22, 2008

We’ll begin our Learn About Football, Improve your Relationship Series with some facts about an NFL legend.  Brett Favre.  After playing for the Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for sixteen years, Mr. Favre has just signed with the New York Jets.  We live in New Jersey, but we’re right on the banks of the Hudson River, so we can shake our fists at New York from our living room window. 


Now, we think it’s truly cool that Brett Favre is now quarterbacking the New York Jets.  Even so, our proximity to New York is not why we’re writing about Brett Favre and the NFL.


It’s because the first question we were asked after our book was published was not about how the game is played, or even how to look sexy while watching Sunday Night Football.  It was about Brett Favre.


So this is in answer to our ophthalmologist’s wife, who felt dumb because all her husband’s friends were talking about Brett Favre, and she didn’t even know what a Brett Favre was.


Which brings up an interesting point about relationships: why didn’t the good doctor just tell his wife a little bit about Brett Favre?  See, here’s the thing: many of you guys complain about being asked “stupid questions” by your beloved while you’re trying to watch the football game.  But how can you learn if you don’t ask?


So our question is: why not take a little time to explain the game a couple of mornings over breakfast or on a game-less Tuesday evening?  Then maybe you could just root together in peace on Sunday night, yes?


Meanwhile, if some of you football mavens would share your knowledge with us by posting on this blog, you might have a peaceful breakfast, too.  Sound like a plan?


Anyway, we’ve got Brett Favre covered.  We’ll tell you all about him in our next post.  But feel free to add anything we may miss.

Bob and Kaye’s Mission Statement

August 17, 2008

Learn about football, improve your relationship, change the world. We’re Bob and Kaye, and that, in a nutshell, is the mission of our blog. We already wrote a book, Football is for Lovers, to kick things off. And, yes: the book is about learning football and improving your relationship. Changing the world may take a few more books. Meanwhile, we’re aware that even when it comes to learning football and improving your relationship, our book may not be quite enough. Hence the blog. Which we hope will become sort of a learn football/improve your relationship co-op, with you guys posting relationship tips as well as information about the NFL team of your choice. And maybe all that sharing will move us a little further toward changing the world.