A cool thing that happens when I collect for 6 Words posts is that I get to hear from a lot of bloggers. Some are old favorites. Others are destined to become new favorites. Some come with some pretty cool ideas.
NJ from A Cookie Before Dinner invited me to take part in a question swap I’d read on other blogs, called #AskAwayFriday.
Friday is normally sacred ground for the kids’ questions. But I decided to give this one a shot. I’m usually the one who fires the questions at people, in line at Wal-mart, in emails to bloggers or even to embattled NFL head coaches.
Here are the questions NJ sent to me for the swap. Make sure you check out her answers to my questions, too.
1. You are known as that dude from SITS. How did you get involved? Does it feel funny to be so well loved by so many lady bloggers?
I had no idea I was known as that dude from SITS. In fact, I’m not an official member, but I support the cause. As a father of three girls and coach of girls’ soccer teams, and beneficiary of a Girls on the Run kid, of course.
It feels funny to read that someone just asked me what it’s like to be so well loved by so many lady bloggers, and this is the best way I can describe it.
When I cover NFL games as a freelance writer, I’m completely professional. But, the 12-year-old in me is still thinking, “this.is.SO.cool!” When I see so many comments from the mom bloggers I admire, I feel the same way. I’m often in awe they’re here.
2. What is the weirdest question Grace has asked? How did you respond?
I’ve gotten everything from this kid – from the sacred (“was Jesus married?”) to the profane (“what if you never return a RedBox movie?”). She also once asked if I would die for her. And we’ve had plenty of piranha and shark questions.
The strangest, yet unanswered question might be “if I stuck this yardstick in the ceiling fan, which would break, the yard stick, or the ceiling fan?”
I’m not sure I can answer that one without sticking a yardstick into a ceiling fan. Here goes nothing.
3. Tell the story of how Rojonito the elf got his name.
By mistake. The fictional Latino Elf on the Shelf was a mistake.
I thought Rajon meant “tattletale.” Rajonito, then, would be “little tattletale.” Actually, the word is “chismoso,” so little tattletale would be “Chismosito.” Which is way cooler. This is what happens when a preschooler with his ears plugged learns Spanish more efficiently than I do.
Rajonito – a little mistake by someone who knows very little Spanish.
4. I know you’ve said you spent some time riding the pine. What sport were you the worst at? Bonus points available for a throwback photo.
I’d say baseball. This is because I hardly ever played in games when I was on the football team. When you ride the pine, you kind of have a perfect record. In baseball, I had a season in which:
- I was hit by a pitch (twice) more than I had actual base hits (one)
- I made two errors in one inning, leading to a seldom-used rule that forced a team to forfeit a game if the opposing team’s half of the inning lasted more than 30 minutes
- I was the last out in three different losses in one season (all swinging strikeouts)
And I managed to dig this puppy up. My mom took it in lieu of actual action shots.
5. I am a newbie “soccer mom.” What advice do you have for me?
Preserve the game. Parents put so much on their soccer-playing kids. They get dogged from the parents’ sideline. They get drilled in the car after matches. They’re constantly barraged and not allowed to fail and learn from the game.
The first thing a kid needs to develop is a love for the game. They have to want to be out there not to please you, not to make their coach proud, but because they love to play. When this is in place, good instruction can follow. But not until.
Enjoy the show. Your child will amaze you in good ways and bad on the soccer pitch. Take them to the local high school or college game. Watch some on TV together – if they’re interested. Kick around in the backyard. Just enjoy the ride.
6. How would you respond if one of the girls wanted to quit a sport midseason?
I’d do my best to get to the heart of the matter.
I don’t want my girls to be miserable. Is it social? Physical? What’s really the cause? If I can help find a solution, we’ll give it all we can. If it can’t be resolved … I’ll still encourage her to play out the season. That’s the commitment we make when we sign up for a team. Even when we don’t want to, we must be accountable.
Adversity is part of the game. You’ll be matched up sometimes, in soccer and life, with miserable conditions. Miserable leadership. Or just miserable uniforms. I’ll be sure she understands that more than when things are going great, her legacy will be built on those times she had to fight through hard times to make it.
7. What is so awesome about Cheerwine?
It’s not the taste.
For the uninitiated, Cheerwine’s taste isn’t far from the intersection of cough medicine and ginger ale.
Cheerwine’s allure is in its proximity.
It’s the taste born in the Carolinas, they say. You can’t get it anywhere. So, where there’s a can of Cheerwine, there’s usually a barbecue close by. Or a warm autumn day. Or a drive through the mountains in the heat of summer, where humidity’s low.
There’s probably a Carolina Panthers game on, a lowcountry boil, or a day on the lake. There could be a great seat at a minor-league baseball game. Or a ticket to see a local college football game. Conch shells on the coast and disc golf in the Piedmont and old-time stores in a quaint downtown in the mountains.
It’s also where Maya Angelou and Emily Proctor and Shoeless Joe Jackson and Ainsley Earhart and the Greensboro Four are from. So it’s home.
8. What is your stance on sweet vs savory food? Are you more likely to head for a big pile of bacon or a mound of chocolate?
I could start a new blog on the subject of food. But it would just make me hungry.
i’m in the savory camp. Bacon. Cheese. Grilled meats, including fish. Mexican dishes. Pasta dishes, winged without a recipe. Potato salad, with whatever you have around. Baked, grilled, roasted, over fried. But fried can be a treat.
Type 2 diabetes has a say, but all things equal, I’d gravitate toward the bacon against the mound of chocolate. The beautiful middle? Bacon, with a side of chocolate-chip pancakes.
9. Quick! Your house going to catch on fire in 10 minutes. Your family, pets, and photographs are safe. What else are you grabbing before the place burns to the ground?
After that last answer, I’d reach back for a snack. Honestly.
The other stuff can be replaced. If I must stand in the street and watch my house burn to the ground, wrapped in a police blanket, I want a box of animal crackers or chunk of cheese.
Especially if TV news shows up to ask me how I feel about my house burning to the ground. I don’t think reporters bring snacks on location.
But maybe they should.
10. How do you feel about Bobby Knight as a coach? My uncles think he’s the best thing since sliced bread, but honestly I think the dude is a little cray cray.
I think Bobby Knight is coaching brilliance wrapped in sandpaper.
I would not want my kids to play for Bobby Knight. As a father to athletes, he’s deplorable. To a sportswriter, he’s a challenging interview and a quotable quote.
But i think coaches should also be role models. If one of my players choked a teammate or slung a chair onto the court, she’d find herself at the bottom of the team immediately. She’s put her anger issues ahead of the team.
We’re teachers, above all else. And if you can scheme the ultimate game plan, if you can motivate championship performance with fear, if you can see the game from a perspective few can, it means nothing if you can’t control yourself.
Give me the teacher and the motivator, like Brad Stevens or John Wooden. Because if Grace decides to ask me about them someday, I’m pretty sure it won’t be about assault or temper tantrums.
I’d bet a plate of bacon on that.