Go Ask Daddy About Fish Food, Amphibious Ambles and the Value of a Kickoff Field Goal


photo credit: Hunting Easter bunny. via photopin (license)
photo credit: Hunting Easter bunny. via photopin (license)

Back in the day, your dad could move, girls.

GAD GRAPHICBy move, I don’t mean walk downstairs without groaning. (Although I could do that too.) In football, I played on kickoff team normal for a sixth-string linebacker/fullback.) Sometimes, I’d even make a tackle on one of the three plays a game I got into.

I thought I’d lost the blaze – until the day, as a grown-ass dad, I saw fins sticking up out of the ocean.

While my kids played in the water.

As anyone who tries to scream a warning at the beach knows, no one hears you. It’s like whispering in Chuck E. Cheese. But I was moving, headed toward the girls before the kid-eating sharks could chomp up our family tree.

I was like Willie Gault’s and Jackie Joyner-Kersey’s love child.

It turns out, the animal beneath those villainous fins?

Dolphins.

I heard dolphins can be real jerks. So, I’m kind of a hero.

1. What’s at the top of the food chain for sea creatures?

photo credit: MIAMI SEAQUARIUM via photopin (license)
photo credit: MIAMI SEAQUARIUM via photopin (license)

Not dolphins.

It depends on the body of water, but you can count on two perennial champs of the saltwater chomp:

KILLER WHALE (right) | What eats a killer whale? Nothing. They hunt in packs, like salmon (just like dad) and seals. But they also eat sharks! That’s like giving bad, bad LeRoy Brown a black eye.

[See killer whales take down a tiger shark]

GREAT WHITE SHARK | No, not Macklemore. A great white can smell a drop of blood in 10 billion drops of water. They’ll sense you wiggling at more than 820 feet. Lucky for you, humans aren’t tasty.

The other three might surprise you.

A Polar bear can swim hundreds of miles from land, and sometimes eat narwhal! (They might even use their horns as toothpicks). Leopard seals spend most of their time looking for food (just like dad) and sometimes even eat platypus!

Sea lions are massive (2,500 pounds) and opportunistic eaters (just like dad) who have only killer whales and great whites to fear.

2. Why is TV on a delay for NFL games?

photo credit: Aaron Rodgers via photopin (license)
photo credit: Aaron Rodgers via photopin (license)

So that your dad can talk on the phone to someone and ‘predict’ what play the Panthers will call next.

Broadcast for lots of live sports operates on a 7-second delay – just in case someone drops a profane phrase on the field. There must be a guy who keeps his finger on the button. It’s no easy job. Rumor is they pay the dude time and a half for all games Tom Brady plays.

If you suddenly hear silence in the broadcast, you can bet it’s to mask some blue language.

Sometimes, the profane slips its way beautifully past the sensors. Remember Abby Wambach’s spirited F-bomb? Delivered just before the second half, it propelled the U.S. women’s soccer team past China in the World Cup. !@#$%! Yeah!

3. Can frogs walk?

photo credit: Pristimantis orcesi via photopin (license)
photo credit: Pristimantis orcesi via photopin (license)

Yes they can, but did you know not all frogs can jump?

Land-loving frogs have shorter legs than their aquatic counterparts. This is to make walking easier. Water-living frogs have long legs and webbed feet so they can make like Ian Thorpe and break swimming speed records. They can also make like Dwight Phillips in this video.

Do you know the difference between a hop and a jump?

(We’ll leave the skip out of the equation for time constraints.) A hop is off one foot, same foot landing. A jump is off two feet, two feet landing. (A leap, incidentally, is off one foot, opposite foot landing.)

4. In baseball, why do you play the same team so many times?

photo credit: Michael J.
photo credit: Michael J. “King” Kelly (LOC) via photopin (license)

So that all the teams get their shots in at my Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies are like that slow-moving piñata even the kindergartners can demolish. Each major league team plays 162 games. Ballplayers get an off day once every 10 days, much like Walmart cashiers. With four other teams in your division, and 14 in your league, you get to see the same opponent a lot.

Teams play their division rivals most. If you’re best among your division peers, you win the division. Usually. A team can win a division with a record weaker than a team in another division that finished second place or worse. Fair? Probably not.

5. Has anyone ever made a field goal on a kickoff, and does it count for anything?

photo credit: SOON via photopin (license)
photo credit: SOON via photopin (license)

The NFL kickoff has become the most useless moment in sports this side of a pitcher stepping off the mound to get a runner back to a base. A kickoff that goes through the uprights counts for nothing, and happens all the time.

It probably sparks little kids asking their moms and dads if it counts.

In 2011, the NFL moved the kickoff from the 30 to the 35-yard line. They considered in 2014 moving it to the 40, in the name of player safety. Namely, concussion prevention.

Kickoffs are a dangerous place for collisions. More touchbacks mean fewer collisions. Even at the expense of the exciting world of kickoff returns.

They used to call the outside contain players on the kickoff team kamikazes. A kamikaze was a suicide military attack by Japanese pilots against Allied naval vessels in World War II.

I’d rather my kid play nose tackle, defensive midfielder, even goalkeeper – before my kid plays a position with a history like that.

concussions quote

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36 Replies to “Go Ask Daddy About Fish Food, Amphibious Ambles and the Value of a Kickoff Field Goal”

  1. Oh my goodness. I can relate, as I was at the beach with LM this summer and two sharks swam up about 10 feet behind him while knee deep in the water (at Myrtle Beach, around when all the other shark sightings were high). I couldn’t even make words come out, I just rant out gesturing wildly at him.

    1. I heard it said that anyone who’s spent time in ocean water has been within 5 feet of a shark.

      It was a shark-lousy summer in Carolina. I like it better when the worst thing you have to worry about at the beach is jellyfish and overpriced pizza.

  2. Ummm….Leopard seals spend most of their time looking for food (just like dad) and sometimes even eat platypus! Platypus? Don’t worry Eli, I won’t blab to your other readers 🙄 😀

  3. Am I the first today, hmm? Very sporty today Mate. There’d be nothing worse than seeing that fin when the girls are in the water. Sand wouldn’t be the only thing in your swimmers you’d have to worry about. Did I tell you about the time I jumped off a pier as a boy and landed on a shark? One thing I know about frogs is this, when they leap off the wall outside and pee in your eye it hurts like a bitch. That’s all you need to know about frogs. Oh and they cook really quickly when your solar hot water system boils over into the drain.

    1. Almost, mate. Today did have a sporty spin. I was ready to go hand-to-fin with the sharp-toothed bastard.

      So you’re the one who originated the term “jump the shark”? I wonder if a salamander’s piss would also irritate the eye. How can we find out?

      I just hope your three amigos frogs weren’t the ones you cooked, Laurence.

      1. Only almost? I don’t see any previous comments. I could see you punching it like the surfer did the other week. I think the term was, ‘WHAT THE…….?” Only one way to find out old son, first, pick up your Salamander… No they weren’t the Amigos, this was a week after we moved in. Poor buggers.

  4. OK, so I am still stuck on the pic of the Lindt Bunny as the ones my girls got have been gone for months now. Yup, chocolate with three girls (myself included) in this house doesn’t have a shot of lasting for even a week after Easter sadly here! But still now I wish it did, because those bunnies are pretty damn tasty. Just saying! Happy Friday and great answers to even better questions once again 😉

    1. Chocolate bunnies of any grade don’t have long lives around here, Janine. Valentine’s candy boxes empty quickly around here, too. My girls consider a container a serving size. Not sure where they got that idea.

      And they don’t taste just like chicken.

      Glad you liked the lot of them today!

  5. Sharks… Ugh. One got spotted where o was swimming and I got put of the water and stayed out for the rest of the day.

    Okay, fine. We were at a pool party, watching Jaws being projected onto a screen. Even so, I got sick of the opportunistic kids who kept trying to scare everyone. Also, you weren’t allowed to eat popcorn in the pool. Poolside? A-ok. 😉

    1. Shark Week is close enough for me, Kim.

      And rules are rules. You did right. In the movies, those are the kids who get eaten first, aren’t they?

      I’m about to watch Sharknado 1 AND too with the girls. Classic moment!

  6. When my husband was out body boarding, a porpoise popped up about two feet away from him. He booked back to shore. It totally freaked him out that the animal got so close without him seeing. Gotta hate murky Atlantic water.
    Have fun at the beach this weekend, everyone! 😉

    1. I wonder if the porpoise’s story was that he was swimming along and this dude on a body board popped up about 2 feet away from him …

      Crabs and other sea creatures have nipped at and crawled over my toes in the ocean, too.

      This kind of stuff doesn’t happen on the Florida Panhandle coast.

  7. I was 13 when I saw my first “shark” before my mother informed me it was a dolphin. I was both excited and disappointed!

    And the language that comes from my sister in laws mouth during a Bronco’s football game is horrific- I need that remote we talked about with the mute button a few weeks back!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. I wonder how dolphins feel when people think they’re sharks at first, then say, “oh, it was *only* a dolphin.”Maybe this is why dolphins are a-holes.

      Most kids in Colorado learn their first (and worst) bad words during Broncos season. I know I did.

  8. So many great aspects in this post! Starting off with the Swiss chocolate bunny! And seeing Laurie re-surfacing!

    I’m glad it wasn’t a shark, but I’m still proud of you for rescuing your girls!

    I had no idea about the 7 seconds, but it makes total sense! One hockey season they installed several microphones throughout the ice rink, one was in the penalty box. A certain player spent too much time in there and used too many bad words. This was the end of the audience getting to listen to the guys.

    Ever heard about the scientist’s experiment with a leaping frog?

    PS: you were hungry when you were writing this, am I right?

    1. Anyplace there’s Swiss chocolate and salty ex-pats from Australia, we’re in business around here, Tamara.

      I also once rescued Marie from a raging jellyfish. We don’t like to talk about that one.

      Someone should have made transcripts of the penalty-box rampages and ranked them for originality and grammar.

      I didn’t know about the leaping-frog experiment. What is it?

      I was hungry before I wrote this. During, and after, too.

  9. I understand this is a family friendly blog, so I can’t repeat the most offensive statements this particular player made. Let’s just say it went beyond the usual trash talk, I am glad he retired at the end of last season. He was a great scorer but lacked decency.

    The scientist wanted to measure how far his frog could leap, so he told the frog “go, jump!” The frog leaped, and the scientist wrote down “frog, 4 legs, leaps 4 feet”. Then he went ahead and cut off one leg. Again he said “go, froggy, leap!” The frog jumped 3 feet this time. The notes said “frog, 3 legs, jumps 3 feet.”
    You fill in the middle part.
    After the scientist cut off the 4th leg, he would say “go, froggy, jump!” Nothing. “Come on, leap!” Nothing. The scientist wrote “frog, 0 legs, deaf.”

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