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