Forget this ridiculous NFL crap where you have no idea how teams are going to play from week to week (see my Vikes choking away a chance to wrap up the division title against the Falcons yesterday). Taking my 12-year-old son Jack out to lunch recently after finishing his first-ever set of midterms (they don’t start them until 7th grade at his school), we found ourselves at one of the many fine Greek diners in the Orlando area named Athena’s. Sitting across the table from each other, he threw down the challenge: a game of paper football with a blue packet of artificial sweetener, some knock-off called “NatraTaste,” in place of the classic triangular football.
You remember it–the goal is to “shoot” the “ball” with your fingers to hang over the edge of the table without falling off, and that counts as a touchdown. You then get to “kick” the extra point through finger goal posts, and hope you don’t hit it so hard that it flies into the booth behind you (guilty as charged). Though I can’t remember playing the game since God-knows-when, the skills apparently lay dormant in my DNA. Game 1 was a 50-7 thrashing (I asked Jack if there was a slaughter rule in paper football, which of course threw him off his game even more), and Game 2 was mercifully interrupted at 26-0 when our food showed up. I may suck at video games and play them like the most uncoordinated person alive, but it’s nice to know the old man still has it when it comes to the simple stuff. Pong anyone?