There’s a running joke in my house between my 19-year-old son and I. See, he goes to a university that gets great basketball news pretty much every year. For example, this year he gets to hear that his Arizona team is grabbing the nation’s top recruit.
So what’s the running joke? Every time he mentions how good the Wildcats will be, or the Patriots, or whomever, I counter with the same sentence: “Hey did I mention how good the Rhode Island RAMS will be this year?”
And he just smiles.
Because as any Dad (or Mom) knows, sharing your love for a favorite team with your kids is something very special. The Rams are his second favorite team for just that reason. He wants to get excited with his father when the Rams finally enter that lofty space in college BBall where the team is discussed in media and fan circles everywhere. He wants to hear his Dad’s team is in the pre-season top 25. He wants to hear names like E.C. Matthews bandied about on BleacherReport and ESPN.
When E.C. got hurt last year, my son had to see the pain in his father’s eyes just one game into a season that promised to be special. He had been hearing of the glory days of his Dad’s college team for years, but in his young life has never seen it. Last year was the first time I dared tease my son that he may finally see a great Rams team. That we could sit together and watch the stream live from this land of the Wildcats, and root on our rising Rams. Just like we do with the Patriots and Celtics.
But last year he didn’t watch any Rams games with his Dad. It was too painful, the promise of what could have been. The pain in Dad’s eyes. The disappointment that he’s always associated with the Rams and expectations.
With the Ram’s season just weeks away, and excitement building for a team that promises to be good if not great for this season and beyond, I sit on my couch with my son, who is marveling at how good the Patriots are, even without Tom Brady. I turn to him, that gleam in my eye that tells him I’m up to no good, and I say:
“Hey did I mention how good the Rhode Island RAMS will be this year?”