The Play’s The Thing…

When our kids were little, my wife frequently tried to civilize us by taking the family on cultural excursions. I remember once during an outdoor 4th of July concert (I think it was a celebration of John Philip Sousa), we turned our back for just a minute, only to discover that our boys were tossing a tennis ball around as the music played. We confiscated the ball, of course, and reminded them to be quiet and to pay attention. But a while later, we discovered that they had made a ball out of their socks and were playing another game. (So much for developing an appreciation of early American marching music.)

There is something about “play” and boys that seems to yoke the two together from an early age. I remember hearing a boys’ psychologist (a “boy-ologist”?) say that in all cultures boys are fascinated by moving things through space.

No matter how rudimentary the game, it can often be a grab for boys. I was reminded of this at lunchtime today, when I stopped by the gym to see the end of a “house” (intramural) basketball game between Scaddings and Wedds. (This game will NOT be televised on TSN 3 any time soon!)

Coach K was wise in deciding not to send scouts to UCC today, but what our players lacked in finesse and skill, they and their boisterous fans more than made up for with intensity and exuberance.

After the final whistle sounded, the boys walked out of the gym with sweaty smiles. For just a second, you might have thought you had witnessed Duke and Carolina at the “Dean Dome” or “Socks in the Air” as the band played “King Cotton March.”


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