For someone with little to no athletic ability, I certainly spend an inordinate amount of time watching, talking about, and paying for sporting events.
My eighth-grader, Henry, is one of those boys who enjoys participating in whichever sport is offered at school, so as soon as he finished up his football season at the end of October (two games each week), he immediately moved on to wrestling (two meets each week). What’s more, Emmett and Hyrum are both in basketball leagues that play in far-flung locations each Saturday. I love watching my boys play, but MAN! That is a lot of hours of me sitting around with only a vague understanding of what is going on.
Further entrenching us in the world of sports is the fact that college football is in full swing, which means that most Saturdays you can find Logan and our boys crashed in front of the TV, cheering for their absolute favorite: the University of Washington Huskies.
Logan is a University of Washington alumnus, but it wasn’t until after he graduated and we moved back to Spokane that he became an ardent UW football super-fan. This is probably because, although we lived a mere five minutes away from Husky Stadium back in the day, we also had three little kids and were living on a student budget. I would have had an apoplectic fit if he would have spent the time and money required to regularly attend collegiate football games.
But now, there is no stopping his love for UW football, especially when they’re having an amazing season like this one. As of this writing, they are 10-0, which in football jargon means “you’ll pay anything for our merch, and we know it.”
And do the Dittos have their merch! On game days, Logan is decked out in Husky purple – not quite from head to toe, but pretty close. He also owns a Husky camping chair, about five Husky hats, Husky basketball shorts, and even Husky-colored sunglasses.
Our boys are starting to follow suit. For his birthday a few weeks ago, Henry’s wish list included a Husky sweatshirt, which he got and now wears pretty much every day, along with a Husky baseball hat. Hyrum frequently wears a UW hat that one of his older brothers outgrew, and Emmett often sports UW socks and a warm UW beanie.
And listen: I know some women are very much into football, and more power to them, but my daughters and I could kind of care less, so no UW merch for us. But we do like the color purple!
I’m honestly a little surprised by how invested my sons are in UW football. When they talk to their big brother George on his mission in Chile, the first thing they tell him is the score of the previous week’s game. Hyrum was so into one recent game against the University of Utah that in the final seconds, he couldn’t take the stress and buried his face in the recliner cushions, asking Logan to tell him what happened once it was over. UW won, of course.
And now, coming up a couple days after Thanksgiving is the rivalry game between UW and WSU: the Apple Cup. Normally, Logan watches this game from home, often while good-naturedly harassing via text message any WSU alumni he knows.
But this year, with all the boys more into football than ever, and with “tickets to the Apple Cup” No. 1 on Henry’s birthday wish list, Logan and I decided to go for it. Or Logan and the boys will go for it, rather.
While they drive to Seattle and attend the game, my daughters and I will be doing all the girly things our hearts desire. Going out to eat, getting pedicures, and watching the 2019 version of “Little Women” (the very best version, in our collective opinion) are all in the plans. We might turn on the game for a minute or two to check the score and see if we can find our boys in the stands, but beyond that, it will be a football-free weekend.
And thank goodness for that – middle school basketball will be starting up soon, and I need to rest up.
Julia Ditto shares her life with her husband, six children and a random menagerie of farm animals in Spokane Valley. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.