wine in a water bottle

My 11-year-old George is on a town football league and all hell is breaking loose.

First off, no one in the Haft family has ever had anything to do with football. We are the family that shows up to the Super Bowl party and eats all the football-shaped cookies without watching the game. More times than not we don’t even know who’s playing but the food is great — so we do what Hafts do best: we eat.

Our kids have never done the flag football thing, in part because we didn’t understand what that even meant (along with follow-up questions regarding the national identity of the flag in question). We never joined the neighbors’ Sunday football games nor were we seen “tossing” a football on our autumnal “lawn” (which is already decimated by the rooting snouts of our potbellied-pigs. It’s more like a front mud flat.)

My husband Ian’s family observed Shabbat when he was growing up, which meant he could not play sports on Saturdays — which meant he did not play team sports at all. If any of our children asked Ian to toss a football — well, they just wouldn’t ask.

I grew up in Brooklyn where kids played stick ball in the back alleys and sold morning papers. Well, not really, but football just wasn’t my deal — even though my father’s mood was directly correlated to how the Giants’ season was going every fall.