If you've ever wondered where I get some of my...quirks, you don't have to look very far away on my family tree. I have an aunt named Linda and an uncle named Kenny, and they along with Kenny's wife Mary are responsible for teaching me to be an oddball with the best of them.
I bring it up because recently I've had a couple of chances to shine with my mentors. Kenny and Mary's son Kenneth is a high school senior and a very good football player, and I've been to two of his games so far this season. I was 15 when Kenneth was born, so I always kind of doted on him. Now, of course, he's too "chill" to talk to anyone that's over the age of 20. Fortunately for HIM, he has a family that has no concern for their coolness factor.
Our family sits smack in the middle of the stands, a section over from the students. Frankly, we make the students look like librarians. We are all outfitted with pom poms, cow bells and giant foam fingers. We are also all gifted with substantial vocal cords. I can assure you that everyone in the stands, and possibly half the people on the field, are completely aware which player belongs to us. Kenny is the only one that doesn't use the props--he prefers to use his voice as his only accessory. And a colorful one it is--his comments usually run along the lines of "YEAH! SHOVE THE BALL DOWN HIS THROAT!" I love it.
Kenny has always been sort of a Pied Piper for kids, and it appears he is still as powerful as ever. I noticed half of the student section chanting something, and I realized that they were yelling "ROCKET! ROCKET!" Kenny heard it and jumped up and waved, sending the student section into a frenzy. Apparently that's their nickname for him because he played high school football as a Catholic High Rocket. Then he told me that he has all of Kenneth's friends believing that since he was such a star athlete, Catholic has a statue of him in their courtyard. Reminds me of when he told me and my cousins when we were little that going too close to the Russellville nuclear power plant would turn your skin green for a week.
Both games were great ones for both Kenneth and his team. They are a talented bunch of kids, no question, but those of us in the stands know the real reason for their victories--a good foam finger on the hand of a second generation weirdo.