There is always something intriguing about pitting professionals vs. amateurs in any field.
In photography, amateurs often enter professional competitions. In boxing, there’s professional vs. amateur tournaments. Golf has its Pro-Am tournaments that are very popular. In the realm of television, there are reality shows vs. non-reality shows. The ever crazy Fox television network had a controversial show called “Man vs. Beast” which pitted professionals vs. animals. For instance, professional eater Takeru Kobayashi lost a hot dog eating contest to an amateur Kodiak bear. The television network Spike TV even had a television show called “Pros vs. Joes” where amateurs faced off against different professional athletes at their respected sports.
It’s obvious that when amateurs face off against seasoned professionals, fans are genuinely interested in the outcome. Despite amateurs coming up short more times then not, this doesn’t seem to deter many fans of amateur sport such as the fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
(above: A fan of the amateur sports team, the Toronto Maple Leafs)
In the spirit of sport, I have managed to find my amateur equal, my mother.
When I brought home my report cards, my marks weren’t good enough. When I brought home my first girlfriend, she wasn’t nice enough. When I bought my first car, it wasn’t reliable enough. When I played sports, I didn’t try hard enough. When I bought my first home, I paid too much.
Now, when my mother makes her picks, they are the ones that aren’t good enough.
Like the 29 other NHL teams who feast on the misfortunes of the Maple Leafs, I am about to make a mockery of my opponent in the Sports-Opinionated Dignity Bowl.
I understand that the brain-trust at Sports Opinionated want to try to prove a point that when pitted against the spread, an inbred ape could sometimes make better picks, or Maple Leaf’s Brian Burke for that matter.
However this match up is just too good to be true. Here is some background on my opponent.
My mother is a gentle and caring soul who tends to humour those around her when sports is being discussed with a nodding head and a standard “oh yeah, really…”. She has attended more live sporting events then myself and this has caused a growing and unhealthy jealousy. She has been to more NHL & CFL games than my friends and I have combined. Despite this fact, she still to this day shows very little interest in sports and it shows in the fact she can’t remember much about any of the sporting events she attended.
In yet another example of her disrespect for sports, when it was recently asked if she could remember a member of the now defunct Winnipeg Jets of the NHL she replied “Quinton Quintal” referring to mediocre at best defensemen Stephane Quintal. This would offend any Winnipeg Jets fan. Yes, all 17 of us.
In preparation for her picks, I decided to pose some questions regarding the NFL.
How many teams are there in the NFL?
I don’t know, how many states are there?
Can you name some teams in the NFL?
You mean in the states only? Chicago Blackhawks?
Can you name some positions on the field?
Quarterback, runningbacks, receivers and the defensemen.
Can you name some NFL players, past or present?
American players? Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Ron Woodson* and Troy (some-thing-or-other)**.
(*she was fortunate enough to be vacationing in Hawaii during an NFL Pro Bowl and managed to meet Rod Woodson while shopping…ugh…)
(**while NFL.com lists 7 active players named Troy, when asked to elaborate she responded with Aikman)
(above: one of the better Troy’s? One of Troy Williamson’s many drops)
Who won the 2009 Super Bowl?
Ron Woodson’s old team won it.
(once again lucky to have met Rod Woodson)
How much NFL football do you watch on television?
As little as possible. I’ll watch a bit but then I get bored and go away.
How often to you read about the NFL (or sports)?
I only read about sports when it’s on the front page of our paper.
Who is the best NFL team or who do you believe will win the Super Bowl this season?
It’s a toss up between two teams: the Vikings and the Colts – I want the colts to win but they might lose to that place with the Mardis Gras stuff (where ever that is).
(so isn’t that a toss up between 3 teams?)
Who is the worst team in the NFL?
It’s probably somewhere where they don’t play football very much like the Capital of the United States. Washington Rednecks? Because they play politics not football. Wait, it’s the Redskins.
As you can see despite her disinterest towards sports, she still manages to fumble her way through questions with some half decent answers. Similar to Inspector Gadget to the untrained eye. These answers however are what sport psychologists call mind games.
These mind games are coming from someone who can list her hobbies as NOT participating in physical activities, NOT watching sports & recycling the sports section of the daily news paper (preferably before anyone else gets a chance to read it).
Like the calm before the storm. My Dignity Bowl picks will be as devastating as spotting the Enola Gay in the sky. My mother’s on the other hand, will be like watching Helen Keller paint a Rembrandt.
In the Dignity Bowl, my mother will fail and while I won’t get mad, I will just be disappointed. A taste of her own disciplining medicine.
Let the games begin…