Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top 10 Reasons to Watch Sports with My Mom (and her crocheted Seahawks Beanie)

Many adjectives might spring to mind when looking at this picture of my mom.  Super cute- yes!  Warm and hospitable- better believe it!  Gourmet chef- you betcha!  But crazy, die-hard sports fan?  Perhaps not the first thing to come to mind.  But let me tell you, she's more than meets the eye.  Under her warm and fuzzy exterior lies an ultra-competitive, raging, veritable sports fanatic.

She may not know all the stats, standings, or heck, even all the rules, but she definitely wins the award for most entertaining fan.

So in honor of this wonderful woman, here are the top ten reasons to watch sports with my mom.

10. She makes great grub.  Did I mention she's a Filipino grandmother?  'Nuff said.

9. She sometimes forgets which team is which and cheers for the wrong team.

8. When the game gets too intense, rather than freaking out like the rest of us, she goes into the kitchen and cooks (hence reason #10).  In the 1998 NBA championship nailbiter, Bulls v. Jazz, Michael Jordan hit a clutch jump shot with 5 seconds to go, giving the Bulls the lead and clinching the title.  Where was Mom?  In the kitchen, chopping vegetables.

7. She knows the height of all major sports figures and preferentially cheers for the short ones.

6. When the Mariners blow a big play (which is often), she yells what we can only presume to be expletives in Tagalog.

5. She never cheers for mean sports stars.

4. She gets up at 3AM to check the Australian Open matches because she just can't wait until morning. On a similar note, she has to play tennis matches against people half her age, since the "old people" are too easy to beat.

3. She practices Zumba and Tae Bo moves during particularly slow or boring games.

2. After good games, she leaves noteworthy voicemails.  My all time favorite, in its entirety: "Yankees lost!  Yankees lost!  Love you.  Mom."

1. She makes great grub.  Yes, I mentioned this already, but if you know my mom and have eaten her food, you know this bears repeating.

So when my sweet mom saw the girls' new Seahawks hats and asked for one for herself, how could I say no?  This is the woman who taught us to yell "sack him!" right around the time we were learning to say "mama" and "dada".  Mom requested a hat with a folding brim and no earflaps, so I threw together a a quick double-crochet beanie in Seahawks blue and green, roughly based off this pattern.  With a pom pom, of course.

The best part?  I get to watch the Superbowl with this cute superfan!  Go Hawks!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Raising Sports Fanatics: Crocheted Seahawks Beanies

Sports fanaticism runs deep in my family's heritage.  It's right up there with the love of a good bargain, a predilection to eat anything made of shrimp, and a genetic mis-wiring of the brain's signals for feeling hungry and feeling angry (aka "hangry").  Let's just say you don't want to be in the car with my family on the way TO a restaurant, but that's a discussion for another time.

Anyway, back to sport fanaticism.  You might wonder how a family of four girls inherited such a love of sports.  Well, it wasn't from my dad.  My sisters and I were lucky enough to grow up in Chicago in the era of the Bears, and one of my earliest memories is of my petite mother pounding the ground in front of the TV yelling, "Sack him!  Sack him!"  As toddler girls in 1985, we danced the Superbowl Shuffle right alongside Jim McMahon and Refrigerator Perry (on VHS, of course).

Fast forward a few years, and we reveled in the era of Da Bulls and Michael Jordan's dynasty.  Over the years we found other teams to love: our own high school Bears, the Mariners, Huskies, Storm, Seahawks.

As fans, we were no strangers to body paint.

cheering on a high school basketball game

Or electrical tape.

My big sis is the U; I'm the apostrophe

My little sister even once made a sign protesting the sale of the Seattle Storm and Sonics to Oklahoma, landing herself on the front page of the Seattle Times and every other major paper in Western Washington.  She also achieved the highest level of superfan-dom: making it on ESPN.  Now THAT's a fan.

Now I have the high calling of grooming my own three girls into proper sports fans.  Like any other parent, I want to raise them to recognize good and evil, to root for the right team and boo for the Yankees of the world.  Or in this particular case, to cheer for the Seahawks and cry out for the downfall of the 49ers.  For my girls who unfortunately love dress-up and tutus more than TV and sports, the initiation into becoming a fan requires more than a bowl of chips and a TV remote.  For them, the road to fan-dom requires froofy clothes.  So I picked up some yarn and went to town with this earflap hat pattern.  After their initial rejection of the hats, we went into fierce contract negotiation, eventually coming to a deal:  they would wear the hats, give up all photo rights and royalties, not to mention a future first-round draft pick, if, and only if, I added a pom pom.  Done.

Go Seahawks!