We had the distinct pleasure of watching our nephew Ben play football yesterday. The youngest member of the famous Green and Red Pepper Club, founded by Grandpa Vince and Grandma Mary Jane, eight-year old Ben does not suffer fools gladly.
An all-around athlete by day, and a card shark by night, Ben honors the rules of the games he plays, and expects others to follow suit.
On a sunny weekend in which we mourned and honored his beloved grandma, Ben played a soccer game on Saturday morning, had baseball practice Saturday afternoon and two flag football games on Sunday. In between all that activity, he hung politely with the grownups, attending long dinners and a three-hour visitation.
The earnestness with which Ben plays sports offered sweet relief from the solemnness of the day. He made a great catch as a wide receiver, and intercepted the ball twice as a savvy corner.
My favorite play, obviously, happened in the fourth quarter, with the Buccaneers trailing the Patriots by six.
Ben, anticipating the pass of a rattled quarterback, stepped in a grabbed an interception, broke a tackle, cut left, and dove for the end zone.
Score one for the good guys.