February 7, 2002

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

Sports time for me this past weekend was drastically limited. I even made the supreme sacrifice, giving up on one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Super Bowl Sunday, to take my family down to Springfield to visit relatives. I did get to spend about 90 minutes in Bass Pro Shop and managed to wrestle Abi away from the fish, turtles and ducks long enough to purchase a fly-tying kit so that I can tie my own flies for fly fishing (I imagine it will turn into a dust collector as much free time as I have recently).

But for the most part my free time away from work was devoted to chauffeur and baggage carrier duties. I have played plenty of sports where my back did not hurt nearly as bad as it did after these three days. My legs got a work out at Chuckie Cheese when I had to chase Abi around all the games and toys because the workers were trying to close down for the night and the little turkey was not ready to go home yet. I was the lifeguard at the hotel pool as Abi and cousin Zoe swam like a school of fish for about 12 hours. Then I was night watchman for Katie who decided that long trip down was more nap than she needed and stayed up until the crack of dawn. I missed out on helping my brother-in-law side his house, and believe it or not I was disappointed. I could have used the break.

As we departed on the trip for home I noticed a sign regarding the upcoming NASCAR season. I know there are lots of race fans around so this is a big deal. That's when it struck me, that maybe we could create a new automotive competition called DADSCAR. I'm sure it's tough to pilot those massive machines at speeds nearing 200 miles per hour. However that cannot hold a candle to trying to drive 65 mph with a wife barking out directions on what road she thinks you should have taken while two screaming children are tossing things at you from the back seat and you can not even dodge their throws because your seat is mashed up against the steering wheel to fit in all your wife's packages from her stained glass shopping spree. That's DADSCAR at its best.

Instead of the mad dash to the finish line like auto racing, DADSCAR specializes in long, drawn out events that often feature numerous stops at the in-laws, any out-of-the-way shopping areas and at least two dozen bathroom breaks. Top that off with poor radio reception of the Super Bowl, which ultimately died just south of Edina, and it's lucky this DADSCAR driver did not experience a little of that infamous road rage stuff that you read about. I picked up the pace a bit in those final miles (maybe I could be in NASCAR too) in order to reach home for the final few minutes of the game.

After I made 19 trips to and from the van to unload children, luggage and what seemed like the grand prize package from the Price's Right game show, I struggled to the couch to see St. Louis tie the game at 17-17. Most of the game had been garbled, but from what I could hear, our team pretty much struggled for three-plus quarters. I didn't even know how the Rams scored their first touchdown but I was pleased to see the Missouri team poised to take the game to overtime. It had been a rough weekend and a long trip, but maybe it was all going to be okay. But, as if I had not gone through enough torment all weekend, the Patriots had to deliver that final blow to my depleted emotional state and send me into a full-fledged depression to close out my day. Wonder what's on the schedule for this weekend's getaway, a root canal followed up by a Mizzou loss to the Kansas women's basketball team?

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