P__ and I are spending the last week of the year in the outskirts of Houston, which gives particular relevance to my coincidental reading of Bryan Burrough's The Big Rich. P__'s extended family descended on the area. They're an active bunch and yesterday we got going a game of christmas football. Four players to a side, two-hand touch, three-alligator count, quarterback rotating each play, and five downs to make it across the lawn.
A few memorable plays: A__, the MIT wunderkind computer expert, cutting left and right and somehow breaking free up the middle for a touchdown. Who runs up the middle in a game of touch? Who succeeds in so doing? M__, A's younger brother, who looks a whole lot like Billy Crudup's Steve Prefontaine (Without Limits) but hides his obvious athleticism behind a guitar, finding his true calling as an open field runner. E__ misunderstanding that the reason for three alligators is that it takes time for a route to be run and throwing a beautiful spiral 10 yards over cousin J__'s head. My own contributions seemed to be limited to rushing the passer and finding myself on my back with embarrassing frequency.
Eight normally distracted adults remembering what a pleasure it is to yell and to sprint randomly across the grass. Perhaps that is the meaning of christmas.