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The family that plays together...

POSTED: July 5, 2014 9:00 a.m.
Joel Samuelson, Lory Kaun/Barrow County News

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There is an age old tradition of families playing sports together at holiday happenings. 

If families aren’t grilling or sitting out by the pool, they’re probably busy playing some kind of game together.

Armchair quarterback dads relive their glory days by tackling small children.

Brothers and sisters take turns at pretending to be aquatic fauna eating each other in the pool.

Everyone commemorates the name of the European trader who exposed the exotic beauty of the Far East to the folks back home by shouting at and hiding from one another. 

They are grand times indeed. Family time should be fun time. I hope that each of you got the chance to play with your nieces and nephews and siblings and grandparents all throughout this long weekend. 

Let me tell you about a game I recently played with my wife where we both learned that playing together, while potentially violent, is a great way to grow together.

I am constantly pestering my wife to play video games with me. I love video games, I do, but she’s not a fan. 

Well I finally talked her into sitting down and picking up an X-Box 360 controller, but she asked to pick the game. Much to my surprise, she picked NCAA Football 2012.

While I had initially hoped for one of those dangerous shooting games that people like to talk so much about, I was just happy to spend time playing a game with my wife.

Then again, I’m not very good at football games. It’s the defense. 

I can run up the score without much trouble, but defense is hard, you guys. 

Since my wife isn’t all that experienced at mechanized sport, it turned out that she was equally as bad at defense and was able to score rather easily due to my own ineptitude on that particular side of the ball.

I tell you, folks, it was one for the ages.

She got up early and had a 12-6 lead at one point in the first quarter because neither of us believed in going for the point after when we could try for two. 

It’s a video game. You never take the easy way out.

I eventually caught up and had a lead on her by halftime since I figured out her playbook.

She ran. Every play, she ran. It’s much easier to defend when you know almost exactly what your opponent is about to do.

So I stacked the line and forced her to throw, and that’s when things went from bad to worse.

I had finally learned how to stop her running, but I never really did figure out how to stop her passing game. It was pathetic, folks.

My wife, whom I love very much, made that Sunday afternoon recreation a nightmare for me. She could drop a simple out-route pass and take it all the way because I didn’t know how to properly tackle. 

It’s one button, but I couldn’t do it.

I somehow had a decent lead in the fourth quarter and looked to take it away, but thus it would not be. 

I failed to score after she got ahead of me by two points (again, we didn’t really do kicking), and then she sacked me on fourth down. My wife, whom I love very much, could not get a sack all game. She got me on fourth down in the fourth quarter with me trailing.

Now it looked grim by this point, and I am not a gracious loser. I take it bad.

I was pouting, I wanted to throw the controller, it was like I was really watching Georgia lose to Arkansas at home (again). 

Well after stopping me late, she scored again to go up by nine points. I was furious. With about a minute to go, she had me beat.

I didn’t give up entirely, though. I had composure enough to enjoy the last minute, so I threw a hail mary and scored with about ten seconds to go. 

Closing the gap, and getting within two points (PAT, baby!), I went for the onsides kick. 

It failed.

My hope was lost. 

The game was over.

Or so I thought.

See, with ten seconds to go and one time out still in my pocket, my dear wife, whom I love very much, decided to run a play. 

It was a simple running play, it went nowhere, and it only took five seconds.

I used up my time out, thinking a miracle could be coming.

And oh, was it ever.

I knew the only chance I had to win was an interception, so I got back in pass coverage.

By the ever-loving grace of God, my wife threw a pass. 

I couldn’t believe it. She threw a pass, and what should happen but my defender caught it. I start to run, realizing that I could still make this happen. 

With my wife shouting, “Time is out!” and me going 80 yards, I scored to win.

What’s the lesson here? Not much. Just that playing games with your family is fun. And if you get a late lead, play it safe...or else your story will be in the paper.

 

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