Sunday, March 18, 2007

Jock and Jill

By popular request: a 20th century photo of young Coach Robinson and his wife. Note the unfortunate plaid pants. He hasn’t lost his wedding ring yet pitching to kids at batting practice.

My husband once said when he met me I didn’t know the difference between a canoe paddle and a ping-pong paddle. What he meant was that I pretty much suck at sports. I didn’t find out I needed glasses until my ego was already deflated by being picked last for every dodgeball, softball or kickball team. Even when I could see, I was still pretty convinced I couldn’t catch or hit anything. I was right.

I got new roller skates and a bicycle for my seventh birthday. Were my parents trying to kill me? I completely destroyed the Sullivan twins’ hedge five houses down trying to control all those wheels and to this day still bear the physical and mental scars.

Four years of high school gym and stupid blue bloomers. My first high school date took me bowling. After I broke all my pearl-polished fingernails and hit nothing but gutter, I decided this guy and I would never suit.

Two years of phys ed in college, with the requirement that every student pass a swimming test to graduate! I took the test when I had undiagnosed mono and almost drowned…but I passed and I graduated.

What was my husband doing while I was bandaged and flunking stickball, hopscotch and hula hoop 101? Going to Y and Boy Scout camps and winning every medal. Captaining the basketball and football teams, playing baseball and rugby in high school. Playing college football. Attending a variety of sporting events (We went to a greyhound race on our honeymoon). He once drove to Muhammad Ali’s estate in Cherry Hill, New Jersey after a bout and got in since he had Maine plates on his car. Little did the security people knew he’d only driven from Rutgers.

After we married, he coached several sports and played tennis, racquetball and golf. I bought sneakers because they were cute, not functional, and got pregnant with our son because it rained too hard to have football practice one September afternoon.

He’ll watch any sport on TV. I’d rather poke an eye out, so keep the cue stick away from me. Which you should do in any case, because I might poke your eye out.

I am content to let my family represent me on the playing field. Fortunately my husband’s sports genes and not mine were passed on to our kids. They wrestled, played football, soccer, basketball, softball, tennis, track and field, ran cross-country, and cheered. Go Team Robinson.

Historical romance heroes are universally fit and athletic, whether they’re boxing at Gentleman Jackson’s or fencing at Angelo’s. A lady may enjoy archery and riding. I did ride a mule down into the Grand Canyon, but I did not smell like a proper heroine afterward. And you can only imagine how dangerous I’d be with a bow and arrow.

Who’s your favorite “sport” in fiction and movies? I like SEP’s Heath Champion and Keira Knightly in Bend It Like Beckham. What do you like to play? If I say Scrabble, does that count?

Love is playing every game as if it's your last. ~Michael Jordan

Come back Friday, March 23 when I post the first MRMR contest---Too True To Life. No heavy thinking or athletic skill required! You’ll have the weekend to enter. The randomly-selected winner will be announced on Monday, March 26.


Lenora Bell said...

What an adorable couple!! That is the sweetest picture.

I don't watch movies about sports. I don't play sports (ever since my jock mother made me try out for basketball and softball where I languished on the bench and worked myself into nervous paroxysms). But I have developed an obsession with the Houston Rockets because of Yao Ming, the 7'6" center from Shanghai. I even had a dream about him last night...TMI?

Hellie Sinclair said...

Favorite movie about sports: Bull Durham. Kevin Costner is so hot; and that scene in the kitchen!

And I empathize, Maggie--I'm not a sports person either. *LOL*

terrio said...

First off, you were a child bride. I didn't know that about you. *g*

I played softball from 9 to 22 and started playing volleyball but broke my wrist after one season and that was done. I'll watch most sports but I don't really seek them out. Except maybe NASCAR and figure skating. And soccer if I can find an English Premiere League game on Fox Soccer Channel. But that is for totally different reasons.

I was a catcher and have a thing for them so Costner (Bull Durham) and Tom Barringer (Major League) are two of my favorites. Burt Reynolds was pretty hot in The Longest Yard.

I don't think I've ever read a book with a sports setting. But I keep hearing about these SEP books. I'm going to have to give them a try.

AprilsMom said...

Does fishing count as a sport? I love that old movie "Man's Favorite Sport", starring Rock Hudson and Paula Prentiss. Rock is considered an expert on fishing--he must be, he writes best-selling books about it! In truth, he's never fished in his life, only done great research. Such a writer's dream!

The closest I come to sports is to look up from my book and inquire "What happened?" when the Love of My Life is yelling at a sporting event on TV.

Maggie, I love your site, especially with the artwork you include. Great job.

Ericka Scott said...

Sports? Does camping count? How about cribbage?

I hated sports in school (and after) although I played on a softball team in college one time that was loads of fun. All I remember is drinking lots of beer after we lost each game. Took the sting out of defeat!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

I'm having a mental Kevin Costner fest, Cheeky Wench and Terrio. I loved him in Tin Cup, too. He was so darned determined...stubborn...foolish, kinda like some guy I know!

Anybody watching March Madness? Maine televises HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL in February. The state tournament is a very big husband was on the principals' committee and I asked him to wave to the camera when I called him on his cellphone. That's how I kept tabs on him during February break!

Thanks, Aprilsmom and Lenora! And yes, Ericka, the key to all sports participation has got to be the beer. I'm sure I would have been a much better athlete in high school if only I could have gotten drunk.

Lindsey said...

cute pic, Maggie! :)

I'm all about narrative, so I find watching sports in general kind of dull, but I can get on board with books/movies about sports so long as there's a good story.

I'm not at all competitive, so I'm not much for team sports, but I enjoy cycling and swimming and stuff.

Tessa Dare said...

What a handsome couple! Look at those ringlets! Thanks for sharing, Maggie.

I love sports. I suck at sports. I'm a spectator, sigh. I never did get to date the jock, either. (Although I did have a boyfriend once who was an ex-football player, and very nicely built, come to think of it.) I think that's why I wrote an athletic heroine .. wish fulfillment. I'm from Indiana, and basketball is a religion there (as anyone who's seen Hoosiers knows.) That movie's great, as is Rudy. And now that the Colts won the superbowl this year, my life is nearly complete - if only the Pacers could win the NBA championship.

Jackie Barbosa said...

Are you sure you were of legal age when you married, Maggie? I'm thinking not from that photo. You don't look a minute past 16 *g. (Of course, now that I'm--ahem--over 40, anyone under 25 looks young to me...)

The only sports I was ever any good at involved water: competitive swimming and, later, water polo. And I wasn't very GOOD at water polo, to be honest. I was just a good enough swimmer to fake it, LOL. On land, I'm frankly hopelessly uncoordinated.

I DO like WATCHING some sports, though. Baseball is my favorite (every baseball game is a story, with its own narrative arc), followed by football. I don't care for the college stuff, though. I'm strictly pro *g!

Sarah Palmero said...

How sad is it that I can't think of any heroes or heroines who are sporty in books. Huh.

I swam as a kid, played volleyball briefly, and played lots of soccer. I competed in figure skating and horseback riding.

And now, years later, I'm getting back into figure skating and riding, but none of the other stuff. Ah well. :)

Oh, and the only time I ever watched sports was when I was a cheerleader, for a year. I was reaaally in to football then, probably because we went all the way to State and won for the first time in like 50 years, but other'n'at? Not for me.

Kim Castillo said...

Hi Maggie!

If I can say Scene It and Taboo, you can say Scrabble ;)

I hate sports and I hate living in Indiana close to Notre Dame. March Madness has a whole over meaning for me *g* And not in a good way.

Yesterday the Colts superbowl trophy thing came thru my hometown, made a stop at the local Meijer. Lordy, you should have seen the camera crews and all the hoopla. People were sobbing, SOBBING because they got to touch the trophy.

*sigh* it just annoys me.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

I think I was 24 or 25 in that pic (married at 23)..but I agree, we both look like babies. I pretend I haven't aged that much *chortle* but after 4 kids I don't have the hair or the figure anymore!

I don't mind going to basketball games, more to people-watch than anything. I'm bored breathless when stuff is on TV, tho. Red Sox games are fun only because the fans are so devoted, which reminds me of that cute Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore movie whose name I can't remember. I'm not kissing any trophies, however!

Janga said...

Maggie, what a good-looking couple!

I am a lousy athlete and always have been, but I‘m an enthusiastic fan. My brother was a star from Little League on, and we always went to his games—football, basketball, and baseball through high school (track meets too); in college it was just football (he was All-SEC his senior year). So following the team has always been a part of my life. The grands are playing soccer and baseball now, so the tradition continues.

Some of my favorite writers have written sports books. SEP’s Chicago Stars are grand, but I love her golf books too (Fancy Pants and Lady Be Good). Kasey Michaels has a cute baseball duo—Be My Baby Tonight and Love to Love You, Baby. Kathleen Gilles Seidel has several sports books including Summer’s End, a great skating story. And although I am not a hockey fan, I like Luanne Rice’s Summer Light with its blend of hockey and psychic talent.

I don't do as well thinking of movies. The ones I like best--Field of Dreams and Brian's Song--aren't romances.

Stephanie J said...

What a fun topic! I was into sports when I was younger. I was a big soccer player, ran one year of cross country (horrible, horrible sport!) and I generally like horsing around with the friends and playing flag football and whatnot. Props to those into swimming...I can't stand it!

I always like fencing, horseback riding, fishing, etc in books that I read. I don't do any of those very often so it's fun for me to read about them!

lacey kaye said...

I only recently heard about this having to pass swimming to graduate rule. Weird! So glad I didn't have to do that. I would have drowned for sure :-)

LauraT said...

Hi Maggie!

I lurk here so much, that I finally thought I would peek out and tell you how much I enjoy your blogs! I love how you write- "unfortunate plaid pants" ;)... Your blogs always leave me with a smile.

pjpuppymom said...

Maggie, what a cute couple y'all make but I've gotta say, you look about 13!

I've never been an athlete but I LOVE LOVE LOVE sports, especially football. I'm the one in the family who is always jumping up and down screaming at the TV during games like I'll most likely be doing later tonight when North Carolina plays in the NCAA tourney. Go Heels!

Janga, you named some of my favorite sports themed books. Another series I liked was Hot Zone by Carly Phillips. The books released so far are HOT STUFF, HOT NUMBER AND HOT ITEM.

Beverley Kendall said...

I thought this was a picture of a little girl!!! Oh my goodness, you look like a baby.