The Amish Football League



As I may have mentioned a time or two, I am random. Random thoughts, random conversations, etc. etc. etc…..

A few weeks ago, as I was watching an elementary school basketball game, my companion and I struck up a conversation about kids and sports. More specifically, how times have changed (yes, I sound sound ancient and nostalgic) and that kids don’t play sports the way they used to. I don’t mean to say that kids don’t participate in sports, only that they don’t play sports. They play video games. Except for Amish kids….Amish kids play sports. After all, they don’t have video games. “That’s why they kill us in baseball,” I said. And boy, do they ever kill us. Even in the most inclement of weather, those kids are outside playing baseball.

My companion then says to me “they are also really good at volleyball and basketball.” “What about football, I say?” “No, not football” he says. “They don’t play football.”

And here is where this particular rural legend takes off….

It is explained to me that there is a certain school in our area which was built upon land donated by an Amish family, with one stipulation: No football. “Why?” I ask….”Is it because it is too violent?”

The reason behind the stipulation is then further explained to me. “According to the story, the man who donated the land had two sons. One day, as they were outside playing football, a terrible accident occurred. One of the brothers fell, hit his head on a rock and consequently died.”

I felt terrible. What an awful thing to happen to a family…..and then I felt even more terrible, because all I could think of was the movie Footloose.

You know, there is no dancing allowed in the town, the minister’s son had died in an accident and in his mind music and dancing were part of the evil that perpetrated the tragedy. I may have been partially influenced by the fact that my companion is Kevin Bacon’s doppelganger, (good lawd…those eyes) but right now I’ll just refer to the conversation as the catalyst. Lol.

So then I start to think…this would make a great movie with a similar story line, although in my version, it’s morphing in to a Footloose meets Kingpin sort of thing.

Of course Randy Quaid will reprise his role as Ishmael. He and Miss Rebecca ended up getting married and having a bunch of kids, what with her “child bearing hips” and all. But life is not all fun and games and bowling and sadly tragedy strikes the Yoders…or the Millers….or the Herschbergers. I haven’t decided upon a surname yet but there are so few to choose from I want to get it just right, you know?

At any rate, Ishmael loses one of his sons to a tragic back yard football accident. He avows football to be the work of Satan and that no one in his family is permitted to participate in said sport. As the stern, yet goofy patriarch of the family everyone naturally listens to what “pa” has to say. To take it one step further, in order to protect these children of God from the work of the underlord, he donates land to the school district, with above mentioned stipulation.

And yet….just as Ishmael used to ride his bike in to town to sneak in a few games of bowling, the sons of the brother of the dead brother (are you keeping up?) have acquired a taste for football based upon stories they have heard from their father over the years. One day as they go in to town to buy some things from the feed store, they pass the local tavern….with football blaring in the background. Of course over time their interest grows and before you know it they are getting their chores done way ahead of time in order to sneak in as much “passin of the pigskin” as they can. They dream of a life far beyond Yoder Farms….(I decided. Yoder it is).

And then they get caught, and a bunch of other stuff happens and Ishmael is furious…until Miss Rebecca reminds him of that crazy time he went to Vegas with a whore and a guy with a rubber hand, learned how to floss, got a tattoo and eventually saved the farm. Well, Munson did anyways….through that whole “Rubber Man” endorsement thing with Trojan, but that’s neither here nor there.

I then realize that the football team will need a mascot. Let’s bring it full circle and bring in Woody Harrelson to be the Trojan. Or the Rubber Man. The name can’t be any worse than the Akron Aeros changing their name to the “Rubber Ducks.” I can’t think of a less threatening name for a sports team…ok, maybe the New Philadelphia “Quakers.” Maybe.

So eventually Ishmael’s heart softens as he remembers his love of bowling and the thrill of the sport. Then there’s dancing….ahem, I mean the kick off, and a bunch of glitter falls from the ceiling and everyone’s happy.

And if that isn’t enough to sway you, just imagine those cheerleading uniforms what with their ankle length skirts and matching bonnets. GO TEAM!

And this is what goes through my mind at an elementary school basketball game.

Peace, love and blessings to all….