SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Holiday Shopping in the Philadelphia Area

I went holiday shopping with my five year-old yesterday, and we stopped in a sports memorabilia store at a nearby mall. I actually was looking for something for his older sister, who has become quite the baseball fan in the past six months.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of memorabilia stores and am wary of signed merchandise, but the little kid in me piques my curiosity from time to time. My son's favorite sport is football, and we walked past some figurines. Featured prominently among football figurines were several of Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb. Here's now the conversation went.

Son: (enthusiastically, and in his husky voice) Dad, here's a Donovan McNabb. Can you get it for me?

Dad: (a tad tired of being asked to buy things at this point) Well, maybe. I'll put it on your holiday list. Is that okay?

Son: (happy that he's managed his father to the point where Dad is not saying "no" automatically) Sure.

They keep on looking. A few seconds later, son stops at a particular rack.

Son: (surprised and disappointed) Oh now, here are a bunch of figures of He Who Must Not Be Named.

Harry Potter's Lord Voldemort meet erstwhile Eagles' wide receiver Terrell Owens ("We must not speak his name. . .").

It's amazing on what kids pick up on, but at this point all they know is that T.O. got into a major disagreement with the beloved Eagles front office and now is at home, sitting in his room. While labor disputes are something that elementary-school kids can't fully comprehend, being sent to their room is something that every kid can identify with -- in addition to the Harry Potter series.

So now all that remains of T.O. in Philadelphia are unsaleable jerseys, figurines and all sorts of memorabilia that probably won't make most people's top-ten lists at holiday time. It's amazing in the world of sports how someone can go from being the center of attention to the bottom of the pile in a matter of less than a year.

And now we don't speak his name, not because of any superstition or any edict that we must not, really. It's only because now he's old news, and there are no on-field exploits to talk about.

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