Little League football is a nation-wide occupation for thousands of parents on Saturday and Sunday, through September, October and November. The action is never covered by the large newspapers, nor is it announced over a national radio station by big name announcers, or even televised locally. The games are organized, planned and coached by fathers. But they are worried over and scrutinized by mothers.
These mothers sit all week-long at the practice field watching their little Sam “Bam” try to annihilate their opponents during training. After observing all week, they know each player by the way he walks, runs or stands around biting his fingers through his face mask. Each child has a different characteristic which distinguishes him from the other boys, all of whom are dressed the same.
The basic and easiest difference to follow on the field, is the color of their socks. Sitting on the sidelines, the mothers conspire to make sure the boys have different colored tops to their socks so they can their own boy out of the pile-up. By the end of the week the uniforms have to be clean and all grass stains removed. Mouth pieces must be free of bubblegum, or if not cleanable, replaced. Then all is ready for the big game.
To the amusement and chagrin of some men, these same diligent mothers must be used in various aspects of the program. For instance, they’re used as spotters. Spotters are elevated persons with good eyes and quick minds. They sit in the lofty press box and scream out numbers and names of the little Joe Namath hopefuls on the field. Binoculars glued to their eyes, they try to follow the line of play.
“He’s on the 12 yard line with 3 balls, or is it the top of the 4th with 3 downs?” one asks. The eyes of the other spotters move off the field of play for an instant and search the box for the woman who uttered those words.
“Give me a chance boys, I’m just learning”, she says. Shaking their heads, the men return their gaze to the game.
“Little Johnny Short Socks is crying, one of those big bullies stepped on him,” she cries. The man with the microphone quietly states, “Lady, please, just give me the numbers and names. I’ll do the rest!”
Concentrating very hard, the woman watches the action, then breathlessly screams, “The one with the ball is my….that’s my….his number is….Look at him go!”
This time, not so quietly, the announcer yells, “Lady, what’s his number and name?”
Excitedly the lady replies, “He’s the one with the green topped socks!”