You do this every friggin’ year, Alan. Uncle Eric gets all the cousins together for some two-hand touch in the backyard as a fun little family bonding exercise, and you end up shoving me.

I know it’s intentional. I know it stems from misplaced frustration at your girlfriend being pregnant again, but we’re supposed to be family, dammit. We don’t shove; we love.

Oh, and then you do that thing where you hold your hands up innocently, with that “just going for the ball, bro” look on your face. And when I start to protest, you make fun of me for taking things so seriously. And cousin Mikey laughs derisively. I’m sick of it.

Backyard Football IN


I’ll go back inside and help Aunt Gwen peel potatoes, man. I swear, I’ll do it. So help me, I will leave you guys with an odd number of players. Do not test me, Alan.

And why do you keep yelling at me for not knowing what a buttonhook is? I’m not Jay Gruden, okay? I’m a casual fan. I don’t yell at you for having gotten a vasectomy at 26.

And by the way, why are we even playing football right now when there are professional football players on television inside where it’s warm? And I see you Alan, with that “Dude, we’re DVR-ing the game so we can watch it later without commercials” look on your face. You suck at fast fast-forwarding.

We all know how this ends anyway: we lose track of the score, Dana and Robbie argue about it until the topic somehow ends up being about Syria, and then we get called inside to chew turkey silently while staring daggers at each other and getting yelled at for getting grass stains on the shirts Aunt Fran gave us.

It’s so good to see you, though. We don’t get together enough as a family, man.

We can't play sports*, but we can make jokes about them!

*Two of our writers hit a home run** once
**It was in a video game.