I found out some disconcerting news this evening about my two younger boys, and I emphasize the fact right here and now that they are boys.
You see, I took them to their football tryouts this evening. I was feeling mighty proud of them for trying out for what is probably the manliest sport going. But when practice was over, and we were walking back to the family van, they started complaining about their girdles.
Yes! Girdles! I just about fell over. There were we were, right in the middle of an extremely public park, and my children were complaining about the fit of their girdles. To say the least, this tidbit of information about football put the old gridiron in an entirely new light for me.
“The two of you are wearing girdles?” I inquired.
“Yes,” they both answered, “it’s part of the equipment. We have girdle pads too,” they cheerfully added.
So I asked them what else they were wearing as part of the uniform. Nighties? Pumps? Skorts?
They both looked at me as if I had gone mad.
As these personal educations in living a life often do, this revelation got me thinking about the other elements of their equipment. I asked them what else they were wearing and have compiled this helpful list of football wear for all you Dads out there in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation:
Girdle: This is what football players call their underwear. Don’t ask my why, they just do. It must fit comfortably, not crawl, and have a floral pattern on it.
Girdle Pads: These are pads that the player wears in the front of the girdle to protect their quadricep muscle grouping and to give a nice flattering appearance to their opponent facing them on the other line.
Butt Pads: This is a pad that, as the name suggests, is worn in the rear of the girdle to round out the posterior, and to protect it, from all those butt slaps after the successful execution of a play.
Knee Pads: These are the pads that the players use when they kneel down to pray that they will be spared from all those butt slaps after the next successful execution of a play.
Thigh Pads: These pads help get rid of all that unsightly flab and are starting to attract the attention of the female body consciousness industry.
Shoulder Pads: This is an equipment element that has already seen great success in the women’s garment cartel; only the shoulder pads my boys are wearing are not nearly as large as the ones worn by famous celebrities and power-lunching female executives.
Jersey: Most players are leaning towards the silk top with strategically placed holes that allow for the venting of bodily odors.
Belt: This is an elegant accessory worn by all the players. Most players, in an attempt to show their individuality and creativity, will stencil in exciting patterns this year like leopard spots or zebra stripes.
Helmet: The uniform is topped off with a stately designer headpiece that speaks volumes about the personality of the player.
Cleats: This completes the ensemble. Last years trend towards low heels has been won over by the appearance of high heel stilettos this year. It makes tackling the opponent a little awkward, but the overall look is well worth the sacrifice.
I guess the only other thing to mention is the mouth guard. This is a device that the boys wear to protect their teeth from getting damaged during practices and games. I should probably get one for myself in case they show this column to any of their coaches.
Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and webmaster for the Canadian Catholic Information Network. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.