Childhood Memories Friday: Purple and White Seymour Owls

Childhood Memories FridayPurple and White!  Purple and White!  Seymour Owls, Fight Fight Fight!

That was a familiar chant during my childhood, for I lived in the home of the mighty Seymour Owls athletic teams.  My dad was a sports fanatic, and in addition to being a teacher he was the junior high boys’ basketball coach (rocker John Mellencamp was on his team once).

My mom made me a purple corduroy pantsuit which I wore with pride.  I remember my dad having the boys’ team over to our house once when I was about six and I wore my purple pantsuit, although I was incredibly embarrassed being in the same room with those grown up boys!

It was only years later that I heard someone comment, an owl?  Your mascot is an OWL? I had never thought about it, but I guess an owl isn’t the first animal to come to mind when you think of a feared competitor, huh?

Despite my dad’s enthusiasm, I was never a sports fan at all.  I remember in junior high we would occasionally have “pep sessions” where we were all herded into the gym to cheer and scream for our boys’ teams.  These sessions greatly annoyed me, and it was all I could do to even stand up and watch.  I mean, come on!  We were taking time out of class to cheer on these guys, the vast majority of whom were not exactly the sharpest crayons in the box?  Just because they could bounce a ball down a room?  Really?

I think of this attitude and see it carrying over to my adulthood (I think it’s one of the fun things about being an adult that you can connect the dots regarding your own personality) when it comes to church.  I regret to say that a lot of Sunday services at our church feel a bit pep session-y to me, with the clapping, swaying, and “giving the Lord a hand clap.”  I’m sure it’s because my vision of God must just differ from theirs, but it seems akin to performing on stage for a watching Queen Elizabeth, only to finish with, “I wanna give a shout out to my homegirl Lizzie the balcony!”  It just seems … inappropriate? wrong?  Supply your own adjective.

I also remember once during my first few years of teaching.  The principal called me into his office and questioned a failing grade I had “given” to the basketball team star, thereby preventing his playing in a big game.  Couldn’t I adjust the grade a little?

I was shocked … I thought you were supposed to give kids the grades they earned.  His athletic status had honestly never even crossed my mind – but apparently it had crossed someone else’s.  And this was an elementary school!  The mind boggles when it considers many worse things that happen with older kids.

Athletic memories, anyone?  Funny mascot stories?  Have at it in the comments…

6 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Purple and White Seymour Owls

  1. The adulation given to athletes has always boggled my mind! When I was in high school, our band was invited to compete in a national competition out of state – this competition was “by invitation only,” and literally half of the high school (it was a small school!) was gone for 3 days.

    Several years later, the basketball team at the same school was in the state tournament, and they actually closed the school down for three days . . . and sent an extra bus for “spectators.”

  2. How appropriate for me today! I am ready to put on my clothing for the day at school and it’s PURPLE AND WHITE DAY! The owls still are flying! The wife of the head coach is a teacher at our school.

  3. We’re definitely not cut from the same mold. Basketball was a BIG thing when I was in school, and I loved it. The high school (basketfall) sectional was one of the highlights of my school year. (Our school was too small to have other teams.)

    Now, I think I might be a little obsessed with the Indianapolis Colts and other professional teams. How can we be so different?

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more! Athletics have always been overplayed (no pun intended) as far as I am concerned. I still remember the time that my high school sweetheart and later my husband for 30 years made the winning basket in the very last second of the game. Oh boy, what a “hero” was he! Everyone swarmed around him after the game and at the local hangout of the day, known as the Wheel In. One of the senior girls actually walked up and kissed him unexpectedly, which I thought was a bit extreme for two points in a ballgame, as he was only a substitute player and not ever on the “first five”. Like you, I have never appreciated sports very much as a grown-up either. I would much rather watch a good movie or news commentary on Sunday PM TV rather than any football game, even the Super Bowl. It is OK with me that the Indianapolis Colts have a perfect record of 13 wins so far this year, but I haven’t watched any of their games yet in 2009. As for those high school pep sessions, those I didn’t mind. It usually got us out of class about 15 or 20 minutes early on most game days, which was a good ending to an otherwise boring school day.
    I also agree with Susan about the “rah-rah” stuff at church. Fortunately, I now attend an old-fashioned traditional church with regular services that are dignified and meaningful. At the beginning of the service each Sunday, the church bell is rung while everyone gets quiet and ready to tune in for a very respectful hour in reverence to God. Now that is my style of church!

  5. Well, I do not have very many fond memories of sports at school. I’ve never been the athletic type. I did attend a few basketball games with a girlfriend. We got into it one year when our school was winning. We also attended a couple of football games. I always liked watching the band march.

    As for church, well, we have had our ups and downs. Maybe it is just me, but sometimes church feels like high school. What do I mean? One word…cliques. Thankfully, our Lord is not that way, He accepts all who come to Him through Jesus.

  6. I played in the band, so I always thought of football as a “filler” until the band performed, lol! I remember getting the “opportunity” to be a cheerleader in middle school. I scornfully declined. I sat in the stands and wrote poetry during practice. As for church, it seems to be all the rage lately to try to “liven up” the congregation. What ever happened to dignity, reverence and prayer? I don’t mind a lively service sometimes, but I don’t want to be manipulated. (I’ll never forget once when I’d had two teeth pulled before attending a special program at church. Half of my face was numb, and the guy up front kept looking right at me and saying stuff about smiling if you really loved Jesus, etc. and I COULDN’T which was making me very cranky indeed).

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