A few people began to exit. "Ladies and gentlemen!" the P.A. announcer called out. "Please limit your movements!"
The plane had nearly passed. "They wouldn't know about a little thing like a Summerville football game...would they?" Noah asked.
I hated that they. We sat through 12 minutes of silence and darkness during a football game on the day America mourned.
He wanted to play catch at halftime behind the stands, so we did, running down each other's spirals as a trumpeter on the field played taps. He wanted to eat funnel cake buried in sugar, so we did that, too, as we talked to the piccolo player whose 42-year-old dad spoke of reenlisting. She was scared and thought we shouldn't be there.
We settled back into our seats and watched Stratford score on a one-yard burst to take a 14-0 lead. The crowd roared. I looked at Noah and stumbled around for words.
"So, what do you think about games?" I asked.
"You know, what do they mean to you? I mean, when a game you're playing in is about to start, what's it feel like to you, how important is it to you...I mean, really?"
I waited. Had I gone too far, drilling him on the stop-and-go move under the driveway hoop, hitting him grounder after grounder in Shortstop Showdowns between Jeter and A-Rod? Had I pulled the rope back the other way often enough, hard enough? Then again, how far would my heart sink if he said, You know, Dad, winning, losing—I don't really give a hoot.