My balls

For years Leo has annotated our Apples to Apples cards. Instead of beachballs the smudged marker now reads “MYballs”

He uses it like a punchline the way my preadolescent self tagged “in bed” to the end of each fortune cookie slip. It never fails to amuse him, and generally the rest of us as well.

“Oh dear” exclaims his older brother and Leo looks at him through slitted eyes. Too soft, he seems to say. “My balls” he corrects and they run off together, small problem averted for the time being.

I am trying to focus on the state of the union. Turning the page as Obama advises. Closing loopholes for the companies with lobbyists. Making higher education possible.

Instead I am thinking about Bill Belichick’s balls.

Leo would be proud but I am as deflated as they are.

I listened to the fans call in to the sports talk radio excited to turn their own page on the other Patriots cheating scandal. Spygate was in the past, and a Superbowl victory would prove to our detractors that we could win on football alone.

BB has used loopholes, I imagined legal loopholes, to give his team every advantage. His use of eligible and ineligible receivers (legal but confusing) is a recent example of studying the rules and use slight variations to give his team a formation that would leave the defense on tilt. Our coaches level of preparation, attention to details, and mantra turned tag line of “do your job” has appeals to me. He is combing the very rule book that I eschew.  He has the ream run crisp routes through the corners I cut,  His staff is studying angles of sunlight and how it will impact receivers perception while I just see the weather.

It is mindfulness wrapped in football. Live each moment, don’t look beyond this play. Or evidently this psi.

It sucks that they cheat. Most of the country already discounts their success. Although the game they got caught on was a blowout the week before that was not. I stood in the stands screaming and stomping as they came back from two 14 point deficits.  I celebrated what brought them back: their tenacity, their positivity, their teamwork.

Their balls.

I sketched out the problem. Oliver’s brow furrowed. His interest in rule books is legendary, he is so exacting it is almost not fun to play a game with him. He was silent as I told them of my disappointment. Leo was not.

“My balls.” When I didn’t roll my eyes with mock disapproval he broke it down for me. “You know, instead of the Patriots balls, MY balls.”

I get it Leo. But I don’t.

My balls.



Published by

Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

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