Thursday, June 30, 2005


Early Saturday morning The League and Mrs. League headed for Sky Harbor airport here in the Valley of The Sun in order to depart for our loverly vacation at Muskego Point. Whilst waiting for our aircraft, Mrs. League and The League parked ourselves in Starbucks and tried to get caffeinated for what was going to be a long day of traveling. As is our wont, The League was lamenting the beaten down folks toting kids through the airport, truly a complicated task.

"They look like they've lost all confidence," The League stated. "But look at that guy. He looks like he has confidence."
And then it dawned on The League WHY that dad didn't look like he'd had all vitality sucked from him years and years ago. That guy is a two-time NFL MVP. And he's leading around a four year old girl in a silly dress.

But where do Superbowl Champs go? We tried not to stare at MVP, but the harder you try not to stare... You know? It turns out, we realized as we went to board, at minimum MVPs and their spouse and six kids go through Minneapolis, too. We kind of snickered, and then realized, Mr. MVP and his family didn't board with the first-class passengers. In fact, a minute after we'd boarded, Mr. MVP and two of his kids sat down two rows in front of us.

About two hours into the flight, the guy in the casino hat next to us began engaging Jamie in conversation. "Did you notice Mr. MVP?"
"Are you going to talk to him?"
"Oh. No."
"I am."
"Yeah, I need to get a picture with him."
And then he held up his pocket-sized digital camera with a big, poop-eating grin.

I looked up at Mr. MVP, who was leaning over to talk to his kids as he'd been doing the entire flight, and I began plotting how I was going to run interference for Mr. MVP.

It didn't happen. When we deplaned, the MVP family exited before me, as well as Casino Hat guy. Fortunately, all Casino Hat guy did was pat Mr. MVP on the shoulder and welcome him to our fair city.

With a little bit of sadness, I watched Mr. MVP wander on off down the walkway, surprisingly large family in tow.

We met up with Doug in Minneapolis, grabbed our rental car, and located Doug's significant other, Kristen. 4 hours of road and a lot of trees later, we made it to Muskego Point. The in-laws were already there, and had decided we were coming in much later, and so were gone fishing. Jamie and I went to the store at Muskego Point, and related our story to the owners of the resort. And, I realized, upon retelling, seeing a famous person on an airplane just isn't that exciting.

My in-laws came in from the lake, Dick and I put our life vests on and went right back out. I caught a lot of blue-gill and perch, but nothing worth keeping. Still, it was nice out, and it's always nice to remember there is a place somewhere on earth with trees and water you can drink, and a surprising lack of khaki shorts and golf shirts. Just you, a lack of fishing skill, and a whole lake full of fish quietly mocking your attempts to eat them.

I'm not sure exactly when it was, but Doug said, "Mr. MVP is here."
"He's here. He's with his family in one of the cabins. It's supposed to be a secret."
And then I flashed back to the owner's reaction at my mention of Mr. MVP being on our flight, and it made sense. They're big sports fans, and they didn't even ask the cursory, "So, did you talk to him?" They sort of smiled and nodded and that was that.

Nonetheless, Minnesota is an exceptionally large state. With many small towns on, at last count, at LEAST 10,000 lakes. And yet here sat Mr. MVP. It was as if Mr. MVP was just begging to have me harass him.

So secret was Mr. MVP's visit, that while his kids were sort of omnipresent around the beach and zipping about the grounds, it took a few days before I saw him anywhere actually walking around himself. And I felt sort of bad for him. I mean, sure, he can comfort himself with his outstanding record and bags of money, but he couldn't even really leave his cabin for fear that us gawkers would assume it was okay to bother him while on vacation.

After spending countless hours watching Mr. MVP play ball, I am now proud to say that Mr. MVP has watched my awesome badminton skills. Leaguers, The League is a badminton phenom who expects the Olympic committee to come calling any day. Sure, I can't serve properly, but I am an intimidating force in the sand pit. May Mr. MVP tremble when he thinks of facing off against The League. More fortunate, Mr. MVP did not witness my astounding lack of talent at the hoop. Kristen outscored everyone else 4-1.

Other adventures of the vacation included just outrunning a large storm while coming in from the lake. The storm blew over many a tree branch and made the water quite choppy. We lost power, and spent the evening trying to make quesadillas in the fireplace. Also, we tried to decide whether we should confront lactose intolerance or let the milk in the fridge spoil.

The most exciting part of losing power was the loss of water from the filtration system. Which meant not only did we not have drinking water, but we couldn't flush the toilet. Which sort of balanced itself out.

Further, there was an attempt to tame the wiley water dragon brought to the cabin by Judy Q. McBride.

The attempt was a failure.

We went fishing several times over the three days while we were there. Jamie managed to catch an incredible number of perch, a good number of bluegill, and a nice northern.

The League fared not so well. While The League almost had two northerns, he was too busy running his mouth at the crucial moment to get the fish into the boat. We did get two pan friers, and many, many who were not big enough to eat. Luckily, The League enjoys the act of fishing as much as actually getting anything. This is most likely an indirect result of The League never having had known true fishing success.

In addition, the League got some good reading done. Read Age of Bronze Vol. 1, Wrath of the Specter, and a hundred pages of Theodore Rex.

All in all, The League's batteries are recharged and we feel ready to slog through another month of work before heading off for sunny Beaumont, Texas where we will be attending the Jim D. Sponsored screening of Superman: The Movie.

Who knows what professional sports superstar will fly with me from Phoenix to Houston. Dare I dream...? A full two hours in the presence of Charles Barkley?

*Due to privacy issues, The League will not identify the Superbowl Champ who accidentally vacationed with us.

The League is now back in town. But don't expect too much out of us until the weekend.

We had a wonderful time in the crazed woodlands of Minnesota. Lots of driving today. Lots of flying. Lots of driving and picking up pets. Lots of rest needed to make up for the restful vacation.

Jamie caught a nice fish. I did not.