Handmade American Footballs

Look how happy I am.
So I'm sitting in a local tobacco shop, smokin' a stogie, trying to look manly and think manly thoughts, so that I can write a manly post for my manly blog. I'm at a bit of a loss...there's a blue jeans commercial I saw yesterday I might write about, but I'm not sure...blah blah blah, I'm vacillating in a very unmanly way, trying to think of something.

I scan my blog, and see the Art of Manliness links in the sidebar. Now, I've tried very hard not to do anything on AoM posts, because, let's be honest, those guys set the standard, and I'll only suffer in comparison. This blog could become simply a tribute blog. Alas, I was not able to resist this: Brett McKay of AoM wrote a guest curator column for etsy.com. We buy often from Etsy, which features handcrafted items, and my wife, who is an artist, has posted and sold a couple of handmade items on the site as well. McKay's piece was on manly items to be found at Etsy.

Couldn't find a pic of the swords.
A couple of years back we bought our three boys wooden swords with their names burned in to the hilts. Sweet stuff, for shizzle.

McKay found some really cool things on Etsy, and you should check that post out. What I dug the most among his finds was this absolutely amazing handmade football. McKay's article (and many of his other posts at AoM) mentions his grandfather. This football makes me think of my grandpa. I came up from Brazil at age 12, having thrown a football for the first time at age 10 when I started going to an American school. My favorite time while at this school was hanging out with all the American kids whose parents were teachers at the school, playing tackle football, making diving catches, trying not to get run over by that big kid named Allan (which I thought was such a cool American-sounding name; I thought the name Kevin, however, a little lame). On our way to our new home in Canada, our family spent a couple of weeks at a beach house on Long Island, NY, where so much of my mother's family lived. And we did all these cool all-American things! We saw the huge towers on the coast with warning klaxons in case of nuclear attack. We watched the Portland Trailblazers play Detroit in the NBA Finals with my uncle Richard from Oregon. And we threw an old leather football around with Richard and Grandpa, while Grandpa told us about playing sports in the '40s when he was a kid, before his epic drive across the country to the University of Oregon, where he got his degree in the manly science of geology.

I loved the smell and feel of the pigskin. I loved the idea of pigskin. I decided I would grow up to be a professional American football player. Moral of the story...if you've got $110 to spare, go buy this handmade work of manly art.