A few weeks ago, I was waiting outside my son Jude’s pre-school, enjoying the few seconds of solitude I had left, when one of the parent assistants walked up.
“You’re not going to believe what Jude did today,” she said. The last time I heard those words, they came with a hot dog shaped like an octopus. All the rest of the kids in class ate theirs—my son wanted to keep it as a pet.
She said she’d been working at the craft table, which they cover in newspaper to prevent stains. “I’ve got three kids sitting there, and I’m running around getting everyone smocks, paintbrushes and paint,” she said. “Randomly, I heard Jude say something about hating the San Francisco Giants and looked over. Your son was reading the sports section of the newspaper while everyone else was painting.”
Nothing could’ve surprised me less. One of the many things my 4-year-old son inherited from his father—besides thick eyebrows and a naturally positive personality—is a love of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jude gets it. All of it. He knows the players’ names and numbers. He understands the way the game is played and scored. When we go to Dodger Stadium, Jude is so focused on every breaking ball and bat flip he refuses to leave his seat. Thank God they pipe Vin Scully’s play-by-play into the restroom, or I’d never get the kid to go.
We get to a handful of games every season, but Jude learned most of what he knows by watching Yasiel Puig and the boys in blue from the comfort of our couch. That ended when, before the start of the 2014 season, Time Warner Cable bought the Dodgers’ broadcast rights. A distribution dispute between TWC and other cable providers has left about 70 percent of Dodgers fans in Southern California unable to root-root-root for the home team on TV.
My husband Dom has vented about this on Twitter a few times, and sent up a freshly frustrated tweet when the new season started. The New York Times writer Richard Sandomir saw it and reached out to Dom for an interview. A few days later, a Times photographer laid on Jude’s bedroom floor and shot pictures of him in his Dodgers shirt, on his Dodgers bedspread, holding the Clayton Kershaw doll he snuggles up with at night.
Do I think the folks at Time Warner Cable will read Sandomir’s story, see the picture of Jude with his 30-plus bobbleheads and rush to an agreement based on the cuteness of my child? Of course not. Soon it’ll be just another page covering the craft table in Jude’s pre-school—where everyone throws tantrums to get what they want.
Here’s a link to the New York Times article on the Dodgers … and us.