Nothing says 'I love you Dad' like a game of bocce ball
With Father's Day almost upon us, conscientious sons and daughters are likely scrambling for creative ways to express paternal affection.
Golf and related accessories are often go-to gifts, but with the sport's implied classism -- not to mention its history of racism -- we might be more responsible to consider something else. Besides, golf is boring.
To me, nothing says "I love you Dad" like a riveting round of bocce ball.
You've probably seen roving gangs of bocce enthusiasts at parks and beaches -- motley crews of leisurely lawn bowlers laughing and rolling in a co-ed display of civic fellowship. I think they're definitely onto something.
For one, the curling of summer is a great social equalizer. It's a sport of finesse, skill and fine motor coordination that can be enjoyed between genders and generations. I've personally found the game useful when I want to bring together friends of different social circles. Somehow the focus on a shared activity minimizes awkwardness.
I should mention I'm talking about the less formal, court-less variation of the sport. All you need are balls and a relatively flat surface. The more dedicated play in specialized courts, but for the fair-weather roller, a pitch of grass or stretch of sand is sufficient.
Unlike with golf, the environmental impact is minimal -- no lawn chemicals or deforestation required. You can play wherever inclination strikes.
Plus -- and this is why I recommend a Father's Day match -- it's perfect for trash talk. Imagine the look on Dad's face when Rolling Thunder (that's you) crushes the Delicate Dandy (him) with an aerial take-out.
For all these reasons, fathers and sons ought to replace the golf match of male bonding with the bocce game of masculine shared identity.
There's no annoying pretense of wealth, class, or anything else to interfere with the joy of sport.
Some speculate that bocce dates back to ancient Egypt, while others say it found its heyday during the Roman Empire. Whatever the case may be, the sport has its origins in a civilization rich with culture.
Lofty praise for what is essentially a backyard game of lawn-bowling, sure, but if it brings people together, it just might be warranted.
And don't forget there's no chumpy dress code.
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Brooklyn, New York, United States