Are You Ready for Some Football? - If We Could Do It All Over Again

Al runs a Crossing Pattern

Painting Completed 2004
26 x 48 inches
Textured Acrylic with Moondust on Aircraft Plywood

Pete and I were in Mission Control watching Apollo 14 astronauts Al Shepard and Ed Mitchell completing their final moonwalk. Unexpectedly, Al moved toward the television. In his hands were a makeshift golf club and two golf balls. As he talked he dropped one of the balls and hit it with a quick one-arm swing. He dropped the other and hit it too. We had just witnessed the first golf shots on the moon.

"Why didn't we think of something fun like that?" I asked. Pete thought about it and said, "You know, Al, we both enjoy watching football. If we could do it all over again we might take a football with us. It would be fun to pass and to punt in the one-sixth gravity of the Moon".

Well, in the real world we can't do it all over again, but as an artist I can show what might have been. Pete, the quarterback, is throwing the long bomb to me as I move over the cratered surface. Naturally, we set up our television camera to catch all the action.

Could we really have done this? Pete would have had difficulty in his glove gripping the ball well enough to throw a tight spiral, but he could have thrown it toward me. It might have tumbled a bit, but in the one-sixth gravity and vacuum of the Moon, the football would have sailed a long, long way. Could I have caught it? I don`t know, but wouldn't it be fun to watch, maybe during halftime at the Superbowl?

Someday, maybe two or three hundred years from now (keep in mind that 1776 was only 229 years ago), there will be football games on the Moon. Not outside, like I've painted here where humans have to wear bulky suits, but inside, in big superdomes somewhat like teams play in now. Humans will move into space and to the Moon and Mars and other more distant planets. It will take time. It won't be easy, but our descendents will go, and they will take things they enjoy doing with them.

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