Picture Day

Last Sunday was Picture Day for Younger One’s flag football team. It was the usual mayhem--kids dashing about, while adults attempt to fill out the massive, impenetrable SPORTOGRAPHY order form.   

One cannot  be cavalier when filling out the SPORTOGRAPHY order form. One wrong slip of the pen, and your “Mom’s Pride” package will end up delivering Priceless Memories to someone else’s mailbox, and you’ll be out $800. Of course, you can always contact SPORTOGRAPHY to track down your missing photos, but you’re going to need to know your coach’s name, address and on-base percentage.

Go Team! (This isn't all of them, a couple guys were missing. Missing Picture Day. Can you imagine?) Younger One is on the far left. 

Go Team! (This isn't all of them, a couple guys were missing. Missing Picture Day. Can you imagine?) Younger One is on the far left. 

SPORTOGRAPHY seems to have a monopoly on team sports photography in our neck of the woods. I don’t know if SPORTOGRAPHY has established its stranglehold on other markets, but I’m sure if it hasn’t, there’s a similar business emotionally blackmailing team parents with the threat of missing out on Priceless Memories.

Yes, SPORTOGRAPHY products are expensive, but these are Priceless Memories we’re talking about, remember? And not only can the people at SPORTOGRAPHY put a price on Priceless Memories, they’ve even figured out a way to package them! 

Younger One works it for the camera.

Younger One works it for the camera.

Take the “Rookie” package, for example. You get the Regular Memory Mate (a 5x7 of the team, and a 3x5 Individual Photo of your child all mashed together on an 8x10 photo), 4 Wallet Size Photos, a 5x7 Individual Photo, a Photo Magnet and two Pennant Magnets—all featuring your child holding a sport-appropriate prop.

My wife and I used to fall prey to the SPORTOGRAPHY trap. When Older One was going through his early years, we would order anything. We had Memory Mates (of course), 8 x10 Photos, Baseball Cards, Photo Magnets, Times Square Billboard, Feature Length Documentary—you name it. 

But over the course of myriad sports seasons, we’ve learned to resist the siren call of Priceless Memories. We are hardened by experience. My wife and I recently tried to tally up all the recreation league teams our two sons have played on. Between the two boys and baseball, football, basketball, lacrosse and soccer, we figure our boys have played on 28 teams (I’ve probably coached about one-third of them.)—and that doesn’t include school teams. 

Of course, no one completely immune to SPORTOGRAPHY’s spell. Yesterday I did go ahead and order a Memory Mate for Younger One. It set me back $14, which I suppose is a small price to pay for a Priceless Memory.

If our family ever moves, I suspect we’ll find SPORTOGRAPHY products  sprinkled about the nooks and crannies of our home like so many Priceless Memory Easter Eggs. Or dead mice.