I spent the entire Super Bowl weekend with Dad. It was a memorable weekend for a couple of reasons. One is that our relationship seems to have gotten closer during this last year. The other is that I drove the 2 1/2 hours to be with the one person that I knew I would be comfortable with – Win, Lose or Draw.
I didn’t quite realize that, that would be the case before deciding to go. To go meaning to leave Charlotte, bustling with people and places to watch the game and be among, well – peers; for Southern Pines and the assisted living quarters of my 87 year old Dad. But the whole time there it began seeping in. For I may have deluded myself just a little into thinking that I was going to spend the game with the person who took me to my first game, in 1969 – In the original Yankee Stadium, because it would be nice to keep him company.
Oh, it certainly was nice to keep him company…. just ask anyone that I mentioned the planned trip to his place -t0. But, I think that there are many things that we do under the guise of – doing the right thing, or a nice thing – and not in a manipulative way, just a human way; that really have as much, if not more so – a self serving end!
What I realized on the ride home after a victorious Sunday evening! the night before, was that I wanted to watch the game, the biggest one in a few years, and one that you could not predict when one of its equal would be played next, with Dad. The Dad who goes by Dick, because that was the proper nickname for Richard in the 1930’s. The Dad who took me to my first NY Giants football game in the “House that Ruth Built” in or around 1969; carefully weighing whether using a Giants ticket on an 11 year old boy was the prudent thing to do. The Dad whom I spent many a bitter cold Sunday afternoon with, during football season, in and amongst like minded people – for the next 20 years.
Yes, we had shared so many, many, many Sundays with cardboard under our feet, bundled up to the hilt, watching lousy football!! – That I felt secure, that should this Super Bowl, begin going South – that I would be in the company of someone who new all the emotions that would be conjured up, and that none of them would have to be spoken about; for these would be emotions that we both would have imprinted 0n our schema – from watching many more lousey, gut wrenching, heartbreaking football games – than the NY Giants 4 Super Bowl appearances in modern history would belie!
It is with that peace of mind that Dick and I endured a roller coaster game in which our beloved “Big Blue” began leading by the awkward score of 9 – 0, then preceded to play themselves into a 17 – 9 deficit (note, greater than a touchdown – and 17 unanswered points!), only to find that our Prince Charming of a quarterback, one who had played enough games as a Frog (in his career, but not this season!); pulled off an amazing drive to take the lead with less than 1 minute to play – and therefor snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!
Dad, – “You know one of my fondest memories is walking down the rampways, after a NY Giants football game, on a bitter cold winter’s day, almost overtaken and carried by the crush of people, making their way down to ground level from the upper deck of the old Yankee Stadium – and the aroma of the old cheap, fat “stoagies” that were often smoked at games during that time. What a place to be for an 11 year old boy! what place in time. Thanks.”