What are you doing on this twentieth anniversary of 9/12? Are you happy that 9/11 is over so you can enjoy your basic Sunday, or are you suffering from a non-alcoholic hangover of feelings that you haven’t successfully flicked away? I’m sure some, like me, aren’t on social media much these days so you may have missed some 9/11 posts to be gifted with them a day late. They’re good at peeling off new emotional scabs and dipping them into something salty.
Either way, it’s Sunday, my favorite day of the week, a day for me to distract myself with messy football and lazy Sundays.
Roger and I have always had this rule(ish) that no big work should be done on Sundays, no matter the time of year. Everyone agrees. I won’t run the washing machine, the John Deere rests in the shed, and the vacuum sits nestled in the laundry room closet. On Sundays, the only blaring noises are shouting at the tv or eager hands in crinkly bags of Doritos. Food is a big part of Sundays. (I would talk about football food, but that topic deserves its own post.)
Football is like a show, not only about the athleticism and machismo, but also about personal stories, adoration for one’s region, and the relationships between members of the team. (If you don’t know what I mean, look up Edelman and Amendola, previous stars on the Patriots whose relationship will make you swoon.)
There are characters like the swagged-out owner, Robert Kraft or the legend, Coach Bill Belichick, with his tattered hoodies and concealed smirk. It’s a shared love for a team, and the mascots adorn rooms, clothing, and memories. It’s the whistles, the cheesy food, and a delicious distraction from the fact that tomorrow is Monday. It’s communal.
There’s warmth in football stories, whether it’s pro or not, but I couldn’t figure out which one to use in this post. I texted Tyler:
Give me a heartwarming football story.
My interception at Dad’s last game he saw against White Oak.
When Tyler was on the Jacksonville Cardinals football team, Roger was that dad. He wasn’t the one who talked about golf with the other dads, and he rarely sat on his red, $30 bleacher seat from Kmart that read “Daddy Doo” on the back. He paced up and down the walkway so he would have a direct look, the dad who always had a baby on his hip.
Donning a birthmarked toddler, his 49ers hoodie, and a Red Sox hat, Roger stood on the sidelines waiting until he had to move. The Cardinals were playing White Oak, and there was a glorious rivalry between the teams. The Viking’s quarterback threw the ball and Tyler intercepted it. He ran 50 yards for the touchdown, turned around to face his dad, and pointed right at him. Roger’s grin was massive.
Football just takes you to different places in the same timeline like a Thanksgiving dinner in 1985 or a field on Camp Lejeune surrounded by strollers and small concession stands. It’s the sticky oranges at half-time, nachos in a clear plastic bin, and playing muddy tag under the bleachers.
It was our little family’s Friday nights.