I may have overlooked that in my monthly theme preview, but let me remedy that now. Along with the onslaught of other items to be covered this month, I’m sure I’ll be posting some on one of my personal favorite past times – American Football. I want to be sure to clarify which one because soccer (the REAL football) is my absolute favorite sport, but I grew up watching the Denver Broncos with my mom and am a San Francisco 49ers fan so yes, this time of year is a good time for me. And yes, I have two teams I root for… deal with it.
Shoot, as I write this, I’m delaying when I go into work because tonight is the first home game for the local high school football team, the Needles Mustangs. It’s a little tough watching football out this way, at least in the beginning, because the temperatures are still in the 100s during the day and fairly hot in the evening. However, it’s still a lot of fun because it really is like Friday night lights in this small town. People here have a lot of pride in their high school sports and football is a big one for them. I love the atmosphere!
John Elway was barely starting his football career when football was introduced to my household. My mom had a chance meeting (somewhere I can’t remember where now) with his cousin. They had a nice chat and so my mom ended up choosing to watch the Broncos to see what it was all about. I’m not sure I need to finish this story other than to say, my mom’s been a die-hard, bleed blue and orange, kind of gal ever since. She threatened once upon a time that she wouldn’t follow along as much once Elway retired, but that was a lie. She’s too hooked to give up on her Broncos and that’s fine by me.
As a kid, it drove me and my brother a little nuts because she was so intense during the games. She wouldn’t want to talk to anyone or help anyone. I thought one time she was going to kill my dad because he’d been out cycling one Sunday and had a nasty crash. It meant, unfortunately, having to leave the game to go pick him up. I was fairly certain I wasn’t going to have a dad anymore after that… fortunately that didn’t come to pass but it was scary for a moment there. This is how I ended up a 49ers fan. To annoy my mom, I picked a different team. It didn’t really work but hey I had to try. I picked a good team though as those were the days of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Bill Walsh and company. Then there was Steve Young and still Jerry Rice and others.
Because of regional rules and what have you, I didn’t get to watch them much so I ended up watching the Broncos with my mom and it’s hard to not become a fan when you watch that much of one team. It wasn’t just games with my mom – it was the pre- and post-game shows and the late night news. She doesn’t want to miss a word of it even to this day. If I’m on the phone with her and the news comes on about the Broncos (and now even the Denver Nuggets-basketball), she goes quiet. Forget getting a word out of her until commercial. I love my mom. She’s such a goober but lovable.
I remember our tradition every year was once the football season started, we’d sort of arrange everything around game time. Being raised Catholic, we’d go to church on Sundays and it just so happens our pastor was a big Broncos fan also… so he understood our arrangements. If the Broncos had an early game on Sunday, we’d typically go to church on Saturday night. If it was the regular 2 p.m. game, we’d go to church at our regular time on Sunday morning. Eventually we would just go to the earlier Mass on Sunday and avoid Saturday all together.
Sundays also always (or almost always) meant ordering pizza for lunch or hot wings from a local place, which at the time was named Woody’s Wings and Things. I’m not real sure why but it’s called Wingman now… I don’t really like it but the food tastes the same so that’s fine. Even now, my mom and I will still do that when we get the chance. We’d also do laundry and chores all while the television was set to watching the morning game or games. We tended to toggle back and forth between games and even pre-game shows. We like to get many points of views. My mom was virtually religious about the game and kept track of all the teams’ records and by a few weeks into the season was making playoff predictions. She’s pretty good at it too I may add.
Well the season is underway. I don’t live at home now but my mom and I will make calls back and forth to talk about the game via telephone. We compare notes and see what we think of the game. When I can, which won’t be this week sadly because I’m broke, I do try and keep the traditions – laundry and chores and either pizza or hot wings. It’s just what we do.
This season otherwise is off to a fantastic start with that 49-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens and Peyton Manning throwing a whooping 7 touchdown passes to several targets including one Wes Welker – welcome aboard buddy! Fabulous! Okay so maybe Manning and head coach John Fox are right about still needing to iron out some kinks, like remembering to take the football INTO the endzone to score, but it was definitely a pretty good start and I can live with that. Now for my 49ers to have a similar start and all will be well in this household.
As for REAL football, I’m sure I’ll be spending some time chatting about that real soon here too. The World Cup is not all that far off now and I’m getting excited. For now though, it’s about the local high school football team – Go Mustangs!