14 October 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things: F is for #Football

I’ve been a football fan since I was about 8 or 9, throwing a fake pigskin with the dad across the street, pretending to be Roger Staubach  or Golden Richards. His family (what few went to college) had gone to Ole Miss and at the time, Archie Manning was quarterback of the hapless New Orleans Saints, running for his life behind a make-shift offensive line while receivers, who couldn’t get open if the defense left the field, would sometimes just stand and watch after running their routes. Manning had starred at Ole Miss and was one of the best quarterbacks in the league… on absolutely the worst team. So it came to be that yours truly became an Ole Miss fan, and a Saints fan and carried that love/shame relationship into adulthood. Football has always been my favorite sport, although I enjoy hockey, and to a lesser extent baseball, too. I don’t watch much TV at all, but the only thing I ask of my lovely wife in return for watching America's Next Top Model or Project Runway with her is that I be allowed to watch the Saints for the four measly games they’re on TV on the west coast each year (and hopefully a few post-season games, too).

I even tried out for the football team in 7th grade.  Our school was so small, I would have "made the team," but I only made it through one grueling, mid-July-in-Memphis practice and couldn't walk the next day.  I still feel like if I had exercised a little discipline and done what I should have (got my butt out of bed and worked through the soreness), I would be a person with more drive and determination.

When I was younger and less responsible (poor), we used to go to New Orleans at least once a year for a home game in the Louisiana (now “Mercedes-Benz”) Superdome. This was many years pre-Katrina, mind you, and the place was showing its age. But once, I actually got to venture out onto the “Mardi-Grass,” the actual playing surface (which looked hard as a rock) due to locker room renovations. The Saints have never lost a home game with me in the ‘Dome, and that included a couple of years when they only won one or two games that year! I offered Tom Benson a deal once; for, say, $50K a year and season tickets, I’d attend all the home games and guarantee 8 wins a year. I never heard from him, but he seems to have taken the longer, more expensive route to building a winner, and that’s just fine with me! I remember well a few years ago, watching Garrett Hartley nail a game-winner against Minnesota to advance the team to their first Super Bowl.

And a couple of weeks later seeing Tracy Porter pick-off Peyton Manning to seal the only Super Bowl win in Saints history (so far)!

 This year looks good, though, and I hope to be reaping Model/Runway dividends deep into February!

Got a football story to share? Who’s your favorite team and why?

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