The Love for the Game of Football
Published: Friday, February 14, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 15:02
I would be willing to bet that nine times out of ten, boys are late because the game ran late. At least, I know that this is why my dad is never on time. Yet somehow, he is never late to arriving to the actual game.
With season tickets to the Giants, my dad has never once missed the coin toss at Giants Stadium, now Metlife Stadium, on a Sunday. And when the Giants are away, playing a 1 o’clock game, my dad goes food shopping at 9:00 in the morning on Sunday to ensure that he is back and ready to watch in time for the snap.
We stayed in Aruba for five days instead of six when I was in sixth grade, because we had to be home in time to see the Giants play the Cowboys.
My dad never wishes anything bad on anyone, but he was thrilled when Tony Romo broke his finger. He told me he didn’t care if Tony Romo broke every bone in his body. My dad never raises his voice, but he yells at the Giants. When we was younger, my dad punched a hole in the wall after the Giants lost one to the Eagles.
He definitely gets his passion of sports from my grandfather, whose love of sports has defined his life in many ways.
For example, on November 19th, 1966, Notre Dame played the Michigan State Spartans. Notre Dame had a record of 8-0 and was ranked number 1, while Michigan State was ranked number 2 with a record of 9-0. Michigan State was the home team and Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson were the announcers. The first quarter remained scoreless. The second quarter was the most exciting, with Notre Dame scoring 7, and Michigan State scoring 10. The third quarter remained scoreless, and Notre Dame scored again in the fourth to tie the game at 10-10. Notre Dame elected to not go for a score on their final series, and the game ended in a 10-10 tie.
That game between Notre Dame and Michigan State happened on the same day that my dad was born. For my grandfather, a smart and passionate sports fan through and through, November 19th, 1966 was the day of his son’s birth and of the big game. So do you want to know what my grandfather did? He dropped my grandma off at the hospital and then went back home to watch the game.
To my grandfather’s credit, the game between Notre Dame and Michigan State has since been called the “Game of the Century.” It remains controversial to this day. On a day when my grandfather’s love of sports was pitted against his love for his son. I’m not sure which love was ranked number 1 and which was ranked number 2. It was close. Just like the game.
In my opinion, it is only fitting that my dad was born on the same day as the “Game of the Century.” He takes no offense that his father missed his birth because he too understands the power that is the love of a sports fan. Together, my grandfather and father have attended every home Giants game for the past 46 years, rain, sleet, snow, or wind. They know that the trick to keeping your feet warm is to wear a sock, then a plastic bag over it, and then another sock. You are never allowed to go to the bathroom once the game has started, and all phones better be off the entire time.
Together, my father and grandfather can re-tell the story of any game from any year. They remember a game ten years ago as if it were yesterday. Sometimes, they even remember a game better than they remember other important life milestones, such as the birth of a child.
This love translates into a world beyond the world of sports, however. And so, on a day like Valentine’s Day, my grandfather and father cannot help but be reminded of a love that I think a lot of people can relate to. A love not for just one individual, but for a team. For a game.