Friday, February 5, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football?

PHOTO: Hubby and me during our high school football match-up ...

Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner and I'm really excited. Having grown up in Texas, football has been a part of my life since I can remember. In fact, rumor has it that my first word actually was ... not "mama" or "dada" but ... you guessed it! ... "Football!" My parents were equally enthusiastic about the game. He played ball, she was in the drill team when they were high school sweethearts. He is now a faithful fan of the Cowboys and the Longhorns. She never missed a game; whether watching her daughters cheer or her son play on the offensive line.

My grandmother was a cheerleader who dated the high school football star (in fact, he went on to play college ball until he was drafted in WWII) and she went on to teach and coach cheerleaders and drill team. My grandmother remained true to her high school alma mater throughout her life ... graduating, teaching, coaching, and then substituting after retirement for the rest of her life. She even drove herself to the state play-offs several years ago when she couldn't find a ride to the game. Her team won the state championship that year and she wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I was a cheerleader in high school and dated my own high school football star, except in a strange twist of UIL fate, his school was placed in our district our senior year, making us rivals. Our fledgling relationship survived football season (his team, 45, my team, 0, at our senior year football match up ... ugh), then through college several states apart, and now is a wonderful 15+ year old marriage.

It seems that our household has spent many a gathering in front of the TV, cheering on one team or another ... and spent countless hours driving to, cheering at, and driving home from high school games. When I was young, we would attend almost all of the high school games and often ate with the team after the game. We would enjoy reliving each play and alternately cursing or praising the referees, largely dependent upon the outcome of the game. Obviously, if we won, the referees were dedicated, professional geniuses, and if we lost, needed an eye check-up and a kick in the seat of the pants.

We've sat in rain, snow, and sleet, and been forced to leave during lightning storms. I vividly remember being half-frozen at one playoff game when I was about eleven, and trying to defrost my fingers under the bathroom hand-dryer. But we were dedicated to cheering on our young heroes to victory! So heroic were these players to me that, at around age 8, I asked a high school player for his autograph after the game!

During our first few years of marriage, both of our younger brothers were playing high school football. Since we were stationed close to family, we spent most weekends in the Fall travelling to cheer one team or the other.

The Army-Navy game is always big for us (we'll be glad to break the losing streak to Navy one day!), we love to watch the college season; especially the National Championship game, and the Super Bowl is always a hit. We’ll be watching it at a friends’ house this year and look forward to the fun, food, and camaraderie. Anybody have a great Super Bowl snack recipe to share? I need to decide what to take.

Happy Super Bowl Weekend!

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