After a week of busyness, nothing made me happier than sitting down in my recliner Sunday, putting my feet up, and watching football ALL DAY LONG.
In our family, football is serious business. We are introduced to the sport sometime between taking our first breath and our initial bilirubin test. The first outfit depends on whether you are on the Arizona side of the family or the Colorado side of the family. Cardinals or Broncos?
Our love for football isn’t shocking since the Gloors grew up in Nebraska Cornhusker Country, where cars and trucks are red and your dresser holds statues of Jesus, Mary, and Bob Devaney. You grow up watching football. It’s as simple as that. And you teach your children well. This fact can be evidenced by this photo of my great nephew Noah as he carefully sets up his football helmets Sunday morning by game matchups. We won’t even talk about my great nephew Carter who can recite all of the teams’ stats by Sunday night.
My sister Jen says she feels her blood pressure go down upon hearing Carrie Underwood sing, “Hey Jack it’s a fact, the show’s back in town. Stadium’s rockin’, time to crank up the sound…. .”
I recall watching the movie Hoosiers the first time. Remember the scene with the long line of cars, all driving to watch the small high school basketball games? That’s the way it was in Columbus for the fans of the Scotus Central Catholic Shamrocks football team. Our high school almost always had a reasonably good football team – some years better than reasonably good. One of Scotus’ own, Joe Blahak, played for the undefeated national championship Husker teams in 1970 and 1971, and even played a few years in the NFL. The cars used to line up, waiting to park at Memorial Stadium in Columbus. There was often a line of cars making their way to a neighboring town for an “away” game.
With that as a foundation, imagine what it was like rooting for the Cornhuskers, especially back in the early 70s when the Big 8 ruled the college football world, and the national championship nearly always came down to either Oklahoma or Nebraska. Go Big Red.
When it came to the NFL, our dad was a Packers fan. I never really knew why, and I never asked him. (Kids, ask your parents questions now!) But I recently saw a map of NFL fans – what states root for what teams – and noticed that, while a large section of Nebraska roots for the Broncos, there is a little section – right smack where Columbus is located – that roots for the Packers. Interesting if somewhat puzzling.
My family – at least my Colorado family – are Bronco fans through and through. We all sat at the edge of our seats Sunday night as we watched our beloved team with our revered-second-only-to-John-Elway quarterback Peyton Manning almost let a 24 point lead slip through their fingers. Thankfully the clock ran out before the Colts got another chance at the ball. Final score, 31-24. I like blow-outs, thank you very much.
Don’t get me wrong. I am happy with any victory. The reality is, if I KNEW FOR A FACT that the Broncos would win by a meagre score of 2-0, that would be just fine with me. They key is, I have to know that in advance. I simply cannot take the pressure! Blowouts please Men!
But win or lose, here’s to the sounds of shoulder pad against shoulder pad, referees’ whistles, and John Gruden’s inane commentary. I just close my eyes when they dance in the end zone. And Bill and I concluded we don’t do nearly enough chest bumping (and don’t make that something x-rated).
I am ready for some football.