Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our first "Superbowl"

Tomorrow is the big day. The Steelers play the Cards. This Superbowl is the first one for George the Younger. Since returning to the States, US football is one of the things that just rings his bell.

I wonder, of late, whether his love of the game is a "genes by osmosis" kind of thing for him. I come from a HUGE football family. Thanksgiving dinners were planned and executed with game times being the most critical work-around obstacle. Nary a bird would be carved nor a cranberry consumed if there was a pigskin on the move. God forbid the man holding the electric carving knife got over excited by a play. Fingers could be lost, families shattered. Most Americans have heartwarming memories of the Thanksgiving feast (oyster stuffing or no?), the familial conversations (how's school, look how short you've gotten), the extended family enveloping them (three, count them three great-grandmothers at one table!). These are profoundly woven in to the warp and woof of my own thanksgiving memories, but so is the sight and sound of all of my uncles rising up in unison and screaming, "RUN you son-of-a-bitch...RUN!!"

To further illustrate the family love of both football and, specifically the Steelers (since I suspect that many Turkey dinners are served at odd hours thanks to fluctuating time zones and game times), my family owned a "Steeler Vehicle". Yup, they had an RV for the sole and singular use of tailgating at the Steeler home games. Or at least that's that way I remember it. Dem Steeler fans really take their pre-games seriously. And since it's pretty dang cold in Pittsburgh - - why, of course it makes sense to have the necessary vehicle in which to enjoy hanging out in a massive asphalt parking lot while maintaining the appropriate body temperature without having to rely strictly on alcohol consumption. To my knowledge, this vehicle was never used for anything but driving the 20 miles to Three Rivers and for housing the necessary vittles and libations to last until kick-off.

If George the Younger were to have lived during this past-history-time of my life, he would be existing in a world that simply couldn't get any better. A group of people who not only share his new love of the game, but also buy vehicles in which to transport themselves to the games. Simply heaven.

And so, George-the-younger-now-extreme-lover-of-football waits for kick-off tomorrow afternoon. Conveniently, this will happen a little earlier for us on the West Coast than for most of my family in the East. We don't have nearly as long to wait, or as many nachos to consume until the Steelers have the opportunity to beat the living crap out of those pansy Cardinals.

And you know what's somewhat ironic about this? I don't really follow football. I grew up with it having great weight and meaning. It's likely that I will lose some points with the fam when I confess that I don't get what the whole big thing is during the regular season. I have never owned, nor will I ever own a piece of football logo gear. But, there's something about the Steelers that brings back wondrous memories of home - and so I'm jumping in with both feet for this game. Further, I know that if I don't start showing a modicum of enthusiasm for the game that my son adores, who obviously got them game-lovin'-genes from my uncles in some amazing non-biological DNA transfer, he will think I'm a real loser. Can't have that happening. So - I'm waving that terrible towel and it wouldn't be a total shock if George-the-Younger just happened to get a Steeler's jersey in the near future.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hey There!
I am sure "George the younger" enjoyed the game...I know I sure did..even with the anxiety attacks in the last 3 minutes..
Your description of the football games, in those past years, was right on the money...
Make sure Georgie gets that Steelers jersey!
Love
Paul