Fall is without question my favorite time of the year. For as long as I can remember, fall means football (the American version) and the holidays. The National Football League (NFL) playoffs make winter bearable after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years have passed.
From the time my stepfather, who I call Dad, introduced me to the NFL in 1980 until 2008, the NFL was in my top 5 things in the world. My wife learned how important football was to the family during one of our early Thanksgivings.
My family celebrated Thanksgiving on the following Sunday, so our family meal was timed around the St. Louis Rams game. If the Rams played early, we ate at 4 pm. If they played late, we ate at 2 pm. Tam didn’t know this arrangement though.
She excitedly told me she would have plenty of time to get ready for Sunday because we didn’t have to be at Mom’s until 3 pm. I said, “Babe, what are you talking about? Pregame starts at 11 am.” When she looked puzzled, I explained that the game started at noon and all of the guys were getting together for the pregame.
To make a long story short, Tam took advantage of the late start by coming in her car with our son, who was a baby, later in the afternoon. My daughter Caity and I ended up going over for breakfast and watching the early pregame with Dad.
Sitting down on Sunday with Dad and watching football are some of my fondest memories. Even after I moved out and had my own family, we would talk about the games later in the week. I passed down this love of football to Caity, who jokes about having to crawl underneath the TV during football season.
In 2008, Dad got sick and would eventually pass in November of that year a week before Thanksgiving. I got through the holidays fine but wasn’t able to watch a full game of football the rest of the season including the Super Bowl. It wasn’t the same without him.
Today, I still enjoy the NFL but it may be behind the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) in my favorite things. I would say the NFL is still solidly in the Top 20 but I will do other things including going to friends’ homes, even when they don’t watch football, on Sunday. I realize there are more important things than football. I could have never seen such a thing 30 years ago.Pin It