If this wasn’t enough proof that my three-year old is showing signs of becoming a prodigy in the sports fan department, then you must also know that she came home with some art from school earlier in the week which depicted a smiling face (hers, of course,) lots of scribbles (no idea,) and a very good rendition of a football which was impressively drawn quite proportional to the size of her head. Under this masterpiece were the words, “I had a dream…about football.”
So, she’s no Martin Luther King, Jr., but she did make her dad and I very happy.
Not to be outdone as the littlest football fan in the house, my son has been uttering the words, “Football game?” to anyone that will take notice for weeks now. On Sunday, I imagined he was just another dude ambling around, waiting for kickoff time, though the words “football game?” from him could mean anything from “give me my football” to “let’s watch football on TV” to “Mom, pretend this block is a football as I throw it at your head.” I’m never really sure. I have to watch for cues.
After seeing his sister donning her Pats gear, he found his Patriots jersey in his room and held it out to me proclaiming, “Football game!!!” This cue told me he just wanted to wear the shirt, so I obliged.
Dressed for the occasion, it was with much pride and excitement that my family watched the Patriots become AFC Champions this Sunday. And now that we (and I mean the collective “we” as Patriots fans, naturally) are heading to the Super Bowl, I came to realize another very important milestone in my children’s lives – their first home team Super Bowl.
You see, I still remember my first Patriots Super Bowl. It was 1986 and the matchup was New England Patriots versus Chicago Bears. There were signs and slogans everywhere for our Patriots to “Bury the Bears!” I was just a kid so while I did not fully understand the intricacies of the game, I do remember the hype and the palpable excitement.
My entire family and friends of my parents gathered in our living room crowded around what would be considered by today’s standards anyway, a pretty small TV. We ordered pizza for a crowd and managed to find spots on the floor if there was not enough room on couches and chairs.
And no one buried da Bears.
Instead, the Patriots got so deeply buried that there were, in fact, many records set revealing just how terribly devastating a loss it was.
Perhaps, I am scarred by this in some way because this childhood memory remains a rather vivid one. I remember eating pepperoni pizza. I remember exactly where I sat in the room as this travesty unfolded. And I remember the feelings of loss, shame, and disappointment that followed as all the adults around seemed grumbly for a week or more.
Of course now, times have changed and our beloved New England Patriots have been to the Super Bowl many times with a few solid wins under their belt.
But this year, another Super Bowl win is more important than ever because I simply can’t subject my poor children to those feelings of disappointment so young in their fragile lives. You can only imagine what it did to me.
So….Go Patriots! Do it for the kids!