What is sentimental about football? On this day after a very difficult loss for my Baltimore Ravens thoughts of my father come to the forefront. We lost Dad to cancer this past summer making this playoff season the first he missed in his 76 years.
Growing up football was always an event in our house. Getting dinner and dishes finished before game time was the normal routine. Then our team was the Baltimore Colts, lead by legendary Johnny Unitas. Names like Berry, Ameche, and Donovan were discussed as if we knew them.
Watching the games with my parents was also an event. Dad would sit calmly in his chair occasionally remarking on a certain play or penalty. Mom on the other hand would be jumping up and down yelling at the television as if the teams could hear her opinion.
As a little girl I knew the Baltimore Colts fight song just as well as the Alphabet Song. Then came learning the difference between the quarterback, fullback, halfback, and tailback. Understanding calls the referee made and what defensive package was on the field.
Good sportsmanship, team work, commitment, and humility are some of the life lessons my siblings and I have learned over the years as football fans. We know there is another side of all professional sports including drugs, criminal activity, and being self centered. As in any aspect of life you will encounter those with the same failings. The key principle we learned was never make athletes, no matter how impressive, into role models. First and foremost football is a form of entertainment.
Many an exciting moment has been spent together at training camps, football games, and our homes bonding over this game. Consequently many of the next generation has inherited our parents passion for the sport. Just last night was spent at my brother's home with three generations of football fans having a blast.
So here I am back to the sentimental moment the sport engendered. In the midst of cheering for our team and disagreeing with calls made on the field, ever present was Dad. What would he say about that call? What would he think about that interception?
Sentimental Football Sunday. Miss you Dad.