Posted tagged ‘Super Bowl’

“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”

November 19, 2017

The rain started last night. That just added to the misery. Gracie wanted out every couple of hours. The second time we went out, around three, it was barely raining, but once we were outside, the clouds opened and the rain was heavy. Gracie and I got wet. She didn’t mind as much as I did. When I heard Gracie panting around five, I braced myself but was surprised to find the rain light. It was also quite warm. From then on, we all, Gracie, Maddie and I, slept until 10:30. Gracie was wedged between me and the back of the couch. One of my legs was hanging off the couch. It was then I got up and my morning began.

Sunday is game night, but the game is different tonight because the Patriots play at 4:30 so we’ll watch and cheer on Tom and the boys. My high school team, from the school where I graduated a long time ago and where I worked for 33 years, won big time on Friday. They are 11-0 for the year and have one game left: the state championship, the high school super bowl.

All the cooking shows are giving their slants on Thanksgiving. I save many of the recipes, but when I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, my menu changed little from all the other Thanksgivings we had when I was growing up. To me, Thanksgiving dinner is filled with family traditions. There’s my grandmother’s date nut bread, my Aunt Bunny’s squash dish, my Dad’s favorite creamed onions, my mother’s sage dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. My mother also cooked another couple of vegetable dishes; sometimes it was green bean casserole and one of my favorites, turnips. There were always apple and lemon meringue pies. I was talking to my sister the other night, and she’s making a lemon meringue pie.

When I was driving home the other day, all of a sudden, the image of my Dad at Thanksgiving jumped into my head. My mother’s table was round but somehow where my Dad sat seemed the head of the table. His back was to the kitchen. In from of him on the table was a dish of asparagus just for him, canned asparagus. I remember the spears were like wilted flowers, their tops hung over. He’d fill his plate with mashed potatoes dripping with gravy, creamed onions and a turkey leg. I still can picture him munching on that leg.  It is one of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving.

“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”

February 7, 2017

I am watching the Patriots and their duck boat rolling rally ride through the streets of Boston. Earlier it was snowing, and now it is raining, but the crowds don’t care. The fans are standing along the sides of the streets 20 or more deep. The players are having a wonderful time yelling, clapping and dancing. The confetti blowing all over makes it difficult to see but Tom Brady stands out. He is in the front boat holding the Lombardi trophy and waving, a huge smile on his face. The crowd loves him. Lots of school desks are empty today. Kids will remember this parade the whole of their lives.

Gracie is less reluctant to go down the back steps into the yard. She knows I’m there. I stand in front of her as she goes down front paws first one step at a time. She runs all over the yard glad to be off the leash.

When I was a kid, I followed the Red Sox and the Celtics. The poor Sox were hapless, and it was easy to get a good seat even an hour before the game. I remember sitting in a box seat behind the dugout, empty seats around me. The Sox, perennial losers, were not a great draw. I did see a moment in history when Bob Tillman, the catcher, tried to cut off Al Kaline stealing second and hit Johnny Wyatt, relief pitcher, in the head.

I listened to Celtics games on the radio. Johnny Most was the best announcer of them all. I used to hide my transistor radio under the covers so I could listen to the Celts play the L.A. Lakers, perennial foes. Even when the Celts were on TV we listened to Johnny Most. I still remember him screaming, “Havlicek stole the ball,” in the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals when the Sox were only a point ahead and Philly had the ball. I went to Celtics games as I could take the bus and the subway to North Station. They were often sold out. The Celts were perennial winners.

I have never seen the Pats live, but I have watched every game on TV. I’m okay with that. I get to stay warm and comfy. The kitchen and bathroom are both down the hall. I do love to go to Fenway especially for night games. It is a magical place with the green grass and all the lights.

My mother was not into sports and didn’t understand the rules of any game, but if we watched, she watched. I remember her cheering for the wrong football team, an easy mistake. We didn’t say anything. It was great to see her be a fan.

““I love raw cookie dough, right out of the tube. The other thing I eat is marshmallow fluff.”

February 6, 2017

Sorry for the lateness of the hour. I slept in as I was up late watching the hoopla after my Pats won the Super Bowl in spectacular fashion. They overcame the biggest scoring deficit in history and won in the very first overtime. At the start of the second half, I was despondent at the score: 21-3.

I was able to coax Gracie down the back steps by holding her as she went from step to step. As soon as she hit the bottom, she ran around the yard happy to be off the leash I’d been using to take her out into the front yard. I will take her into the back yard one step at a time from now.

When I was a kid, there was no leash law and dogs roamed freely. Duke, my boxer, was all over town. Sometimes he was with his son Sam who was my aunt’s dog. My father had given Sam to my aunt as she had given us Duke when I was 5. Sam and Duke were notorious. People complained all the time. The dogs would stand outside a house howling if there was a female in heat. Boxers look fierce so people were afraid to leave their houses. We knew how silly that was as both of those dogs were wonderful. Sam was funny, even silly at times. He even seemed to smile. When Sam got into a fight, Duke watched until Sam was pinned then he’d step in and save Sam. Duke was also super-protective of us. He’d growl to warn people not to mess with us. That’s what boxers do for their families.

I love hot dogs. We ate them every Saturday night when I was a kid, and I never tired of hot dogs and brown bread. Baked beans were also part of the meal, but I passed on those. Just about every friend I had ate that same Saturday supper. It was a New England universal.

Marshmallow Fluff is 100 this year. Between 5-7 million pounds of it are sold each year. If you know how light Fluff is, this number is mind boggling. Half the supply is bought by New Englanders and people in upstate New York.

I loved fluffernutters. On Wonder bread we’d slather one side with peanut butter and the other side with Fluff. The mixture would sometimes ooze out of the side of the bread or one or the other would tear the bread when it was spread across a slice. Eating that sandwich was seldom neat, and it was usually the Fluff which was left on my face or fingers. I still kept Fluff in the house, and I have been known to make a fluffernutter. I have also been known to lick the Fluff off my fingers.

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”

February 5, 2017

If the morning is a prognosticator, today will not be a good day. Gracie is herself but refuses to go down the back stairs. I totally understand as she fell down some of those stairs the other day so yesterday I had a solution. I opened the back gate so she could get into the yard, but she went right up the stairs into the house. I then started taking her out front, and that was fine until this morning. We have been out six times, and she has yet to go. The outside world grabs her attention and she is far more interested in the smell of the air and the grass and what might just happen down the street. I stand there begging her to go, but she doesn’t hear me, which I prefer to the idea I’m being ignored.

Today is the big day, Super Bowl Sunday. My friends and I are getting together to watch the game. We are making two appetizers each. I am falling back on the traditional queso but adding sausage and jalapenos. My next appetizer is a naan pizza with honey-caramelized red onion, feta, ricotta and blueberries. We are, of course, rooting for our Pats.

Maddie is among the missing. She isn’t on her chair and doesn’t come when I call. Now I have to go hunting for her. She was down earlier, had a snack then I lost track. These animals will be the death of me. They rule the roost (perfect animal metaphor).

My mind belies my body, mostly. I do forget some things, but they always pop up later when I don’t need them. My body doesn’t rebound. My back is till complaining about my having lifted Gracie. I haven’t even been able to bring her dry food from the car to the house. The 14 pounds seems daunting.

Maddie is back and sleeping on the chair. Gracie finally went the bathroom on trip number eight and is now asleep on the couch. I am the only one awake. I am about to immerse myself in Warbirds, a science fiction movie, and from the sound of it, a bad science fiction movie. “During World War II, an all-female flying squad and a platoon of male American soldiers land on an island and battle dinosaurs.” By the start of it, I suspect they will also be battling Japanese soldiers who have unearthed the dinosaur. Can it get worse? Yes, it can. As the flight commander leaves the plane to check in at Pearl she has some parting words for her crew. “If the brass drops by, Girls, remember, chest out because that’s what Uncle Sam wants to see.”

“Football is unconditional love.”

February 2, 2015

If the groundhog had had any control, he wouldn’t have emerged from his home. He’d have stayed inside warm and cozy, turned over and slipped back to sleep; however, that can never be his choice. The poor groundhog is always wrested from his house then put on display. Today, Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which, considering the overcast sky, must have been metaphoric. He predicted six more weeks of winter. I figure the falling snow might have been a clue.

We are in the middle of what one newsman called a weather event. For the Cape that means snow then rain. When I woke up, it was snowing but now heavy rain is pelting the snow. The day is ugly and the sky dark and ominous. The pine tree branches in the backyard stand starkly silhouetted against the sky. Rain drips from the roof. I will go nowhere today.

The Super Bowl last night was amazing. My hometown boys took the win, but it seemed a gift from the gods because the Seahawks, on the one yard line, passed the ball instead of running it and gave a Patriots’ undrafted rookie the chance to intercept the ball with only 20 seconds left to play. Come to find out, he had practiced that very play and been beaten to the ball, but he wasn’t this time. He knew what to expect. The camera after that panned to Brady jumping in the air and spinning while Richard Sherman’s face had an incredulous look at first then a painful one when he realized the game was lost. All his on-camera trash talk was for naught.

We had great food last night. Chips and onion dip are a tradition as are corn curls so we had to have them so as not to break the luck. We also had Swedish meatballs, cheesy bread with pizza sauce for dipping and Margherita pizza which had a basil pesto base on naan.

We watch the hoopla after the game. The sky was raining confetti and the Patriots were already wearing their championship hats and shirts. It was a good night all around.

“Anyone who’s just driven 90 yards against huge men trying to kill them has earned the right to do Jazz hands. ”

February 1, 2015

That noise you hear is me running down the street screaming. The cause? More snow is coming starting later tonight into tomorrow. Luckily we are only getting 4-6 inches while Boston is expecting 8-12. I have no idea where they will put all that new snow. The street corners already have tall piles too high to see around. It seems Mother Nature is making up for what had been a snow-less winter.

The big game is tonight. All the hoopla will finally come to a head at kick-off. I am and have always been a Pats fan, even through the lean years, the pre-Brady years. It is just being faithful to the home team, an obligation of sorts.

Local Channel 5 is my go to it news station. This time of year especially I have noticed they have a hierarchy of sorts. It seems older announcers become on-site weather people who go to the places being highest hit. They stand outside during the storm’s ferocity getting buffeted by the wind and soaked by the rain or snow, all the while talking about how bad it all is. During the snow storm we just had, one announcer disappeared, blown off-camera by the wind.

My dad loved the Giants but changed his allegiance to the Patriots when the new league was established. He’d sit in his favorite spot, at the end of the couch nearest the TV. He was an ardent fan who yelled, castigated and complained. At Thanksgiving, he ate quickly so as not to miss any of the excitement. Most of the time he was by himself watching a game. My mother hated sports of any kind so she seldom would watch with him. If I were visiting, I’d spent a bit of time sitting and watching, but mostly I’d play Big Boggle in the kitchen with my mother. My dad would chit-chat with us when he made his forays into the kitchen during commercials or half-time. Usually my mother loaded up on special snacks for him so he never went back to the living room empty-handed.

My dad would have been so excited about the Super Bowl and his Patriots, and I’d probably have watched with him. My mother, being a wonderful hostess, would have made appetizers and joined us in the living room for this big game even though she knew nothing about football. One time she was cheering but the other team had the ball. We didn’t bother to explain. It was good of her to cheer.

“Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors.”

February 5, 2012

It’s a sunny but cold winter’s day, typical for this time of year. From my den perch, I can see the brown leaves barely fluttering so the day is a calm one. My sister in Colorado got two feet of snow, and it was 3° last night. Compared to her, I live on a tropical island. The house feels warmer today. I know it’s psychological as the temperature in the house doesn’t fluctuate, but cloudy days make me feel colder.

Super Bowl Sunday has finally arrived. Yesterday I saw more men than I’ve ever seen shopping at the grocery store. Carts were filled with chips and dips and ribs and all sorts of game day food. My cart was no exception. I’m making a Boboli pizza with goat cheese and pine nuts and a cheese dip you bake in the oven. I’ll haul both of them down the street to my friends’ house. They too will have game day treats. After this, I’ll have to start practicing my cheering for the Pats and my booing for the Giants.

I don’t have Patriot’s or Bruin’s gear. I just have Red Sox and Celtics sweatshirts and t-shirts. I don’t know why no Patriot stuff, but I’m not a hockey fan which explains my lack of Bruin’s gear. I went to a hockey college and saw almost every home game, but that was cheering for my team and had little to do with the game itself. I know about icing, offsides and high-sticking but that’s it. I am hockey ignorant. I know baseball best of all.

My nephew played soccer starting when he was five and finishing after four years on a full scholarship at Oregon State. My sister talked hockey every phone call for every one of those years. We couldn’t have a conversation without the latest game news, a description of Ryan’s spectacular plays and a run down on the teams themselves. I feigned interest and made joyful noises at all the right places. I made the trip to New York, to Marist, to see him play. It was my only chance to watch him. He waved when he saw me, and that made the long trip worthwhile. I watched a game about which I knew almost nothing. I knew about using your head or feet, red cards, offsides and penalty kicks and I knew the target was the net. That was it. I was not a soccer fan. I was my nephew’s fan.

Tonight we’ll be screaming and complaining and maybe even swearing; okay, we’ll definitely be swearing. I hope at the end we’ll be on our feet cheering a victory for the home team!

“Music is what feelings sound like.”

January 29, 2012

It’s colder than yesterday, far more seasonal at 38°, but I don’t mind. Neither does Gracie. I think it’s her favorite sort of day. She runs outside round and round the yard then comes in panting and walks over to me for a pat. I find her fur cold to the touch, especially her ears.

Winter is the easiest season to see because the sun and sky have hues different from any other season. The blue is sharper and the sun looks far more muted. When I look out the window, I can see that cold and feel it in my bones.

In winter, my house is never quiet. Hot air periodically roars through the vents from the furnace. Throughout most of the house I only hear it, but in the living room I see it when the curtain flies in the air, and in the kitchen I feel it at my feet while I do dishes.

On my way to breakfast every Sunday I listen to NPR and do Will Short’s puzzles. The rest of the week NPR is also my radio station of choice, but lately I’ve also been listening to WEEI sports to keep up with the Pats in preparation for the Super Bowl. The only music stations programmed on my radio are oldies. My friends and I play trivia every Thursday night. We groan when the question is about music as none of us know the music of today. I was lucky a few weeks ago when the question asked about Dick Dale and The Ventures and their genre of music. I knew right away it was surf. We got it right. That’s a rarity. Most times we haven’t ever heard of the singer whose name answers the question. If my nephew Mike is there, he is our only hope at knowing any music beyond the 70’s.

I sing along with the songs on my radio stations. They are the songs of my high school and college years. My head bops and one foot beats along with the familiar sounds. I take comfort in knowing the words and sing loudly and strongly. Today is the last of the birthyear songs. It has been great fun for me. I got to sing along.

“If my mother put on a helmet and shoulder pads and a uniform that wasn’t the same as the one I was wearing, I’d run over her if she was in my way. And I love my mother.”

January 23, 2012

When I woke up, I thought it was raining. I could hear drops falling to the deck from the roof, but when I came downstairs, I saw it wasn’t rain at all. It was the sound of snow melting from the eaves and the roof. It is 42° and will stay warm for the next few days. We are back in the middle of our strange winter.

My headache is gone and my teeth have stopped aching. The Patriots’ AFC game yesterday was the culprit which caused the pain. It was an amazing game, not a good game, but an amazing game, the sort that doesn’t let you relax, the sort that keeps your stomach in knots. We were on our feet with hands in the air calling each touchdown and we’d sit right back down to moan the turnovers, the lost opportunities and the threes and out. It came down to a few seconds and a kicker as to whether or not we’d go into overtime. We, my friends and I and I suspect most people watching, held our collective breaths once the ball was kicked. We watched the field goal go left of the posts, and we cheered. Bring on the Superbowl!

I am a Tom Brady fan and became even more of one yesterday. When asked about the game, Tom said, “Well I sucked pretty bad today but our defense saved us. I’m gonna go out and try and do a better job in a couple of weeks.” You have to love an honest man.

My father was a football fan. On Thanksgiving he had the record time for finishing his entire meal, including a turkey leg, so he could rush back to TV and football. In those days, I shutter to admit, he was a Giants fan because there were no Patriots.

My father was a screamer. He’d yell at poorly executed plays and moan loudly at fumbles or sacks. It didn’t matter that he was alone watching the games. He was perfectly connected with the TV and the action on the field and didn’t need anyone else. If we happened to join him, he’d just point to the TV, turn to us and ask if we’d seen the play that had him screaming. He didn’t care whether we answered.

When the Patriots won their first Superbowl, we all talked about my Dad and how much he would have loved his hometown team taking the trophy. In two weeks I’ll be thinking of him again when the Giants play the Patriots. I have no doubt as to where his allegiance would be.

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