You would think I’d be a football fan. My brother and his classmates were the pride of our city in 1983. They were Elizabeth High School Minutemen. State champions. College bound. Full ride scholarships and all. Except, my brother is 10 years older than me which means I was 8 … and a girl. I was over football by the time I was ten. Oddly though it was my mother’s plight that sealed football’s fate in my young psyche.
My mother was a DIE HARD Giants fan. She has the ulcer to prove it. (Seriously) Season after season I would battle for my mother’s attention with various variety showesque routines. I would sing, dance, or story tell my heart out as I stared into my mothers thick round spectacles hoping to divert her attention from the blood bath unfolding at Giant’s Stadium or wherever they happened to be getting their asses kicked that day. No luck. The only thing worse than when they were losing, was when they were winning. This is the only time in my childhood that I recalled witnessing my mother praying … sort of.
She would get on her knees and lean off the side of her bed, hands firmly clasped. I’d watch play after play unfold in reverse across her lenses as she muttered that age old mantra I’d become intimately familiar with “Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. DAMMIT!” (She also used said mantra when her ’74 Duster wouldn’t start in the mornings. It had a 50% success rate.) Years of this roller coaster ride with the boys in blue proved not so good for my mother’s gut. She went through a period where for a year she could barely eat anything at all and lost a tremendous amount of weight. Now granted, I’m not naive enough to believe that my mother’s illness was completely the doing of the New York Football Giants, but dammit they were at least accessories to the crime.
It took time, but gradually my mom got better. She never quite cheered the Giants in the same way. I watched her as tonight’s game approached. I could sense her underlying excitement about the whole business, but she couldn’t bare to watch. To be honest, I kinda missed the intensity with which she adored the G-Men. I’ve not seen her quite as excited about anything else ever since.
Satan thy name is Bill Parcells!