Monday, September 13, 2010

Vikings, Cowboys, and Hot Dogs

I didn’t watch any football on Sunday. Well, at least I didn’t watch any on TV.

I was all excited about watching some gridiron action, but something got in the way and instead, I watched a football game that took place some 35 years ago.

You see, Beth and I got into a fight on Sunday.

The whys, heretofores, and whatnots are not important, but because of our emotional tussle, I shut the TV down.

I was pissed. She was pissed. The mood just wasn’t right…

Click…TV Off.

Beer in hand, a smoldering Marlboro Light dangling from my lip, and anger dancing between my synapses, I went outside and sat on the porch.

Three drags from the smoke, two sips off the beer, and one heavy sigh later, I blasted off to the past…to 1975.

Looking past, through, and beyond the hospital across the street, I could see the Minnesota Vikings playing the Dallas Cowboys.

It was great…

My favorite team when I was 10, the Minnesota Vikings, throwing it down with my dad’s favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys.

I could see Fran Tarkenton throwing to Sammy White…

I could feel Chuck Foreman, sweeping right, and I could hear my dad bitching about the Cowboys getting hosed on a “phantom” unnecessary roughness call, and...

I could envision every player, be they Viking or Cowboy, blowing frozen December steam from their noses while locking horns in the old Metropolitan Stadium. Ha. I smiled when I thought of that yesterday, and I remembered smiling on Sunday afternoons with Dad.

I loved ol’ Dad. He was one of the funniest, kindest, and yet, grumpiest sunzabitches I ever knew. He was the Holy Trinity of Conundrums.

Yet…In spite of all that, when I was a kid, every Sunday was football on TV. As the youngest of nine, it was mainly just him and I.

We would bet on one game every week. A nickel.

I would take the Vikings every week, and no matter what hapless team they were playing, Dad would take the other team.

Nearly every Monday, I would get a nickel for my “win”, and if the Vikings did happen to lose, he would tell me:

“We‘ll go double or nothing next week, Matt.”

We never did...somehow I always got the nickel, win or lose.

Halftime was even good back in those days…Dad and I would set up our TV trays and on cue, Mom would come out with soup and sandwiches.

While Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshire were getting sloshed on vodka and whiskey at halftime, Dad and I were getting sloshed on Bean Soup and Hot Dogs.

And all the while, my Dad would be saying to mom…

“You’ve done it again Mary Anne. Great Supper.”

And my mom, embarrassed, would respond, “It’s only hot dogs, Jack.”

To which Dad would say…

“You are kinder to me than the refs are to Tom Landry and Roger Staubach.”

I would smile, chuckle, and finish my hot dog.

It was the definition of “comfort food”, and I ate it up.

And while it was a fight between Beth and I that served these memories up on Sunday...

I would order those memories up any day of the week.



Dana said...


Thanks for the memories. While other girls had posters of Leif Garrett and Bobby Sherman on their walls, I had posters of Franco Harris and Chuck Foreman on mine. I was a HUGE Vikings and Steelers fan back in the late 70's and it was a bonding time for me and my dad too.

One of the better times in my life ...

Micky-T said...

What a great post Mr. Matt Man.
I too would be betting a nickel almost every Sunday with my Uncle Vic. His favorite was Tennessee, always! Mine was whatever he told me to bet against him, I to seemed to always win that nickel.

We played a lot of chess too!

Matt-Man said...

Dana: And Pittsburgh beat Minnesota 16-6 in one of the most boring Super Bowls evah. I was crushed. Cheers Dana!!

Micky: Why thank ya Mick. I cried when I typed it. I'm goofy like that. I love chess. Not very good, but I enjoy playing. Cheers Mick!!

Jay said...

Very touching post Matt-Man.

I have some memories of watching football with dad. Mostly Arkansas games. But, they really aren't all that great. haha

Matt-Man said...

Jay: Some things one remembers like yesterday, and I can nearly remember every game. It was nice. Cheers Jay!!

Jeff B said...

I had many of those Hallmark moments with my dad too. Good stuff.

Hope the tiff has subsided.

MysteryChick said...

Thanks for the smile today Matt-Man. It was sorely needed. I'm sorry though that a tiff is what brought on your reminisces. I hope you patch it up soon.

I highly recommend hugging a loved one today.

Mike said...

Ryno's building those moments too.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

What great memories. For us, Sunday football means a big plate of summer sausage, cheese n cracker (usually consumed before the game even starts).

Thanks for sharing these lovely memories today. :-)

Matt-Man said...

Jeff: I was lucky to have a great mom and dad and eight brothers and sisters. The Hallmark moments were plentiful. Cheers Jeff!!

Chick: I recommend that every day and I hope you cheer up soon. Cheers Chick!!

Mike: And more often than not, he is the supplier of those moments. Cheers Mike!!

Matt-Man said...

Evil: We used to do snacks every Sunday here at the digs, but our waistlines said "cut it out". Cheers Evil!!

Dianne said...

I used to watch the games with my uncle Phil
he really preferred the horses and would always grin and say that what the game really needed was some horses

he was a character

thanks matty :)

Raquel's World said...

My grandpop used to pay me a quarter for each night I DIDN'T Piss the bed.

Matt-Man said...

Dianne: Ha. Horse and Football would be kinda cool. And you're welcome. ; ) Cheers Di!!

Raquel: Ha. Encouragement is always good. Cheers Roc!!