Playoff Time Approachesbydirtyjoe69©
A lot of people get excited when the snow starts to fall fueling their hearts with Christmas cheer. I get a little bit excited my self in the festive season but for a completely different reason.
Although Canadian I have always been excited by the American Thanksgiving. As far back as I can remember it was always a day that I would suddenly be overcome with my traditional "cough". I know my mother and father saw through my rouse but they played along each and every year. Even though I am much older now I still play sick or take holiday time off to carry on my tradition.
It starts the same way every year. I wake up and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I just love watching those poor people struggling to hang on to those massive balloons on a windy New York November day. My favorite has long since been retired though; I was always an Underdog fan! And the parade ending with Santa and his reindeer never fails to put me into my Christmas gear.
But the most exciting thing for me is Thursday football from both the NCAA and the NFL. Turkey day means we get to watch Madden give out his famous turducken leg to the games best player. I don't know why I was drawn to the NFL, or even how I became an NFL addict. If you ask my parents they will probably tell you the same thing. Even though my parents were sports fans hockey was always the show in our house but hearing stories from my mother I guess since I was a baby I would just stare off in wide wonder watching the gridiron action. From September to January, Sunday was the easiest day of taking care of me for my mother. She knew exactly where I would be the entire day until it was bedtime.
When I grew up and got into high school and got to play competitive football my love grew even more. After school I even coached for a few years. The more things change the more they stay the same.
And the memories...Ahhhhh...the NFL has left me with so many great moments and also an equal amount of heartbreak. I am a Buffalo Bills fan so every single time I hear the words "wide right" a little piece of my heart is ripped out (NFL fans will understand). I remember the great years of the Steelers dominate team with Lynn Swan or John Stallworth leaping high in the air to make a magical catch, and who can forget the Immaculate Reception.
I remember the goose bumps I received watching Dwight Clark making "The Catch" to end the dreams of the hated Cowboys. Or how about Earnest Byner's fumble on the one yard line in Denver followed by the infamous Elway's "The Drive"!
There are so many memories and great players my head spins in the thought. Running backs like the sweetness of Walter Payton (a nickname so justly deserved), or the power of John Riggins. The toughness of Earl Campbell and Franco Harris as they barreled over opponents or the graceful ballet of Barry Sanders. Lest we not forget the total player packages at this spot with runners such as Thurman Thomas, Roger Craig and Emmitt Smith.
Quarterbacks like Marino, Sims, Elway, Montana, Esiason, and my favorite of all time Jim Kelly. Cocky and poised to take their teams to the Promised Land, gunslingers each and every one of them.
Let us not forget the field generals, who guided their teams as well, the jutting jaw of the spit flying Bill Cower to the quiet poise of Tom Landry. The genius of Marv Levy and Bill Walsh was such a site to see every Sunday. Chuck Noll and Don Shula offering their toughness to which their teams grabbed hold. And who can forget the hair of Jimmy Johnson?
I could write about a thousands players at each and every position and shivers would continue to run down my spine as the memories flood my brain with each key stroke punched.
So many smiles and tears have been had through my countless hours of watching and cheering. An occasional expletive would escape my lips (who am I kidding, plenty of them) as the men in the stripes would make a bad call or my team would escape the jaws of victory ending up losing to a stupid (and illegal) play called "The Music City Miracle". Or the utter joy of watching my team come back from the largest deficit in the history of the game to keep their hopes alive.
Now as the season of Yule tides are among us I find myself drawn in once again to the beauty of the greatest game on earth. As Christmas approaches so do the playoff races and let me tell you some people can't wait for turkey, well I can't wait for my nachos and beer!
Let the games begin...