Thursday, January 31, 2013

More Than Just A Game

*I've edited this post to link with Flashback Friday, hosted by Martha at Seaside Simplicitiy.  Hop over to Marth's blog to add your own Friday Flashback.  

So did you hear there's a big game this weekend?  People seem to fall into one of four categories when it comes to the Superbowl...

a. they're die hard fans of any game involving the pigskin and will watch no matter who's playing  
b. they're loyal to a particular team in the final match up so they're excited to watch  
c. they like a party and great appetizers so if you've got dip they're in, and 
d. football? blech! I'll be watching NCIS reruns in the other room

Where do you fall in the fan kingdom?

I guess in our house we land somewhere between a and b. We'll pretty much watch any game up to a point, but we definitely have our loyalties when it comes to particular teams and players. Now that I think about it, our loyalties might lie less with the team and more with the city they represent and the chunk of our lives we associate with that city.

Go Ravens!

When I was growing up the team from Baltimore was known as the Colts. In 1984 their owner moved that team in the dark of night (literally) to Indianapolis, where they remain to this day. Not in the Superbowl, but I digress. Marylanders were not at all happy, but I didn't care so much back in 1984 because I was an Eagles fan and didn't follow the Baltimore teams.

This isn't confusing is it?

I grew up outside of Philly and will always and forever think of the Eagles as 'my hometown team', but...there's a but....when you move as much as I have you discover it is very possible to have more than one hometown team.

Also, I should add that not all Marylanders were unhappy when the Colts left Baltimore, because a big chunk of that small state has always rooted for the Washington Redskins.

I told you.  Football.  Not confusing at all.

We moved to Maryland in 1994.  One day in 1996 we woke up to discover Art Modell had moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, and voila...the Ravens were born. All sorts of legal mumbo jumbo stated that the name Browns, along with the team colors and team history, had to remain in Cleveland, but the players became Ravens.

So not confusing.

Clevelandites were now the unhappy ones, and if there's one thing you should know about pro football its this-someone is always unhappy.  Anyway, most Marylanders were excited to finally have an NFL team in town and a contest was held to choose the name and mascot. In case you didn't know, Edgar Allan Poe spent the early part of his career in Baltimore and is also buried there, so the team name is essentially a shoutout to a hometown boy made good.

Back to us...we spent nine happy years living in Maryland, and my girls went from toddler to teen in this city by the Bay.  Funny how the 49er's are also a city by the Bay, but when I say Bay I'm talking East Coast.  The Chesapeake.

When I think of Baltimore I think of trips to the zoo-

I think of Saturday morning walks around the Inner Harbor, visits to the Aquarium, and Girl Scout overnights spent sleeping uncomfortably on the hard floor of the Science Center-

I think of third grade field trips to a former oyster cannery, a daughter's 12th birthday at The Hard Rock Cafe, and accidental matching shoes on the pavement outside-

I think of Camden Yards and a shortstop named Cal who was making baseball history.

I think of countless runs to BWI and the unscripted welcome home sweetness of fathers and daughters.

I think of boating on the Chesapeake and the Old Bay goodness of crabs picked on a sunshiny day.

I think of purple seats in a downtown stadium.

These days we live in NY Giant country. Or NY Jet country depending where your loyalty lies. And of course these two NY teams play their home games at a stadium in NJ so yeah, football's not at all confusing.

On Sunday there will be no confusion. No conflict as to where our football loyalties lie. We didn't grow up girls in San Francisco. We didn't watch a thousand sunsets on that west coast Bay. We never planted roots, made a house a home, fell in love with bridges and sea air and blue herons in a California  burg.

Why do I love football?  Lots of reasons...I love the competition, the intensity, the skill...I love a game won in the last seconds, a fabulous catch, a ball run into the end zone from 80 yards away.

Mostly though, I love what football stirs up inside my head.  I love the memories invoked.  My dad in his recliner, youth group retreats, fall days, college, Neyland Stadium filled with 90,000 screaming fans dressed in orange, blue skies, family piled together on the couch eating lil' smokies and cheering for the hometown team. Growing up. Me and them.

Go Ravens!


  1. Great post, Joyce. I'm sure only you would be able to put a sweet nostalgic spin on Super Bowl weekend. I loved it.
    I especially love the picture of the girls meeting the Dad AT THE GATE...those were the days, eh?

  2. Beautiful, Joyce...I loved sharing in some of your fond memories. The picture of your girls hugging their daddy is precious! I'm not a huge football fan (unless you're talking about the Arkansas Razorbacks), but I'm sure I'll tune into the game on Sunday to make my hubby proud. ;)

  3. I'm not sure I've seen any of these sweet pictures before. I love those hideous clunky sandals- so 90's. And the picture at the actual gate of the airport! You don't see either of those things any more. Thanks for sharing the memories. xo

  4. I think I'm a little bit of a-d; this year, though, i really don't care all that much. Super Bowl season is in the middle of College Basketball season and that's what I really care about. My boys in Blue :)

  5. I didn't even know who was playing in the SuperBowl! I did know it was Sunday though! LOL

  6. I am all about the food but we don't have any pro teams at all. Maybe if we did, I'd care more?


  7. I didn't grow up watching the big game with my dad so I don't have memories of that. My memories are the ones we made with our kids. Our daughter was the football fan so she would curl up next to her dad yelling at the TV while our son was with me in the kitchen baking and eating and laughing. We would run out to watch the adds and they would run into the kitchen to eat.

  8. Love the pic of the "accidental matching shoes"! Honestly, I could not even have told you who was in the Super Bowl. I'm definitely fall under the d. category. But hope your team wins! :)

  9. I'm right with you Joyce! I LOVE football - and will watch any team but also have my loyalities, many are from the many places we have called home. Actually, we lived by BOTH bays...but, I still feel a tug more on my heartstrings for anything Baltimore. I actually worked for the Baltimore COLTS one season - as a "runner" in the pressbox. I got to see all the homes games in a WARM room, and met a bunch of the sports writers, announcers, etc. I graduated from Towson State U in '79. I was deeply hurt when Art Modell took the team out in the middle of the night. I cried along with Mayor Schaefer. It took me a long, long time to accept the Ravens...I'm still not particularly in love with the color purple. But,I still love "Charm City". Even when we lived in NJ we took our girls to Baltimore many times - for Orioles games, afternoons at the inner Harbor, and for Baltimore's Best Ribs at the Corner Stable in Cockeysville. Your post & pics brought back a lot of memories for me. Yes, we lived in the SF Bay area from '87 to '89, but I'm much more devoted to all things from Maryland. (Did I mention I met my hubby & we got married in Baltimore??) So.... GO RAVENS!!

  10. Favorite picture=matching shoes!

    Is the Super Bowl this weekend?!

  11. I think I would fall under #5. A fan of the commercials. :)

  12. I don't follow too closely all season, but get excited for the Superbowl. I am a NY Giants fan, even though they play in NJ ;) I'll be rooting for the Ravens this weekend like a good east coast girl :)

  13. I'm between b and c. I enjoy football but generally only watch when my team is playing, but I love putting on a great football buffet every weekend not just for the super bowl. I popped in to visit from the A-Z sign up list and just became your newest follower. I have a flashback friday meme posting in a few minutes if you are interested in linking up this post :)

  14. I am pulling for the Ravens for a very silly reason. My team can't even spell Super Bowl and I doubt they would be able to spell play-offs. Normally, I don't have a team to pull for in the big game so I pull against someone or just enjoy the game. I'll definitely watch no matter who's playing. I have those memories of my dad too and I cherish them. We still call each other every Sunday to recap the college games from Saturday and the NFL games on Sunday. And we lament about our team. We lament a lot. And I like the games won in the last seconds when my team isn't playing. Because I like to take the lead and keep it. LOL Oh, and I'm going to pull for the Ravens because of Michael Oher and the movie The Blindside. That's the silliest reason I've ever had for pulling for a team.

  15. We're more solidly in the B category generally, but we gave up tv in our house about 1 1/2 years ago so unless I pop in at my parents' house, I'll miss the game. It would be fun to watch with my Dad again though for memories similar to you.

    You know what I was most jealous of in your wonderful post - sleepovers in the Science center. That would be so much fun! We love that place! :)

  16. You made me miss my home-Baltimore! Gosh my daughters have never visited Baltimore (hub hates to travel and believes there is no other place than Smyth County). Oh the precious memories-especially going 'crabbing.'

  17. Joyce, can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post this morning. Ahh, the emotions and memories a love of sports evokes. We are visiting our son and family in northern IN and son asked an interesting question last night: Who would be watching the game with him? Normally, that would not even be discussed, but since Downton Abbey will be on and wife and two daughters are addicted, it did seem timely. No toss-up for me! I will be watching the game with the boys and Geaux Ravens!

  18. I would be "c" + the commercials! My husband loves football and God forbid I talk during the game!!!!
    We will be cheering for San Francisco but only because they are from California. We love the Bears!

  19. What great photos and wonderful memories. I love football, too! I have 4 sons and when they were growing up we lived in Texas so we are all die hard Cowboy fans! But a good play off game or the Super Bowl...I love to watch! Go Ravens....where's the dip?! Sweet hugs!

  20. Camden yards is awesome- went there to see a yankee game a few years ago. We are football fans - but since the Giants are not in it, we'll still watch the big game but not 100% :) We are HUGE baseball fans and never miss a yankee game or a play off game nomatter who's in it :)

  21. thanks for visiting my blog (a bench with a view) and your comment. I do like the pictures that you posted from Baltimore area. I've not been in that part of the country, didn't realize there was so much to do there! I enjoy watching football; tending to like the Super Bowl for the commercials :) but fun to root for a team. We have no ties really to either team this year, the Chargers would be our team if they were in it, so I'm going for the 49's and hubby for the Ravens for a bit of competition :)

    enjoy the game and the weekend!


  22. Thanks for linking up on Flashback Friday Joyce! Go Ravens! :)

  23. I'd rather be in the other room watching NCIS, but instead I'll stay in the living room with DH. I'm not a football fan, so I'm sure I'll do some quilting or work on a puzzle ... and watch the commercials. ;-)

    I love going down memory lane with you.

  24. Big Superbowl Turkey being cooked at our house tomorrow - we love football!!

    Loved the photo of the kids greeting dad at the airport. Meeting anyone at the gate anymore is unheard of. I remember when we used to go to the airport and jut walk around for something to do and go up to the observation deck and watch planes. No more....

  25. I watch football because I like being with my hubby. He watches and I sit there with my ipad playing a game or reading and occasionally yelling at whoever he is rooting for. I like the Super Bowl for the commercials and the snacks! I actually don't really like going to a party so this year it's a party for 2 and half it you count Sophie! Happy Sunday!

  26. Just letting you know that I will be in the A-Z April blog.

  27. Lovely snapshots, and a lovely post!

    Stopping by to welcome you on board the A to Z Challenge April 2013
    Look forward to your challenge posts!

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z