I'm Always Ready for some Football

It was an inauspicious start to Family Football, 2009-2010.

 As the mother
of three boys, (now men) I have made it my business to create a good
game-watching family room.  A 50-inch
flat screen has replaced my mantle décor. 
Surround sound jars my sensibilities and jingles my decorations.  A big sectional invites the crowd in; I
don’t care if feet are on the upholstery.  Or dogs.   Even the dogs pretend to like football because the potential for snacks is
great.  Steve started going to home
games a few years ago, and I was crushed. 
What had I done to make a giant stadium more desirable than my sports
arena?  I made the arguments:  no replay, traffic, public bathrooms
blah blah blah.   I lost. 


 Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for P1010330.JPG Still, half of the season is played on the road, and so I lure
the kids out to suburbia for the away games.  I have serving dishes in the shape of footballs, football
field serving trays, and a potato chip bowl shaped like a football helmet, complete
with a dip dish hammocked in the chinstrap.  Our Sunday/Monday/Thursday Night Football crock-pot is
shaped like a football.  I have
salad servers with pom pons on the ends. 
I scout all stores for Bears paper goods and party decorations, and I
must say Jewel can claim dominance in making my theme dreams come true.  I found a plastic tablecloth with hash
marks there, Bears cutlery and napkins, and cocktail toothpicks with “go team”
pennants.  I bought a Bears bucket
for chilling stuff that came with a flag to string over the buffet.  It is a sweet set up, and it sucks the
boys in.


We have a few traditions:  Smoky Links in barbeque sauce, served in the football crock
pot, Lipton’s onion dip with Ruffles in the helmet bowl.  There are a few negotiables: guacamole
is generally served, beer is in the fridge, and a main course is targeted for
half time. Nothing goes through rigorous analysis for health benefits. 


All this was in place yesterday.  Steve made Tom Thayer’s Italian beef, brownies and cookie
bars arrived with Kathryn and Justine, and the girls wore blue and orange. 


Then the game started. 
It has been quite a few months since the Bears organized a family
Sunday.  I forgot about the
despair, pain, anger, rage, swearing, flatulence and chaos that football brings
to the Dahl House.  There were crab
walk competitions, nervous pacing, and animated debates.  There was lots of wishful
thinking.  A lot of scorn.  Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for P1010331.JPGThe food was too spicy for the dogs, so
there was some canine disappointment. 
For me, there were dishes, and the return of the Bears crockery to its
special cupboard.

The game is different for me, and it bugs my family that I
can check in and out emotionally. 
I use the NFL to create family time.  I had a great day.

I wish, for my precious family, that we could say the same
for the Bears.  To my inestimable
glee, I can say, ” It’s a long season. 
There will be fifteen more chances, even if they don’t make it to
postseason.”  I’m already thinking
of a menu for the Seattle game. 
Wish I liked salmon, because I really like my themes.  And I love my Bears Sundays. 

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