Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mom and Football

  • Penalties

    When home for the holidays, Billy would drag my mother into the living room to watch NFL football with him. My mother knew nothing - and cared nothing - about pro football, but watched it to accommodate my brother. They bet twenty-five cents on each game, with my mother getting to pick whichever team she wished, neither getting nor giving points. Both understood that bragging rights meant nothing in this case, but there would still be the occasional bit of needling.

    I recall one humorous exchange between the two of them. The team my mother had picked was called for some infraction or other. An official threw a flag, time was called on the field, and my mother asked, "Billy, what does that mean when he throws that flag like that?"

    "That means your team cheated."

  • The Commercial

    At one time, Budweiser had a really hokey "bring out your best" commercial involving a rookie trying to earn a spot on a football team. In one play during practice the rookie gets his clock cleaned by a veteran and the coach turns away disgustedly. The rookie visibly bundles up his guts and on the next play he bowls the veteran over. The coach turns away again, this time to hide a smile.

    The emoting by the rookie and the coach - particularly the coach - made the commercial positively cloying, but it was apparently meant to win over little old ladies, and it was successful with at least one: my mother. Unfortunately for Budweiser, she didn't drink beer.

    Mom: "I love this commercial."

    Billy: "He got cut the following week."

    Donnie: "Yeah, and when he got home he learned that his mother had died."

    Mom: "You kids are awful."

    And we were.

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