Growing up as the oldest child with a dad who loves American football, I learned to throw a football in elementary school way before my younger brother. Come to think of it, I spent most of my childhood throwing things, baseballs, tennis balls, toys, and pretty much any other object of a decent weight and shape that was readily at hand. But throwing a football was definitely one of my favorites. Especially that amazing feeling of getting a perfect spiral with just the right amount of wobble on a deep pass followed by a great catch by the receiver and a touchdown. Speaking of touchdowns, one of my favorite and definitely the most memorable weekend activity my family and I used to do, was playing a game of 2 vs. 2 touch football at the local park. For the most part it started out as touch football but we are insanely competitive so it usually ended up as a game of tackle football and someone crying or bleeding and once, a broken wrist (street football – highly NOT recommended).
In my family, one of our “traditions” is for each person to choose the NFL team they are going to cheer on and generally, this is the team you keep unless they are consistently terrible in which case you are allowed to root for multiple teams. The only strictly enforced rule in our house is that nobody is allowed to EVER pick or root for the San Francisco Forty-Niners (or any San Francisco team of any sport) otherwise you are subject to mockery, comparisons, and potential removal from the premises. So, guess what team was unanimously chosen by our family for Super Bowl XLVII (Ravens vs. 49ers)? Sorry San Francisco fans. Anyways, here are the NFL teams of our house: for my dad, it’s the Oakland Raiders…and several others since they fall under the “consistently terrible” category, for my brother, the San Diego Chargers and occasionally the Seattle Seahawks, my mom remains indifferent, and for me it’s the New Orleans Saints.
I chose the New Orleans Saints as my team a few days before Super Bowl XLIV, we were picking sides for the big game and the Saints were considered the underdogs against the Indianapolis Colts. Drew Brees was the quarterback for the Saints and had led them on an incredible regular season winning streak; I had seen him throw some amazing passes with remarkable accuracy in some of these games and that definitely influenced my long term decision. Another factor that I later realized is that I almost always pick the team with the lower odds, maybe because people tend to doubt their abilities similar to the way people tend to doubt mine (until they get beat by the team with the girl).
Well, Super Bowl XLIV was the first time in Saints’ franchise history that they would be going to the Super Bowl. It took them 43 years to finally make it there and that game definitely kept every single one of the over 100 million viewers on their toes for the duration of the most watched event on television. For me, this game is one that I can easily recall and it is the one that truly began my interest in watching professional football. So much so, that a few years later, in the eighth grade, I chose to write about Drew Brees for our English narrative project where each person chose a famous figure, researched their life and an exciting event they took part in, and then recapped the event from their perspective. Below is my essay entitled: 43 Years in the Making (click to view the pdf)
So, I guess the whole purpose of this post is not just to reveal my childhood, but also to show that everyone grows up differently and has different experiences throughout their life. Everyone has their own opinions and more often than not, a great deal of people disagree with them. But personally, I don’t care what other people think about what I believe or how I feel about various subjects. Find something you love or a community who loves the same things as you and in an upcoming post I will reveal the community that I am a part of and you might just be surprised what it is.
If you would like to learn more about the main source of information for my essay, read: Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity by Drew Brees. It’s a great read as Drew Brees discusses his near career-ending injury, the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, and leading the New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl.