Photo by Muyuan Ma via Unsplash

In some circles, football is on the outs.  The justification is that it is (or can be) a brutal and dangerous sport.  If you have ever watched some of the tackle replays in slow motion, it is easy to see why it is the subject of so much criticism.  Saturday night I watched the 49 Niners vs. Green Bay Packers football game, and it seemed as if after every play someone had to be helped off the field.  As much as I like football, I was relieved when my sons had no interest in playing and chose soccer instead. 

But to me, football—especially the sound of it—reminds me of the Sundays of my childhood and particularly of my dad, who loved watching it.  My Stockton, California childhood was an ordinary 1950’s upbringing—four kids, working father, stay-at-home mother (until the youngest was in school), one car, church on Sundays and a dog.  After six days of work, on Sundays my parents finally sat down and relaxed.  They watched the morning political shows (“Meet The Press” was their favorite) and then the football games began.  I didn’t watch football, but I loved the sound of it in the background and the fact that my parents were happy on football day. My mother didn’t pay any attention to football but she was in the room at her spot on the couch, reading and my father was in his chair, watching the game.  It was such a rare occasion of peace that just the sound of a football game in the background still brings me happiness.  

As many people have pointed out often during the last two pandemic-filled years, it is satisfying and renewing to notice moments of happiness.  So win or lose, Super Bowl-bound or not, I am going to enjoy the cheering, the goofy fans and the announcers’ voices (go, Joe Buck!) and appreciate the memory of my parents’ peaceful Sundays. 




About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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