Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the lions and thanksgiving

real old school logo

it is an nfl tradition. the lions will show up for their once yearly national tv broadcast and.......probably lose, on thanksgiving day. we have gone to a couple of the games, but it is hard as we live out of state. we have seen a loss to kansas city and a win over the pack. both were very good games. this time of year i'm thankful for many things, my health, my wife and the 3 beautiful children she gave me, my job and family, and also the lions.

what's wrong with this guy? nothing. if it wasn't for the lions and a running back from oklahoma state by way of wichita, kansas, dad and i might never have found common ground after moms death. i was off playing soldier in europe when mom passed. dad and i were so alike, according to mom, we couldn't get along, which was one of the reasons i signed up. after her death, i figured i wouldn't be hearing from home much. then the lions drafted the heisman trophy winner barry sanders. i remember watching (on AFN tape delayed) as barry returned a kick for a TD. i grabbed up some marks and called dad. the run had electrified the crowd, and helped us connect in a way we could not have before.

the lion king takes off on another long run.

we shared the teams ups and downs, and were dazzled by barry's astounding array of moves, got to go to several games, and learned to accept our shared similarities and vast differences.

never a great team, the lions really took a nose dive in the shitter when barry unexpectedly retired after 10 frustrating seasons. they set an all time record by losing all 16 games last year.
my heart sank when we took matt stafford number 1 in the draft. i watched as he beat a mediocre michigan state (favorite college team) in the capital one bowl. his performance, i felt was also mediocre. i would have rather the lions taken an offensive lineman, and gone after tebow this year.

fast forward to november 22, 2009. stafford, after getting smashed at the end of regulation against cleveland, comes back into the game moaning and wincing and throws a TD to give the lions a tie and win on jason hanson's PAT. in this gutty performance, stafford proved he has the heart of a lion. we're 2 and 8!!!!!!

stafford walks off the field with a probable dislocated shoulder.

dad and i laughed about our win/loss record for awhile, and are already plotting the next draft.

so while it may seem silly to some, i can say with PRIDE i'm thankful for the lions on thanksgiving. i think mom would be thankful for them too.

call you at halftime dad.

1 comment:

  1. Damn, man...getting me all misty-eyed on Thanksgiving...GREAT post, brother.

    Didn't we watch a T-Day Lions game together at Riley in 1990?

    I'll never forget that time you pointed out the sign going into Witchita..."Birthplace of Barry Sanders"....


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