Earliest Football Memory

I grew up in Texas. I was six years old when Coach Landry of the Dallas Cowboys couldn’t decide between Roger Staubach and Craig Morton as the starting quarterback and so had them alternate games, and in one game, alternate plays. The six year old me greatly approved of this strategy. I thought it was a very smart way to get the next play into the huddle and as a bonus it would keep the quarterbacks fresh.

Coach Landry and I, however, were the only people to appreciate the cleverness of this strategy, and after the different-quarterbacks-on-alternate-plays game, he settled on Roger Staubach who reeled off ten straight wins, including Super Bowl VI.

That means, thanks to Wikipedia, I can pinpoint my earliest football memory to the exact date. It was October 31, 1971.

I’m embarrassed to out myself as a Cowboys fan, but I came by it honestly. My father lived in Texas when the team started and he adopted them from the beginning. I grew up in Texas and until I was eleven or twelve I joined him in front of the TV every Sunday (and occasionally Monday nights) to watch the game. When I was eleven I tried to switch my allegiance to a franchise expansion team (I chose the Buccaneers), but that never really took hold.

I still follow NFL football more closely than I like to admit publicly. I recognize that it is a complete shit show. It’s blatantly racist, deeply misogynistic, and takes a brutal toll on player health. And all for entertainment. And yet, I find it interesting and engaging in a way I don’t find with anything else.

The other thing I learned during those Sundays was the awesomeness of Velveeta cheese mixed with Ro-Tel diced tomates and green chiles. Not a treat I indulge in anymore, but absolutely my favorite game snack.

(100 Days of Blogging: Post 013 of 100)

2 thoughts on “Earliest Football Memory

  1. The expansion team allegiance never really took hold?… Y’all live in Tampa Bay, yes? Ha! I’ve enjoyed your writing since the Pearl Street days. Glad you’re taking care of yourself. Joel Crutcher

    1. I know. The irony, right? I think I was in that age where I was trying to distinguish myself from my father. He’d started with Dallas when they were an expansion, so I was going to do the same — but with a different team! They also lost a lot, so that didn’t help my enthusiasm any.

      Thanks for taking a moment to comment. Hearing from you gave me a spark of joy.

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