Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jef experiences that '70s week

I liked football once. Starting at Christmas, the year I was 9. That was when my grandfather bought me a set of little plastic NFL helmets with a sheet of stickers so I could match up the graphics and the colors and make my own official helmets, or at least official in a league where the players were Lilliputian and the graphics were crooked and half the facemasks only stayed attached to the helmet on one side.

You have to pick a favorite team when you've got a set like that - it's in the boy code - and I struggled to choose between the New Orleans Saints (I liked their colors) and the Green Bay Packers (I liked the sound of their name). I couldn't have told you anything else about either team. Or, really, about football. But since I had two favorite teams, I figured I should try to find a game on TV.

I found a suitable one just about a year later (There was no NFL Network, nor cable, nor, in my house, more than one channel at all). The Pittsburgh Steelers were playing somebody somewhere, and by the time I found the game it was apparently pretty close. Pittsburgh had the ball, their quarterback threw it to one of his guys and the guy got nailed and the ball bounced out of his hands for an incompl … no, now some other Steelers guy scooped it up just before it hit the ground and ran it in for a touchdown. I made a point to remember his name - though remembering it as Frank O'Harris didn't help much - and settled not only on a favorite football team, but a whole favorite sport.

Just my luck to stumble across the Immaculate Reception, the most exciting play in the history of the National Football League. It was downhill from there. By the time I was playing JV ball in high school, football seemed to be more for the spectators than for the players, and the coaches made it clear that for us players it was anything but play.

Now the Steelers and the Packers are playing in the Super Bowl. The 1970s are back, though my love for football doesn't seem to be. Also back from the '70s is "The Mechanic," a remake of a movie about a professional hit man. I loved that movie. Jason Statham is playing the Charles Bronson role and somebody else is playing the other guy's role (which I guess is significant). That I might watch. I don't know if it will live up to the original. These things often don't.

And now we've just survived what was supposed to be the biggest snowstorm since the Blizzard of '78. Snowpocalypse, they were calling it. Or Snowmageddon, or snOwMG. In this area, anyway, we got buried by more breathless titles that we did by snow.

It's odd enough that so much '70s history decided to return in the span of a week. The fact that the '70s themselves came out looking better? That I never could have predicted.

Farm out, man.


Noel said...

The high school I went to had the states worst football team and the states best basketball team. Being in the band I had to sit through and was suppose to cheer for both ends of the blow outs the games always turned out to be.
I totally ignored most sports after that until I started watching Cubs baseball when I worked split shifts and had afternoons off and they only played day games.
I decided I should at least give football another shot so I decided to watch the Bears for one whole season since they were Chigao's other lackluster sports team at the time. This just happened to be the 85-86 season when the they won just about every game, had the most obnoxius QB, did a music video... and won the Super Bowl.
I didn't come back the next year.

Edmund R. Schubert said...


I'm a HUGE fan of Frazz, and this is completely off the topic at hand, but I'm hoping you can answer a question that's been perplexing me for some time now. For a long time the second Frazz collection was priced at something like $100. Now it's come down, but suddenly the first collection is priced on Amazon between $600 and $950. What the heck is going on?

Liz H. said...

Snowpocalypse or not, I don't think anything could make '70s fashion look good.

This was the first year I watched the whole Superbowl (or any football game) from start to finish. Now that's out of the way, I think I will save a lot of time by never doing it again.

Robert E. Zeitner said...

I ran 5.5 miles in the snow last Sunday, and it was fantastic.
I didn't get around to watching the football game, though.

Anonymous said...

I think I got the same football halmet set that you got....I was also about 9.

My set's helmets were a little squarish instead of rounded...but the face masks, like you said, always came off one side. Then, after the helmets were "assembled" and stickered (which also came off), they stuck on a plastic goal post. Then, collected dust, got knocked over and popped off the goal posts, and...the ultimate humility...were commandeered by my younger sister to be used on Barbie Dolls.
- Dave13, Frazz Fanatic