Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together eat delicious food, play games, and make memories. It is also for reflection of memories of gone by. The following is one particular Christmas memory that transcends time. In the midst of all other fantastic memories of the season, it stands alone.
A Tradition of the Pigskin
The tradition was unlike any other. It was the Christmas Bowl of 1996. No, it wasn’t surrounded by the backdrop of a parade down Main St. in Pasadena, or the intensity of a BCS national championship game in Glendale, Arizona. After unwrapping presents and successfully making a mess in my Grandma’s living room, me, my dad, my brother, my uncle, and my cousins would head to the backyard and start throwing the football. However, this was just the appetizer to the feast.
The Thrill of Competition!
The chill was in the air, but the ever presence of sun was shining though on this cold and crisp Central Oregon Day. It doesn’t rain everywhere in Oregon. The match up consisted of me, my brother, and my dad against my two cousins and my uncle. As the most athletic amongst my fellow siblings and relatives, the position of QB would fall to me. I cannot say I objected to this. Not in the slightest. I loved (Still do) the position of leadership and physical elements required of this position.
The ball was in the air, and coming down. It was game time. The first snap of the game was an uneventful incomplete pass by the other side, followed by a catch for a few yards. The next play resulted in another incomplete pass by the opposition and a subsequent punt. I then had the ball in my hands.
A Game for the Ages
I took the first snap and rifled a laser into the arms of the wide receiver, my father. He got the ball and turned up field for a gain of 20 yards. The next play would be an omen for how the day would unfold. My brother, who had a bad habit of snapping the ball a little too high for someone who was 5’8”, proceeded to unleash one of his bombs over my head. I turned and ran as fast as I could before the pressure of the 2 man rush engulfed me. I grabbed the ball on the bounce and turned back up field. The magician in my kicked in the form of a 13 year old Steve Young or Mark Brunel. Juking and Jiving, I flew into the end zone with a made for Sports Center touchdown. This play was followed by throw after spiraling throw. I even ended up with a leaping TD of my own, bringing down the prize of leather through the obstruction of my trees. A diving and sprawling Interception ended the memorable day in the frost glazed gridiron.
Fifteen years have come and gone, but the above Christmas memory lives on. I am now making memories with my son on the fields of Christmas football. What better way to teach your son the meaning of Christmas than on the football field. I can’t think of any. Family, friends, teamwork-they are personified on the gridiron. So instead of staying inside and vegetating this holiday season, get out in the backyard or the local high school football field and make some Christmas memories.