Our website editor will be upset I’m writing about football, but something like this doesn’t happen often. I am stoked that for the second time in my lifetime, I will actually have my hometown team playing in the Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons. Last time they made it was January 31, 1999 in then-Pro Player Stadium in Miami against the Denver Broncos. We lost 34-19. However, this year has been a miraculous football year in that the Tennessee Volunteers finally beat Florida. Army finally beat Navy… and Fidel Castro died — had to throw that one in there. So, I am hopeful. And just so y’all know, I will be in Wheeling, West Virginia with my oldest daughter Aubrey, so we’ll have to find an awesome place to watch the game. “Rise Up!” Go Falcons.
Now as I think about the big game this Sunday, I remember back as a young boy going to visit my granddad down in Cuthbert, Georgia. He lived on South Street across from the big open field in front of what used to be Randolph County High School. We’d gather there and play tackle football in that open field…no pads! That was back when kids didn’t look for safe spaces and we were rough and tumble. The ol’ folks would gather on the front porches and watch us hammer each other, and I mean it could get brutal. You could hear the ol’ men yell out when there was a crack hit, a long run, or a deep pass. They’d also yell out sometimes, “it’s all fun boys until someone gets hurt.”