It takes a few miracles to be canonized, might as well take the points.
The conversations are always the same no matter what teams are being discussed when it comes to football. “Who’s better?” “Really?” “Did you see…?” “Man, that so and so is something else!” “They look good right now, I wouldn’t bet against ‘em.” At my family reunions, it was always a Redskins - Cowboys thing. In the early 90’s the Skins had just finished a great run and the Cowboys were in the middle of theirs. Regular BBQ smack. My Pops would always chime in with his Giants at just the right moment. It drew hoots, hollas and “wide rights!” It brought down the house. Eventually I’d give my two cents, get some props, a “true, true” and maybe even a little dap. Maybe. Then someone would ask, “Who’s your team?” I’d say Saints. Nothing. Just some WTF expressions like someone had passed gas and then they’d be back to the conversation at hand. One and done. I still loved my dogs anyway.
I love dogs because coming up, one of the local TV stations, channel 12, ran 50’s, 60’s and 70’s films every Saturday afternoon. Movies, like sports and gambling, have you pulling for underdogs when you are just watching and have no rooting interest. How could I? I didn’t know who these actors were at the time. That’s why I liked Charleston Heston (big dog - Moses, Omega Man, Planet of the Apes), Bruce Lee (small dog - any of his movies), Peter Sellers (dumb dog - Pink Panther), the Allies in war movies (road dogs), and the Indians in Cowboy movies (home dogs). Okay not a lot of wins with the last ones, but still, I always took the points when it came to Westerns. It was sort of like being a Saints fan.
The conversations at my old job always drifted to football. “Who ya got?” “Why ya got ‘em?” So, like any office we had a pick’em pool. No spread. Straight up. That would suck in the casuals. Big up the pot. Awesome! Weekly winners, overall winners! I can’t remember how it worked exactly. I did okay. I always “showed,” I even won the year once. That year, I was feeling it from Labor Day on. “No points, no problem.” (Spoken like a true degenerate.) This one time, the VP of Sales who was based in L.A., left me a message out of the blue. I worked in marketing and thought it was revisions to a presentation or something. Nope. It was a congratulatory message about how great my Monday Night pick was to take the weekly pot and overall season lead. I want to say it was the Jets-over-Dolphins-comeback-lineman-caught-a-TD-pass-game, but I’m not sure. For the purposes of this story, I will say it was. (This is all “based” on a true story. Kinda like a movie. Let me sell it. Give me that.) When he eventually came to town we talked football in the hallway. He liked my “takes,” so obviously he asked me, “Who’s your team?” Crickets. With the Gas Face in full effect, he politely said he had a meeting upstairs. I still loved my dogs anyway.
I love dogs because of Charlie Brown. He’s the consummate, lovable dog. My great pumpkin was George Rogers. I believed in him. He was going to change everything. My friends thought I was nuts. He was on the first football poster I had on my wall as a kid. My Mom eventually threw it out after I went off to college. ARRRRRRGH! My little crappy Christmas tree was a cheap, replica Bobby Hebert Jersey that ripped the first time I wore it and was eventually stolen out of my car. ARRRRRRRRRGH! The losing seasons’ were the baseballs ripped right back up the middle that continually de-clothed me over and over again. ARRRRRRGH! Everybody thinks Lucy is going to pull the ball out from under me during the Super Bowl. But, [sigh] I’m Charlie Brown. I keep coming back for more because I think the next one, the BIG one, is this one. Right?
The conversations after the Super Bowl will be the same win or lose. It will be about putting the lifetime achievements of the show dog in perspective and not about my dog Brees. Just like it was with Warner and Farvre. “Are they going to live on a farm?” “Would they be back?” Would they retire and “be worshiped like an old battleship?” This time my dog is up against a true pure breed, you know his pedigree. Manning. Best in Show. (He was so good this year, I’m sure Chris Mathews forgot he was white at some point.) After the game, it will only be about him and his legacy. I know this. I get it. Mutts don’t have legacies. So even if my Saints poop in the refrigerator, and eat a whole wheel of cheese, I won’t be mad. That’ll be amazing, blue ribbon or not. I’ll still love my dogs anyway.
I love these dogs because they’ve always been my dogs. Nobody in Montreal cared about the Saints. Nobody. It never bothered me. I always did. I was always on board. Sure I hopped on somebody else’s Super Bowl bandwagon every now and then to make it interesting, but I always looked forward to one shining moment like this. So here I am. This time there’s plenty of room on my bandwagon. There’s an open bar serving Hurricanes, college girls taking their tops off for beads, smooth jazz and great food! I see why Cowboy, Steeler, and Patriot Nations run so deep. People continually get on and never get off. They know the feeling and love it. They’ve had it multiple times for more than one year at a time. I get it. It’s even more intoxicating now that I’ve had a taste. I’ve never looked forward to a football game as much as I am looking forward to this Sunday’s. At the same time I don’t want this to end. It’s not a “just happy to be here” thing, I desperately want one more “miracle” so it will last forever.