Tomorrow is Super Bowl XLVIII. And I'm a fading fast Oakland Raiders fan. So in the grand scheme of things, tomorrow measures very low on the personal excitement scale for me. The Raiders stopped being a meaningful threat to NFL title contenders around the same time Huey Lewis and the News quit hanging around the top of the Billboard music charts. A long time ago.
So about this time each year you can find me trotting along side the parade route looking for a bandwagon to jump in. Last year I jumped in the Ravens wagon. After all, they are local, at least compared to Oakland, California. And there are uglier colors than purple, although please don't press me to name them right now. And my boss is a Raven's fan, which gave me an opportunity to snap the photo below to share on her Facebook page and collect many needed brownie points.
Now, my boss Ms. Roslyn is a rather fanatical Ravens fan. The chance of her jumping ship to pull for the Broncos or the Seahawks this year ranks right up there with the chance the Raiders win the big game tomorrow, or the big game anytime over the next decade for that matter. Which means there will be no brownies this year and picking a bandwagon requires a little deeper thought.
Only, not really.
Many of you are aware I am a Notre Dame football fan. When the Irish players graduate - which may be a foreign concept to fans of most other college football teams - and when the best of them move on to play in the NFL, I rarely cheer for their new team because their name suddenly appears on that roster.
Tomorrow will be an exception, if only for one bandwagon jumping day.
Several years ago, early in the process of brainwashing Elliott and Ian into being devoted Irish fans, there was a dynamic duo at Notre Dame: Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate. No offense to Jimmy, but we really loved watching Golden catch the ball and sprint off in crazy and often sporadic directions that miraculously landed him in the endzone. Elliott was only a couple of years old at the time; Ian was a newborn. But they would both smile, even if with frightful eyes, when number 23 danced into the endzone for a touchdown, sending me hopping and dancing across our living room screaming "Golden Tate baaabeeeee".
One of the proudest days of my early dad life, a day when I realized Elliott had been paying close attention on Saturdays, was the day I caught him teaching his new brother about football. Notre Dame football. And Golden Tate - baby.
Now I'm a big fan of Peyton Manning. Much like the entire state of Nebraska, I dig that whole "Omaha, Omaha" thing he does. But I'm afraid for tomorrow, our house is going to be cheering for the Seattle Seahawks and now number 81, Golden Tate. As much as I enjoy hearing that Omaha chant on TV, I'm more excited about the possibility of bounding across our living room furniture with the boys, and one more time, for all of Hanover County to hear, shouting Golden Tate baby!