I got my love of football from my mom of all people. Growing up there was always a football game on in our house. My mom, being born and raised in Oklahoma always watched college football on Saturdays so she could see what was going on with her Sooners.
Her favorite NFL team at the time was the Miami Dolphins. The sole reason was she was in love with Bob Griese. Yes, I know...Bob Griese. The man that actually wore glasses to throw a ball around.
Her love for Bob and the Dolphins was so great that she decided to buy tickets to go watch Bob play the Atlanta Falcons one year. I think I was seven at the time. Two days before we were to drive down, my 2 year old little sister got really sick. My mom took her to the Dr. and he told my mom there was no way the little turd could travel. Did this stop my mom was being in the same stadium with Bob???? NO WAY! She got one of her best friends to watch my sister that weekend so we could go. Nothing pleases me more than to tell my sister that Bob Griese meant more to my mom than her. After that weekend, my mom had a local artist paint an oil painting of Bob Griese. I wish I were kidding. It is huge! She hung it in our living room. My father would just roll his eyes and laugh.
Many years later, I was in bed one night and the phone rang. It was so late that I immediately thought something was wrong. I picked up the phone and it was my mother. "Chanin, turn it on the Home Shopping Network! Hurry!" I get up and turn it on and there on Home Shopping is the one and only Bob Griese selling autographed 8x10 photos. I said, "Oh that's great Mom. You should buy one." She starts reading me her credit card number over the phone. I said, "You want me to buy it for you?" She says, "Yes and ask them to let you speak to him and tell him your mother loves him so much." Oh God! So here I go, calling Home Shopping to talk to Bob. I had tried to convince my mother to talk to him but she said absolutely not that she would be so nervous she would stutter and mess up. I got through to Home Shopping and got to talk to Bob. Here is the conversation that took place...
Me: "Hi Bob!"
Bob: "Hi, thanks for buying one of my pictures."
Me: "Well I have to say it is not for me, it is for my mother, she loves you. Bob, she loves you so much that she had an oil painting done of you and to this day it hangs in her living room."
Bob: "My mom has an oil painting of me in her living room as well." Big laugh.
Me: "Bye Bob"
My mother phoned me nearly in tears since she watched the whole thing go down on tv. "Thank you so much! Good night!" A few weeks later she received that autographed 8x10 and to this day, it sits on a bookcase in her house. She hates the Dolphins now, "That damn Jimmy Johnson ruined it for me, that cocky little bastard." She pretty much has given up on rooting for a NFL team but she still loves those Sooners.
I know today, she is in her OU long sleeve t-shirt, with her OU Crocs on and has that teddy bear beside her that when you squeeze the belly it plays ,"Boomer Sooner" to which she sings along with. I hope the Sooners beat the Longhorns today or else she will be in a terrible mood all weekend. She was talking about today's game two weeks ago, already getting wound up about it.
Mom, thanks for loving football so much because you molded me into the football nut I am today.