Little Stuffed Black & Gold Football

Ok, we’ll call this being on kick.
A cure of the tired tired, or at least a treatment.
Besides that Juan and John laminated grade school picture art project that I posted of earlier I have another piece of something that has always been with me.
The Steelers had always been a sad sack franchise, the word “win” wasn’t in the vocabulary, and I, of course loved them. Underdogs and “losers” have always been my thing because there is no greater victory or joy than when you get elevated from underdog and loser status to winner. The 70’s were pretty good for that elevating as a Pittsburgh fan, especially in football land, but my Bucco’s, though, always came up a bit short. They should have been a dynasty like their football brethren. In my lifetime these painfully beloved Bucco’s of mine have only risen to this winner status twice, the first time I don’t really have a lot of memory of, other than Roberto being Roberto and then being gone. I remember that. Sadly.
The second time I was in high school where my Bucco’s fandom was shared by only two others. Growing up in New York we had to deal with the Yankees and their history, their history of winning, always freakin’ winning and being reminded almost daily of that winning and it came with a unique New York arrogance that still bothers me to no end. Then our “We Are Family” Pirates got elevated in ’79.
Man, we were dicks for a day in our gloating.
But it was the Steelers who introduced me to the idea that underdogs can have their say.
Mom and Dad had just finished adding the smallest of extensions to our smallest of houses, making it just a bit larger. Mom was in her glory, this new small room was huge to her and, with a couch and a couple of side tables, lamps and a coffee table added, along with some knickknacks and a TV, it became our spot, our family spot and a one she so loved to show off.
They allowed me this spot, all to my own, one day, gave me this space to watch the Steelers win their first Super Bowl.
I threw passes to myself with a little stuffed black and gold football, another thing I couldn’t tell ya from where it came, crashed into the new couch for the most amazing of catches as imaginary crowds roared.
That was a day.
I realize that these are just things, my grade school art project, my stuffed football, and that when I’m gone will most surely be discarded as family cleans out my place, though I hope not. But they are reminders, connections to a when when we weren’t so scared or angry or worried of our future.
Ok, kick done. Move along now.

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