Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

A Super Dad Moment

I wrote recently about how this time of year, “Super Bowl Sunday” has special meaning to me. It would mean more to me this year if my Seattle Seahawks were playing, but, oh well. They are not.

As for the game itself, unless your team was playing in the Super Bowl, you do not remember who wins or loses most likely. And I am sure that will be the case today. Even the much anticipated television commercials fade away into memory soon after the final tick of the game clock. The half-time show will create debate, just as every year on who should have played instead, or how underestimated the show was going to be.

Like I mentioned previously. I was flying to China while the Super Bowl was being played. No, I cannot forget because my team was playing, the Seattle Seahawks versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Of course I want to clarify it was more of the Seahawks versus superstar running back Jerome Bettis (who was playing in his final game) and the referees (more on that in just a moment).

Just as the picture shows, I put my older daughter in one of her several Seahawk outfits, this one a cheerleader. I had my jersey and a hat on. The Seahawks were represented. The rest of the flight over to China, a sea of black and yellow, Steelers colors. I had already checked with the airlines in advance, they would not be carrying the game on their television signal. We would all get off the plane, not knowing who won the Super Bowl.

The plane landed, pulled up to the gate. The jet way was attached to the plane, and the door was opened for us to exit. As my daughter and I exited the plane, the pilot said to me, “sorry about your Seahawks. Maybe next year.” I was stunned. How would the pilot know what was going on? He should have been occupied with something more important. Still, focused on my newest family member about to be placed in my arms, I was a bit distracted, as I now heard the chatter in the sea of black and yellow, how “great” it was for Jerome Bettis to finally win a Super Bowl.

My Seahawks had lost. Oh well. I had bigger and more important things to deal with at the moment, so, maybe it was a good thing they lost. I did not miss anything.

After I checked into the hotel, it was time to make a very brief phone call back to the United States to let our families know that we had landed. I do not remember the rates for calling internationally. Before leaving, just as I did before, I bought a calling card to use. I believe the rate may have been something close to $5 per minute. The calls home would be a simple and rapid “welandedinHongKongallisgoodwegetomeetemmaliesoon.” I learned that from a famous Geico commercial and making collect calls (kids, that’s when we had to call from a payphone, and did not have money, and the person getting the call had to accept that they would pay for it instead. What’s a payphone you ask? Aw forget it.)

The first two calls went exactly to plan. But when it came to calling my Dad, it was a different story.

Me: He Dad. We’re in Hong Kong. We fly early in the morning and meet Emmalie soon after we land in the provincial capital city.

Dad: Good. I’m glad. You know, your Seahawks, in particular that guy, Stephens, he kept dropping balls. They really played bad. Be glad you didn’t get to see the game.

Honestly, my father confused me with what he was saying. You see, I can make the joke, I would not even know if my Dad knew what color or shape a football was, let alone, explain strategies and statistics. Yet, he was doing it. Far from the sport he really enjoyed, NASCAR, my Dad began to rattle off plays and stats like he was an announcer. Then it hit me. He was repeating the announcers. But, I give my Dad credit. He had my back when it came to watching possibly his only Super Bowl, because I could not.

What actually happened with the game, has never mattered to me, though I do acknowledge, I do remember who the Seahawks lost to, the Steelers, and yes, the referees did blow some calls which did turn momentum of the game.

But forever, I will have this Super Cool memory of my Father, who I miss so much, almost eight years later. I wish I could see his expression at how his granddaughters have grown and who they are becoming. I know he would be just as proud as I am of them.

I would get to see the Seahawks in another Super Bowl, versus Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, and won their first Super Bowl. See how easy it is to remember? Sadly, and frustratingly, though the Seahawks would return to the Super Bowl the next year, their hopes of repeat, were given away to the stinkin’ Patriots on a questionable play call.

But the most memorable Super Bowl moment that I will always have, was that phone call with my Dad.

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