The Wise Novelist

Great Game – Brothers – Simple Gestures

That’s my oldest brother, Eddie, in the opening photo. Now let me begin this by mentioning that my entire family were always New York Giants fans. It came with the Bronx neighborhood. But we all still had our other favorite teams while we waited for the Giants to get their shit together in the 1980s.

If I recall correctly, Eddie’s love for the KC Chiefs football team first manifested in the 1969 season, when his Chiefs knocked off my favorite Oakland Raiders in the AFC title game. Captained by Len Dawson, KC then went on to defeat my then adopted favorite Minnesotta Vikings, because I would have rooted for Satan against my brother Eddie’s team.

I’m pretty sure Eddie and I got into a fistfight during the Chiefs & Raiders game. Fittingly, I’m also sure I lost that fight.

Unless you have been living under a stone, you know that the Superbowl was played yesterday. Now I haven’t actually watched a football game in a few years. But all of my brothers watch each season with religious fervor and devotion. Yesterday, Lisa suggested we watch the Superbowl when she came home from work. Mentioned the story of the two Kelce brothers playing on opposite teams. The mother in her wanted to see how that played out. The athlete in her wanted to watch the football game.

I had done a full day’s labor outside, and figured I was too tired to read, couldn’t listen to one more news story about popped balloons, or follow anything else that required any attention to detail.

I went outside and got Claire and Honey fed and settled for the evening

and by the time I came back in someone was singing the Star Spangled Banner. So I sat down in my favorite recliner and put my feet up, expecting to nod off.

It was the best game of football I have ever watched.

No off the field drama leading up to it, no bad sportsmanship, no selfishness. Two amazing young quarterbacks, fine young, spiritual, gentlemen, surrounded by equally matched talent. Two incredible coaches, a younger one more daring and ballsy, the older one more calculating and lucky. So much heart on both teams. So much respect for the game and the audience. Action from the first kick-off until the final one as time ran out.

It did not matter to me who won or lost. One team had to. But both teams left it on the field and could walk back to their locker rooms with their heads held high. It was the noblest game of football I ever watched.

It was touching to see the Kelce brothers embrace after the game. They had both played their hearts out. You could feel the love between them.

Of course, when it was over, I received a text from my brother Eddie (Ralph Droz – also a character in FJM was on the same text). Simple text below it. “FU Iggles.”

Sorry Anna Hillman (but it does provide another insight into the character I modeled after Eddie in the book you helped me with, FJM).

I had given Eddie that hat for one of his many birthdays years ago.

And just like that we were back in 1969.

Love you too, Eddie.

Anyway, before I sign off I want to share another photo I snapped yesterday. Blue had spent a good half hour licking Claire’s legs, which is a relatively common event during most days. Blue is basically Claire’s Lady in Waiting. But yesterday when I came out of the barn and looked up the hill, I saw Claire approach Blue and start to nuzzle her, the way I have seen her nuzzle Mr. Rogers, Honey and many times, me.

That’s Claire and the love of her life, Mister Rogers. I miss MR so much.

Nuzzling (kind of a soft nibble) is an unmistakable expression of love by Claire. Blue had turned to face me when she heard me come out of the barn cursing, as I always do, about shoveling shit and spitting hay from my teeth. My fur family get a kick out of listening to their crazy human caretaker rant. Then Claire came over to Blue and started to softly nuzzle her. So, I pulled out my iPhone and captured it. Magic.

Now I could tell by Blue’s nonchalant response that this is probably a common event, a simple gesture, but I had never actually witnessed it.

And as far as simple gestures go, love matters, in football and in life.

We should celebrate it wherever it is found.

Like the Kelce brothers. Teammates. Siblings, family and friends. All loved ones. All.

So now we have another Monday awaiting us.

That’s okay, it is the one day that always forces us back into the real world.

But first, a kitty cuddle, my rounds and the torture.

You fine, five readers gird yourselves with that second strong cup of coffee and go out and deal with your Mondays.

This too shall pass.

But let someone you love know that you do.

A simple gesture.

We only have these moments.

And, most of all, have a great day.

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