The answer to the general question of, “Where are you originally from?” is “Philly.” But if you want to get technical, then we have to move around a bit. Literally.
I was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts on November 18th 1974. Raised by a Bostonian father from Quincy, and New Yorker mother, from New Rochelle. In terms of baseball rivalry it doesn’t get more Capulet and Montague than that.
By the time my first Christmas photo was taken my father had thrown on a Boston Bruins winter cap, just so all of our extended family and friends could have visual evidence that this boy was growing up a Red Sox fan. He wasn’t blatant with a Red Sox hat, but it was clear that he was marking his son’s future sports rooting territory. My mother couldn’t have cared less if I was raised a Red Sox fan or a Yankee fan. She just wanted me to be happy. She was just annoyed that my father’s sports legacy statement couldn’t at least fit the festive theme of the holiday. Black and yellow? Really? For our baby’s first Christmas card? I’m sure she was thinking a Red Sox hat would have added some red, at the least.
At the age of five, my father was transferred to Chicago. Our first of multiple geographical transitions over the next half a decade. My father, mother, aunt, and two year old brother and cousin all picked up and started from scratch socially, educationally, but not with concern to sports allegiance…not yet, anyway.
We only stayed in Chicago for nine months, before my father was showing me a map of Texas. He was showing me our next home. I felt a sigh of relief, because I don’t think I handled the move well with concern to school. I was too young to remember much from Chicago at all. All I do remember is having a pep talk with my mom sitting on the kitchen counter about how tough it is making new friends and not feeling like a social outcast, but in terms a five and a half year old could grasp.
In 1980, we made the move to Dallas, TX. Still waiting to close on a house, my mother, aunt, brother, cousin, and myself were all in one Motel 6ish room, while my father was on his first of many multiple business trips out of town.
Running around and being irrational, as six year olds are known to do, I proceeded to slam my head square into the corner of a wall. Day one and with no Google, no cellphones, and no local geographical sense, she’s got to find a hospital for her son bleeding all over the hotel floor. A 911 situation with no 911 in this area. Oh, did I also mention that when she gets us to said hospital we won’t even have a permanent address to fill in on the form, and that will be an issue?
I remember the doctor drew a smiley face on a balloon, with the same three stitches in its head as I now had in mine. So, other than that pleasant memory, it was a pretty bad start to the move.
Once we were settled, this would be the town that introduced me to sports. Within the first six months, I had my first visit to Texas Stadium for a Cowboy preseason game against the Steelers. I loved Terry Bradshaw. That was my first jersey. Black Terry Bradshaw with the helmet to match.
I had leafed through a Super Bowl MVPs book once and picked the guy with four Super Bowl rings. What a front runner, huh? I know, but all kids start out as front runners, right? Please. Help me feel better about this.
Football’s social significance in the general landscape of the state of Texas obviously would eventually have me leaning in the Cowboy jersey direction, which was evident by the Dallas Cowboys 1983 Roster Picture hanging right under the phone in our kitchen. It think it was a county law to have at least one roster shot hanging in your house during those years.
EAGLES +5 @ COWBOYS -5
EMOTIONAL RED FLAG ALERT: 10
PEOPLES FAVORITE HOUSE CROSS(PFHC*)
*considered a Vegas win, due to -110 vig. Like in baseball, tie goes to The House.
PICK: COWBOYS -5 & UNDER 43
JUMP SHIP AUDIBLE:
With a House Total Points…obviously.
VIKINGS -4.5(-105) @ BEARS +4.5(-115)
TE: K. RUDOLPH @ CHI
EMOTIONAL RED FLAG ALERT: 0
HOUSE DOG PEOPLES FAVORITE SPECIAL(HDS)
PICK: VIKINGS -205 & OVER 41(EVEN)
JUMP SHIP AUDIBLE:
We ride with Vegas on both Primetime Total Points, and if the people jump on the BEARS +4.5(-115), then we take VIKINGS -4.5(-105), all while sticking with the Minnesota Moneyline regardless.
Goodnight, and good luck.