At the age of 8-years-old, I was on my first football team. The local team had trouble filling all the positions so they opened it up to eight year olds and up. Needless to say I jumped at the chance. That was 1983. I didn’t understand football, and knew that I needed to try and figure out what I was doing.
My dad was never much of a sports fan and neither was my mom. The only person that I knew of in my family that enjoyed football, besides my older brother, was my grandfather and he was a Cowboys fan. So I said "why not," and started watching the Cowboys games. It was cool at first but I found myself drawn to the other team. It was a team in red and gold with an SF on the side of the helmet. Calling the shots was some guy named Joe Montana with the number 16 stitched on his white jersey. My attention was peaked, but at eight how long can your attention truly be held?
The next year I wasn’t allowed to play football. Apparently there was plenty of 10 and older boys who could play, so I was told no. Oh well, I was nine and still had other things I could do. Not playing though, caused my interest in football to fade. The next year I was 10-years-old and I was ready to take on the big kids. I was also kinda ready to watch football again. My brother had established himself as a fan of the Miami Dolphins, and I still kinda liked that one team in red and gold.
I flittered with watching football until I noticed that my brother had become really interested in a game late in January. So I decided to watch. Now I should say that my brother was not always the nicest to me, although we are very close now. He was bigger and tougher than I was, and frequently made me the target of his aggression. Needless to say this forced me to try and find other ways to get back at him. As a result, when I noticed that he was cheering for the Dolphins to win this game called the "Super Bowl", well I cheered for the other team. I was firmly introduced to my first love.