My boy Marcus gave me a call last Thursday and invited me to the Cincinnati Bengals/Pittsburgh Steelers game in Cincinnati, Ohio. The doctors were going to induce his wife on Sunday, the day of the game, if she had not given birth to their first child. “Are you sure about this,” I asked him?
“Yeah, we already talked about this before the season started.”
If the father of the baby was in, then so was I. My wife sat in sheer disbelief when I told her the news. Marcus’ story continued to grow in mythic proportions throughout the weekend.
As luck would have it, Marcus’ wife, Kelly, gave birth to a beautiful, bouncing baby boy at 11:45 p.m. Saturday night. That’s 12 hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff. Marcus thought it was too late to give me a call to tell me the exciting news, so he waited until Sunday morning. I’m on Paxil for a couple different reasons. Waiting patiently is one of them. I tossed and turned all night, maybe catching a full uninterrupted hour of sleep.
I was wide awake at 7 a.m. Sunday morning. I was even a little nervous. I was starting to freak myself out a little bit. As a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, was I nervous and excited about my great friends having their first child, or could I be nervous for the game? I could never be nervous for the Bungals, could I? I don’t want to make light of the struggles that a young homosexual man faces when coming out of the closet, but I couldn’t help but feel a similar struggle with the new skeletons in my closet.
Marcus called when I was in the shower and left a message. “We’re still on, I screamed,” jolting my wife awake.
I met Marcus at 1:00, 3 ½ hours before kickoff. It may have been a little on the early side, Grandpa Sandwasher early, but I didn’t mind. I was focused on only one thing, the NFL playoffs. I had the single-mindedness of a drunken guy in college at 3:30 in the morning valiantly trying to find a pizza place still open.
Marcus wanted to stop by Cardboard Heroes in Cincinnati Mills to buy his new baby boy Bengals gear. Did the Sandwasher willing go to the mall? I thought the Sandwasher hates malls? I would have willingly gone to a colonoscopy on this day if that meant going to the game (no offense Uncle Kevin).