Tete-a-tete ArchivesAn eclectic sampling of my award-winning humor columns. New columns can be read online at www.nashuatelegraph.com on the first Thursday of the month, with columns posted here later in the month.
More in "Tete-a-tete"
- Tete-a-tete: Evolution of a football fan, or why I'm looking forward to Super Bowl LII
- Tete-a-tete: Younger Sister's penchant for staying on schedule never takes a holiday
- Tete-a-tete: Grandpa had a 'Wonderful Life'
- Tete-a-tete: Streamlined technology makes it easier to come home for the holidays - unlike when I was in college
- Tete-a-tete: Terrifying toys make childhood memorable
- Tete-a-tete: The pitfalls of dining out as a slow eater
- Tete-a-tete: Pop culture references lead to unexpected connections
- Tete-a-tete: "Handicapped accessible" doesn't really mean what people think it means
- Tete-a-tete: The ins and outs of the college moving experience
- Tete-a-tete: When dealing with cabin fever, this cat's on a roll
- Tete-a-tete: An artistic masterpiece 20 years in the making
- Tete-a-tete: Promp and circumstance: Modern-day prom prep
- Tete-a-tete: Blue Apron - a Pandora's box of weekly culinary adventures
- Tete-a-tete: Serve up a slice of family traditions, new or old
- Tete-a-tete: 'Family court' has a whole new meaning at our house
- Tete-a-tete: Drafted on the farm: Grandpa's war at home
- Tete-a-tete: With family, you have to give it the ol' college try
- Tete-a-tete: Walk a mile in my Boots: Viva la feline difference
- Tete-a-tete: Slacker movies offer unlikely heroes
- Tete-a-tete - Bag that theory: Purse contents aren't all that enlightening
- Tete-a-tete: Keeping up with the pace of modern-day elder care
- Tete-a-tete: Easter dinner reveals a shocking family secret
- Tete-a-tete: Time flies when you forget to change the clocks
- Tete-a-tete: Here in New Hampshire, we don't take voting 'for granite'
- Tete-a-tete: An Eagle takes flight in another family milestone
- Tete-a-tete: When choosing heirlooms, cross your Ts and dot your ... claims
- Tete-a-tete: Even the best-intentioned Christmas traditions can fail to take hold
- Tete-a-tete: How to enjoy a wedding, even if it's not your own
- Tete-a-tete: A tale of unintentional cat ownership
- Tete-a-tete: Admissions about the college admissions process
- Tete-a-tete: Avoiding car-tastrophe while purchasing a new vehicle
- Tete-a-tete: As American as apple pie: U.S. culture, through other eyes
- Tete-a-tete: The geek gene runs strong in our family
- Tete-a-tete: Grieving entertainment losses with a few simple steps
- Tete-a-tete: Parents, do not give your child the name equivalent of the April birthstone
- Tete-a-tete: Memento or clutter? Don't leave that decision to the historians
- Tete-a-tete: How Mom and Dad saved Christmas (and a hamster)
- Tete-a-tete: Having trouble keeping your New Year's resolutions? It could be "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" Syndrome
- Tete-a-tete: When Christmas starts before Thanksgiving (a reflection on temporal discombobulation)
- Tete-a-tete: Sizing up a new family pet, or the difference between a cat and a hamster
- Tete-a-tete: When your worst fear comes true
- Tete-a-tete: Family game night can leave you drawing a blank
- Tete-a-tete: When you have a really good reason to skip class
- Tete-a-tete: The downside to the world's most flattering bridesmaid dress
- Tete-a-tete: Say it with flowers - just don't say where you got them
- Tete-a-tete: Shockingly true tales of my Herculean, heroic great-grandpa
- Tete-a-tete: For goodness 'sakes - generational namesakes can confuse
- Tete-a-tete: Confused by the weather? Signs spring has almost sprung
- Tete-a-tete: Seeking the Holy Grail of a universal bridesmaid dress
- Tete-a-tete: Love poetry gone bad, or why I'm still not allowed to use matches
- Tete-a-tete: A traveler's guide to the Big Apple
- Tete-a-tete: Feats of strength aren't just for Festivus festivities
- Tete-a-tete: Change comes from within - sometimes, literally
- Tete-a-tete: Car games: from punch-buggy to punching cell phone buttons
- Tete-a-tete: I mustache you a question about costume practicality
- Tete-a-tete: Functional furniture is making my family dysfunctional
- Tete-a-tete: Jungle Speed board game can bring out the beast in you
- Tete-a-tete: To call it a ‘mooving’ ride would be inaccurate
- Tete-a-tete: When saying ‘sweetheart’ just won’t do
- Tete-a-tete: Eat your heart out, Festivus: Stymchastynchula is here
- Tete-a-tete: Hoping Korean music can explode in the U.S. with a K-pop
- Tete-a-tete: Holidays, especially with Grandma, are always colorful
- Tete-a-tete: Sometimes, it's the grilled cheese that makes the memories
- Tete-a-tete: Still recovering from Dad's forays into home education
Tete-a-tete: Evolution of a football fan, or why I’m looking forward to Super Bowl LII
It’s that time of year again – the time when all football fans outside of New England despise us because the Patriots will be playing in yet another Super Bowl.
In the past, this news wouldn’t have meant much to me. I would’ve been proud that New England’s team is doing so well and then carried on with whatever I was doing. This year, I’m really looking forward to watching the Super Bowl, a phenomenon that is largely due to how much time I spent with Grandpa these last few years.
Football was his favorite sport to watch, especially college football, because of how quickly and dramatically the outcome of a game can change. When he came to visit during the holidays, he would manage to watch just about every NFL or college game being broadcast, including all the bowl games, no matter how inconsequential they seemed. Any time you walked into our family room from mid-December to mid-January, there would be a football game on the TV.
The one exception was the year we changed our cable package. Among the many channels eliminated were the various sports networks, which was initially no big deal. Dad might catch the odd baseball game, but that was about it for regular sports viewing in our household.
When Grandpa arrived for his holiday visit, however, our new cable package became a big problem, as he could only watch the football games on the major broadcast networks. He was heartbroken. We tried to see if we could order the necessary channels for the duration of his visit, but the cable company couldn’t do it.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to cheer up a depressed football fan who’s missing all the smaller bowl games by trying to get them interested in basketball. It doesn’t work.
As Grandpa’s health declined and Mom and I began spending more time with him at his home in upstate New York, we inevitably began watching a lot more football. Grandpa was happy to explain the game, and Mom and I found ourselves enjoying the sport more as we developed a better understanding of what was going on.
Mom, as a result, has become a devoted Patriots fan. She is extremely impressed with Tom Brady’s skills as a quarterback and watches the games with her Patriots Yearbook to help her identify the players and their positions more quickly.
She has also become very protective of Gronk. Mom doesn’t like to see any player get injured, even those the Patriots are playing against, but she gets very upset when the opposing team’s defense tries to take him out. She goes into full angry-mama-bear mode, yelling at the screen and telling them to leave Gronk alone.
I am not quite as enthusiastic about the Patriots, but I believe it’s important to consider where I started. Previously, my greatest period of interest in football was when I was in elementary school and decided to throw a Super Bowl party. I couldn’t tell you what Super Bowl it was, just that it was getting a lot of hype on the playground. We lived in upstate New York at the time, so it’s likely the Buffalo Bills were involved.
Anyway, my friends and I were all excited to watch the big game and eat pizza together – until the game actually came on. None of us had any clue what was happening on the field, and it took all of three minutes for us to get bored. Fortunately, Dad managed to locate a VHS copy of “Footloose,” and Kevin Bacon ended up winning Super Bowl MVP.
Fast-forward to the Patriots’ amazing season last year. I had a much better understanding of what was happening on the field, which made their comeback that much more incredible. For the first time ever, I watched a Super Bowl for a reason other than the halftime show. The Patriots’ history-making resurgence in the second half of Super Bowl LI had me glued to the screen like “Footloose” never did (except, maybe, during the part where they’re playing chicken with tractors).
I will definitely be tuning in for Super Bowl LII this weekend, and the anticipation has only been heightened by the outcome of the championship games. The AFC championship game between the Patriots and the Jaguars was exactly the kind of football Grandpa liked: solid playing from both teams with the trailing team coming from behind to win. It was not, however, the kind of football Mom likes, as Gronk was escorted off the field with a concussion despite her angry warnings to the Jaguars’ defense.
The trouncing of the Vikings by the Eagles in the NFC championship was painful to watch. Once the score becomes that unbalanced and the trailing team fails to rally, no one’s really enjoying the game anymore, as evidenced by the fights that started to break out amongst the players on the field.
Though it would’ve been great for the Vikings to play a Super Bowl in their hometown, it would’ve been heartbreaking for them to lose that Super Bowl to the Patriots. I’m not trying to trash-talk anyone here; it’s pretty much a fact that if the Vikings played against the Patriots the way they played against the Eagles, they would lose.
The Eagles have demonstrated, however, that they are a worthy rival for the reigning Super Bowl champs. We’re sure to see some riveting football in Super Bowl LII. It might even get to the point where I consider the halftime show an annoying interruption and wait impatiently for it to end so we can get on with the second half – after I’ve gotten more snacks, that is.
Here’s to a great game this weekend, in which all the players are “Footloose” and giving it everything they’ve got. Go, Pats!
– Teresa Santoski