Football season is here again. You can’t see me, but if you could, you would not see me dancing across the room with unbridled glee. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching a football game at a stadium from time to time but not a fan of a full Sunday afternoon spent watching the games.
I must admit, however, I breathed a sigh of relief on hearing they’d settled the dispute with the refs, because if the replacement refs were allowed to continue to hand out the calls they’d been giving out my other half would have had to increase his blood pressure dosage.
My second husband was addicted to sports. Really, he needed a 12 step program. I believe he would have opened a lawn chair and signaled for a dog and a beer if he’d seen two men with brooms sweeping a parking lot. On weekends he and his equally grid iron crazed buddies paced our family room like a band of caged tigers. Spittle flew from their mouths as they damned an errant player to the fires of all eternity and explained to the coaches how the game should be strategized correctly. I went shopping on those days, consequently, I always associate this time of year with having a well stocked closet.
Although an afficienado of all sports, his true passion was his alma mater, USC Trojans (University of Southern California). Living in the L.A. area at the time, I spent many a night with my lips turning blue sitting in the bleachers watching the Trojans play. Trojan fans and alumni were enthusiastic supporters, showing up resplendent in team colors carrying blankets, thermoses and over sized foam hands. Colorful painted faces peeked out from beneath the brims of appropriately embroidered ball caps and team spirit was palpable in the stadium goers. Not to be outdone, sweatshirts were purchased by my husband to be worn for the games and our lap robes, socks, pillows, and his boxer shorts all reflected his abiding love for his team. For me it was all about the hot dogs, they really do taste better, hot coffee, and foot warming socks.
Looking back I was really more of a draftee than a full fledged volunteer as football fans go, so it was ironic that I was present for what was arguably one of the more memorable games in college football history.
It was Saturday, November 20, 1982 and the game was between the University of California Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinals, long time college football rivals. I will quote Wikipedia on the following description as if I described it it would be virtually unrecognizable for those who love the game.
“After Stanford had taken a 20–19 lead on a field goal with four seconds left in the game, the Golden Bears used five lateral passes on the ensuing kickoff return to score the winning touchdown and earn a disputed 25–20 victory. Members of the Stanford Band had come onto the field midway through the return, believing that the game was over, which added to the ensuing confusion and folklore. There remains disagreement over the legality of two of the laterals, adding to the passion surrounding the traditional rivalry of the annual “Big Game.”
To boil it down into Susie terms, I was holding a hot cup of coffee while watching the last breaths of the game. My husband sensing game over, went to use the facilities before they were mobbed with departing fans. Stanford was leading by 1 point and the competitive tension was running high in the stands. Watching the field with no one to ask why I found myself wondering why the Stanford band was forming on the field when the game was still in progress. Suddenly, the crowd went mad as band members and players mingled confusedly as the final play was made on the field below. So, in one of life’s great cruel jokes, I watched football history unfolding in the stands while my husband who lived for the sport was relieving himself in the stadium men’s room.
It is to be a hot and windy September day. I’m off to sew a Halloween apron. This roast melts in your mouth.
Pot Roast with Wine and Root Vegetables
1 3-4 lb. chuck roast, bone in
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 lb. turnips, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
7 button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Cut roast into 6 pieces leaving some meat around bones. Mix pepper, salt, and flour. Dredge each piece of meat well in dry mix.
Heat oil over med-high heat in large skillet. Add meat and brown until well browned on all sides.
Spray 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place browned meat on bottom of slow cooker. Top with vegetables.
Mix together wine, broth, tomatoes, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves basil, parsley, and Italian seasoning. Pour over roast. Cook on low for 9-10 hrs.
Serve over mashed potatoes or rice