Football, Baseball, and Stan the Man
This time of year, late January, puts me in mind to talk about sports. Not only are we one week away from the Super Bowl in New Orleans, but in less than five weeks, Cactus League games will be starting, as major league teams gather in Phoenix for Spring Training.
I admit, I often pay more attention to the Super Bowl commercials than to the game itself. (Confess–you do too!) This year, what intrigues me is the family drama, brother against brother, as the Harbaughs face each other on opposite sides of the field. Must be the fiction writer in me, and also, perhaps, the mother. How do you keep from playing favorites? And what if the losing son carries a grudge into the future?
When Jared and Jeff Weaver faced each other in Anaheim Stadium a few years ago (Jared pitching for the Angels, Jeff pitching for the Dodgers) their parents came up with a dramatic solution: they cut an Angels’ jersey and a Dodgers’ jersey in half, sewed the Angels Red to the Dodgers Blue, and wore the hybrids through the whole game. In writer-speak, it was definitely Show-don’t-Tell!
I’ll be talking more about the Cactus League in future posts, but on the subject of baseball, I wanted to take a moment to honor the incredible Stan the Man Musial, whose funeral was held yesterday. Stan was the child of a mill town, Donora, Pennsylvania. He grew up in rough times, and I know this very well because my dad was also from Donora, four years ahead of Stan in school.
Flash forward thirty years: as a child in St. Louis I first saw Stan Musial not at Busch Stadium, but at church. He and his wife attended the same church as my family. My dad, either from shyness, or an aversion to autograph-chasing, or a respect for Stan’s privacy, never reached out to reminisce about the good old days. Maybe, given the depression and World War II, he’d decided the old days weren’t really all that good.
So, back to the Super Bowl. Who are you rooting for? Lest you think football is not a suitable topic for a romance writer’s blog, I have one thing to say: Susan Elizabeth Phillips!