So, the Niners aren't going to the Superbowl. But for a moment I was reliving the Glory Days, if only for a second. I remember how I used to play with my grandpa's football, even though since it had all the signatures of the players, I really shouldn't have even been touching it. I remember eating in the Niners' cafeteria, knowing that I was exceptionally lucky to be ingesting the same lunch as the team, if only in smaller quantities. Rice and Montana were folks I met, not just people I saw on the TV screen. (Although, Montana lives in my same city, and my parents have run into him a couple times at our grocery store.)
My grandparents and my dad got to go to the Super Bowl on the team family plane and ride around in an official NFL car. My dad went several times. I remember being pretty angry he wouldn't take me because I had final exams. Sigh.
Our football privilege came from my uncle, whose involvement with both the Niners and the Broncos make him the person with the most Super Bowl rings. At least, for now.
My grandparents, living in a tiny home and on a modest budget, couldn't have possibly dreamed one of their sons would eventually treat them to a celebrity-studded event like the Superbowl.
But it isn't just the glitz and glamour that I remembered today as I cheered on the Niners. It was how I used to steal my grandpa's hat, or how I'd try to climb my grandma's laundry line in her backyard. It was how we'd watch planes fly overhead since their home was so close to SFO. And yes, how it was fun to go to the Stick to watch a game, or how we'd get giddy while watching the TV if we happened to catch a glimpse of my uncle.
Sometimes I wish I could go back, if only for a second. While it didn't happen for the Niners this year, I appreciated the flashback.
[photo: My cousin Tim Dahlen modeling his father's rings]