January 25, 2010
A brown kraft envelope cluttered the refrigerator door more than usual. Carl closed the door and made it back to the family room with a beer just as the AFC Championship game resumed.
“Look, Manning’s got no place to go!” Carl moaned. The Indianapolis Colts settled for another field goal, and Carl flopped in his chair.
Evan stretched out on the floor near a bowl of popcorn. “Chill, dad. It’s early.”
“It’s the second quarter, my man. There is no early.”
“Granddad likes New York,” Evan said. The Jets scored again. “New Orleans, too.”
Audrey came into the room with the phone. “Carl, it’s dad.”
“Tell him I’m gonna whup his sorry Jets.”
She held out the phone to him. “You tell him. He’s in Big Bear and he’s snowed in and the power’s out and he can’t watch the game.”
The Jets were inside the 30-yard line. “I can’t watch this,” Carl said.
Audrey spoke into the phone. “I’m sorry, dad. Carl has been possessed and can’t talk right now. And Evan—”
—was eating a double-decker peanut butter sandwich.
Audrey sighed. “All right, there’s a flag… it’s on the Jets. They’re losing real estate. But they kick, and now it’s 17 to 6. Manning throws a long one to Collie—”
Carl leaped out of his chair. Audrey moved so she could see the Colts cover eighty yards in under a minute. She spent halftime catching up with her dad, then settled in for the second half as Indianapolis retook the lead, 20-17.
“Come on, dad, it’s all about execution! Do you want to hear this or not? Okay, then. Manning fakes it to the middle to Dallas Clark… and another touchdown! It’s 27 to 17… now Matt Stover kicks a twenty-one yard field goal. They’re saying he’s the oldest guy ever to play in the Super Bowl… he’s forty-two… right, if they go. If. Heh-heh. It’s 30 to 17 with two minutes left…they’ve locked it up, Colts win 30 to 17.”
Audrey sat down and put up her feet. ”Face it, dad. We whupped your sorry Jets, and we’re gonna whup your sorry Saints.”
Fortunately for Audrey, his cell phone died before she put money on that. The Saints beat the Vikings in the the NFC Championship game, 31-28 in overtime. As Brett Favre limped off the field, Evan, because of his faith in the Saints, took the brown envelope from the fridge and counted his winnings.
©2010 Pam Wells