Football fever has returned to North America. This is the second season that Melissa and I are on the travel trail and will miss all of the action. Last year we were in South America explaining the basics of football to anyone we came across. Helping others understand football was one way to stay connected to our favorite sport. We did get a chance to see some on-field action at a sports bar in Lima, Peru, and we caught the final week of 2011 and some playoffs in Cusco. But it isn’t the same as being in North America when pigskin frenzy reaches its peak.
This year we are in Europe and I’ve decided not to join my annual football pool or survivor competition. Instead we’ll have to keep in the loop by checking weekly results online and reminiscing about football roadtrips to places like the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Today’s football themed Photo Friday came as a result of such memories.
At the end of the 2007 season, Melissa surprised me with a flight, hotel reservation, and tickets to see my beloved Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. It was my first time seeing the Bears on their hometurf and they blew out the New Orleans Saints in the final week of the season. Return man and converted wide receiver Devin Hester scored two long touchdowns during the romp. We had the chance to tailgate with the Bears faithful prior to the game and since we came with no food, we learned what midwest hospitality was all about.
A few weeks later we traveled with our friend Tim to Toronto, Canada to see Rutgers University take on Ball State in the International Bowl. The game took place at the Rogers Centre and we were also accompanied by Melissa’s father, brother, and some of my relatives from Canada. Ray Rice and company ran up and down the domed field in a decisive victory. It capped off a great football roadtrip and sent us back to New York with huge grins.