Ted: The Super Bowl Sacrificial Offering
I walked in from reading by the pool and immediately saw my Teddy Bear, named Ted as all Teddy Bears should be, hanging from the white metal frame of my mom’s must-have swing chair. When I say hanging, I don’t mean that Ted’s paws were wrapped around the frame as though he were a kid playing on monkey bars. I mean that he had a noose around his neck as though he had tied a damsel to the railroad tracks in 1886 and was now facing his punishment.
It was January 26, 1986, though. I had an idea why Ted was hanging, but I asked anyway. I turned from the living room and looked toward the kitchen where I could hear my stepdad cooking. “Why is my Teddy Bear being executed?” I yelled.
My stepdad banged a wooden spoon on the side of a pot and walked out of the kitchen, wiping his bald head with a handkerchief, and clarifying the alleged stuff animal murder in progress. “The Pats are playin the Behs.” My stepdad was from Boston. He was rooting for the Patriots, of course. So, Ted had to suffer.
I rolled my eyes and walked to my room, keeping quiet. I was rooting for the Bears. I knew nothing about football and didn’t usually care about it at all, BUT there was a boy in my drama class, a junior, an older man, who loved the Bears. So, of course, I had to like them, too.
I don’t remember what this kid looked like, and I don’t remember his name, but every time Whitney Houston’s “How will I know” came on, I thought of him. Just how would I know if he liked me, too? Spoiler alert: He didn’t. I was a short freshman with short curly hair and lips she hadn’t grown into yet. He was friendly to me, but he certainly didn’t care whether I shared his love for the Bears or not.
I didn’t really know this yet, though, so I kept hoping. When I saw him the next day at school, we talked about what a great game it was. I hadn’t watched it really, but I knew that the Bears had spanked the Patriots. I pretended to share his happiness.
As soon as my crush on Bear boy ended, I forgot about football again. Now, thirty-something years later, I think of my stepdad whenever the Patriots are in the Super Bowl, which they have been a few times. Even though they don’t need my support at all, I always root for the Patriots.
I get my dark sense of humor from my stepdad.