I want this year's NFL Championship Game to deliver the same kind of magic that it did in the '80s.
When I was growing up, my parents didn't drink or watch sports, but, come Super Bowl Sunday - Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Booze! - they transformed into drunken pigskin fanatics!
Our neighbors, the Mellors, hosted rowdy Super Bowl parties. The first time I witnessed the deleterious effects of alcohol poisoning was in their wood-paneled rec room. To an impressionable 10-year-old, watching a middle-aged dude puke his guts out into an Igloo cooler was almost as riveting as the Ickey Shuffle.
It was 1989 and the Mellors had just purchased a big screen TV for the occasion. Maybe that's why XXIII stands out so vividly in my memory -- it was literally the biggest game I'd ever seen!
That bout between San Francisco and Cincinnati is heralded as one of history's greatest gridiron showdowns thanks, in part, to the 92-yard scoring drive orchestrated by Niners' QB Joe Montana. I wholeheartedly agree, but, in my mind, No. 16's on-field heroics aren't what makes XXIII legendary.
The credit goes to John Candy.
Down by three points with just over three minutes on the clock, the 49ers were freaking the fuck out, man ... all except for Joe Cool. He sauntered into the huddle, motioned toward the stands and said, "Hey, isn't that John Candy?"
Dumbstruck, his teammates turned, looked and confirmed that it was, in fact, comedic actor John Candy.
Everyone laughed. The pressure dissipated. Wideout John Taylor caught a touchdown pass with 34 seconds to go. Joe headed for Disneyland. My parents did a shot.
Don't you just LOVE that story?! Not since Joe DiMaggio wed Marilyn Monroe had there been such a perfect union between athletics and pop culture.
When I think about that moment, I picture John Candy dressed in his gray trench coat and hat from "Uncle Buck." He smiles and winks at Montana ... and then eats a stack of snow shovel-size pancakes.
So, in honor of my favorite funnyman, I'll be wearing this homemade T-shirt.
(Editorial note: You might be saying to yourself, "Ummm, the first post on Cradle to the Grave - A blog about motherhood ... and zombies mentions neither motherhood nor zombies. What gives?" Well, dear reader, I may not have directly referenced those subjects, but they're always on my mind.
Motherhood: Because I am a responsible mother (i.e. I want to get drunk at a Super Bowl party without a whiny toddler watching me do so), I'm dumping Sarah off on my mother, who, for the record, has not experienced a magical drunkard makeover since we moved away from the Mellors in 1991.
Zombies: If I could bring one celebrity back from the dead - even if it meant they'd be a rotting, flesh-hungry monster - I'd resurrect John Candy.
There. I've explained myself. Happy now, asshole?)