I stopped playing with plastic soldiers and G.I Joe’s a long time ago.
There’s nothing wrong with watching some classic Looney Toones with your daughter, but dressing up for Halloween has been off my radar for nearly four decades.
These days I’m better with my money. When I was young, and far too old, twenty bucks in my front pocket felt like it was on fire and I had to spend it fast or be consumed by flames.
I never cried “yucky” when changing one of my children’s diapers and I get up and go to work everyday.
Yet all of these big boy things go out the window in that space of time from “Amen” and “You are dismissed” at church to the time “Roggins Heroes” begins its highlights after Sunday night football.
I shrink in maturity. I become small in scope and thought…and when you are small in scope and thought you become bitter.
This past Sunday I was afflicted with a bad case of “Bitterman”.
Seeing the Rams lose to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday was like drinking from the fountain of youth. In the span of three hours I shed forty years of life, age, and acquired maturity and became a nine year old throwing things around the room, screaming at the announcers, and brooding with arms folded.
My team lost.
Over the seasons, weight, and gray, I’ve learned to cope with Dodger losses. I’ve surrendered all my passion for the Lakers, and have even become nearly indifferent about USC basketball (I was a monster fan).
However, the switch I’ve never been able to flip, the dimmer I’ve never been able to turn down, is this connection with the Rams.
When church going was an option as a kid…I went because I was certain it played a part in determining the outcome of the Rams game. We took busses from El Monte station, caught a series of transfers, just to get to the Coliseum to see the Rams play a preseason game.
When the team moved from Los Angeles to Anaheim…they were still my Rams. When they moved from Anaheim to St. Louis, I tried to fall in love with another, but it was no good.
When late owner Georgia Frontiere declared that they made the right move in leaving southern California for St. Louis, just five minutes after winning Super Bowl XXXIV my blood boiled but I could not shake this team.
I can say I don’t care, but I care. I can say it doesn’t matter, but it will always matter.
As time passed I would say I was a child of the Rams, seeking their approval, affections, and blessings. A loyal child, an unwavering fan.
But the truth is, is when something enters our soul in youth it remains as if it is our child not the other way around.
In the micro, the Rams will always be my child. No matter disaster, no matter success or failure.
In the macro, my kids will always be my kids. No matter disaster, no matter success or failure.
In the infinite, (and how appropriate it is that football is played on Sunday) I will always be a child of God. No matter disaster, no matter success or failure. No matter distance, time, or terrible utterances. I will always belong.
Contact Joe at email@example.com