Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Memories come alive during big game

Wick's World

 


It’s one thing to not like your opponent. After all, the idea in any sport is to come out a winner. It’s another thing to dislike a team based on their character. In this year’s Super Bowl XLIX we had two teams competing for the right to wear a ring on their tainted fingers.

One of the teams, the New England Patriots, has a legacy tainted mostly by the questionable activities of their longtime coach, Bill Belichick. In the past, coach Belichick was accused of spying on the opponent while the game was in progress. Never before had a team gained so much advantage over their opponents by technologically learning the play plans of the other side.

This year, a whole new scandal has arisen called deflategate. Belichick and crew were found to have 11 of their 12 game balls improperly deflated making the football easier to throw and catch in cold weather. Although Belichick denies the charges of cheating, it is almost a statistical impossibility that over 90 percent of the footballs would be underinflated. In other words, someone had to either do it or gave the authorization for doing it. You can see why it is hard to cheer for a group of cheaters.

As for their opponents, the Seattle Seahawks, the winners of last year’s Super Bowl carry a lot less baggage than does New England. One really shouldn’t dislike an entire franchise simply because the team has a few players who wouldn’t recognize the word sportsmanship if it was written in chalk on the team’s locker room blackboard. By having such a disinterest in either team one could ask, why watch it at all?

I guess one reason to watch the game is for its entertainment value. After all, it’s just a game and games are supposed to be fun. Besides, by having no vested interest in either team, I could sit back and simply enjoy the action.

There was plenty of action in this game, especially near the dramatic ending. An unbelievable catch was followed by a drastic interception. Both plays were potential game changers. This drama was upstaged by a huge brawl involving both teams. One player was ejected and several fines are sure to come following this ugly ending in one of the ugliest years pro football has ever endured.

Beginning almost 20 years ago, a tradition began at my house on Super Bowl Sunday. Several of my son’s grade school classmates would meet in our living room to eat munchies, drink soda pop, and scream and yell for their favorite team. In reality, their favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings, was never a participant in any of those super fun Sundays. Nonetheless, each year, four to six close friends set that day aside to share together. That all ended on Super Bowl XXXVIII. The kids graduated from high school that year and were well on their way to becoming young men. My son went off to San Diego State. The others scattered in different directions. They probably never would have been back in Moose Lake for that Super Bowl no matter what the circumstances.

Two of the classmates who usually spent Super Bowl Sunday at our home had left San Diego after a weekend visit with my son. They were being deployed from the Naval base at San Diego and on their way to war.

They never came back.

That is why I watched this Super Bowl. The memories of those young kids gathering each year at our house was not the only thing from the past that came alive. For a short time, I could feel Matt Milczark and Moises Langhorst sitting in my living room. I honor you guys and I will never forget you.

 

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