"Holy Toledo!"

September 28, 2010

George Blanda, My Wife, & The Timeline Of Life

Filed under: A.F.L., Life, NFL, Oakland Raiders — Bill @ 12:31 pm

All too often my recollections of where I was or who I was with at any given moment of my life can be measured by a particular sporting event.  Sports provides me with a my timeline of life.

Having discussed this phenomenon with other sports fans I know I am not alone.  It’s uncanny how we can recall where we were the fateful day Franco Harris made the Immaculate Reception (12-23-1972), or who we were with when the earthquake halted game 3 of the 1989 World Series (10-17-89).  Another strange timeline moment occurred yesterday when I was looking up the details of the late great George Blanda’s miracle season of 1970.

Everyone remembers how the old man brought the Raiders from behind to win those tremendously exciting games that season.  As I reviewed the schedule of that year I saw that in week 14 the Raiders hosted the 49ers.  The Raiders had already clinched a playoff spot but the 49ers needed to win to get into the post-season.

My “timeline of life” kicked in, recalling how on that particular day my parents, another couple, & I went to San Francisco that day to see a rodeo at the Cow Palace.  We weren’t rodeo people.  As the saying goes this really was my first rodeo.  I recall listening to the Raiders-49ers game on the radio in the car on the way down to the city.  It was a cold rainy afternoon and I was not happy to hear John Brodie torch the Raiders 38-7 that day.  Later that night we all went to a theater and saw the movie Valley Of The Dolls, at age 9 it was probably my first rated R movie.  Why would I remember this day so well  Simple answer: the sports timeline of life.

Here is where the story goes Twilight Zone…

I happened to notice that the date of that game was December 20, 1970  THE VERY DAY MY WIFE WAS BORN!!!!

So you see because of George Blanda and the timeline of life being measured by sports  I know exactly where I was and who I was with on the day my wife was born.




    Comment by uncle buck — September 28, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  2. The “Immaculate Reception” was made on my 12th birthday. I was laying in my parents’ bed watching TV since I was suffering an asthma attack that day–or maybe it was a cold? I just remember that I was sick. After that, I watched te 49ers blow a 28-13 lead against Dallas in the last 5 minutes and lose. Vic Washington returned the opening kickoff for a TD and the Niners dominated most of that game.

    I was at the intersection of Commerce and Expressway in Rohnert Park when the earthquake hit. I remember turning to my friend and asking him why he was rocking the car…then we saw the traffic lights swaying and felt wave after wave roll past us. Unfortunately, I also remember where I was when Gibson hit that homer off Eckersley. There are some things that I would rather forget…but thanks for this post anyway.

    Comment by Guy — September 29, 2010 @ 8:21 am

  3. Yes unfortunately some sports moments are branded into our brain for all the wrong reasons. Fortunately there are others like when Joe Rudi caught the final out of the ’72 World Series, Clarence Davis’s improbable catch in the ’74 Sea of Hands game, or for every 49er fan “The Catch”. As is the nature of sports what is a great moment for one fan is an equal & opposite terruble moment for another. If the moment is significant enough you always remember the who, what & where.

    Comment by Bill — September 29, 2010 @ 9:27 am

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