My gram passed away last spring, and today is her birthday. She actually has two birthdays, today and tomorrow, because there was an ongoing question about which one it really was, and she never really seemed too concerned with figuring it out, which is kind of awesome. So I'm thinking about her today.
Thinking about her reminds me that 17 years ago -- cripes, 17? -- I was living with her and my grandfather in Midwood, Brooklyn and working for the NFL. The week before the Super Bowl, I was out in San Diego to work on Superbowl.com for the league. It was a pretty good deal -- they gave me two tickets to the game (which I gave to my dad and brother), along with access to all the parties. We had a good time. They had a good time, I should say. I was in the press box for the game working on NFL.com's live in-game "chat" on AOL, featuring Jim Fassel, our celebrity analyst. I remember being blown away at the observations he was making that didn't necessarily make it into the chat. I also remember passing on the chance to go down to the Broncos' locker room after the game, instead letting a colleague of mine go in my place. She said it was pretty awesome to stand next to John Elway in his greatest moment of triumph. I'm sure.
So anyway, taking my brother to the Super Bowl is a long walk back to the dominant theme of this year's Super Bowl -- the Harbaugh brothers playing against each other. But I feel less of a kinship with older brother John Harbaugh as much as Jack, their dad. As the dad of two brothers (age 6 and 4) who are best friends, I can relate to Jack's situation: How on earth do you watch your two kids battle for the greatest professional accomplishment of both their lives?
You can hope for a great game where both sons do well, but ultimately, there is only one winner. The family seems grounded enough that they will take it in stride, sort of like how my gram approached things. That's sort of all you can hope for as a parent, right? That your kids will be grounded and achieve great things and ultimately recognize that life should probably be a combination of trying your best and hopefully being part of a nice family.
Back to work...