This guy right here is my nephew, Thomas Decoud, free safety for the Atlanta Falcons. He is my husband’s sister’s son and I love him dearly. Last Sunday the Falcons played the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC championship, the winner moving on to the Super Bowl. The Falcons lost. But the next day we learned that Thomas was picked for the Pro Bowl in Hawaii this Sunday.
Before I get to the ‘meat’ of this post (pun intended), indulge me while I explain why football is so important to our family and why last weekend’s game was an unbelievable occurrence.
This is John Thomas, my husband’s father. John was a 49er for 11 years. That’s an amazing story for another day, though. The first day I met Marlon he proudly showed me a pic of his dad in a football uniform. That’s not your dad. That’s you! But it was a black ‘n white photo, which I thought was odd.
“It’s not me, it’s my dad. We kinda look alike.”
That’s an understatement. Many people mistook Marlon for his dad, myself included. While it’s not that odd for a son to look like his dad, it is rare that they share the same birthday, January 25.
Yes, today is my father-in-law’s birthday. And would’ve been my husband’s 56th.
To some it might seem odd that my post on this emotional day is about football and food. To me, it is perfectly fitting.
To anyone who knew Marlon, they’d probably think of football and food. A gifted player himself, he was an even more gifted coach and touched countless lives thru his coaching. He was also an incredible cook. Incredible. Again, another story for another day. Let’s just say, I don’t think about football without thinking of food, and my husband, and my nephew, and the rest of the family.
The family, well, they tend to go all out for games. Any games, actually, as long as either the 9ers or the Falcons are playing.
By “all out”, I mean all out. This was the last 49er game Marlon & I went to, a couple years ago. We rode down in our cousin’s RV.
Oh, we didn’t actually go into the stadium. No. We tailgated.
If you can call feasting in the comfort of an RV tailgating.
This is not the same TV as the one above. No. This is a larger TV.
If you didn’t want to be outside, well then, you could always watch the game inside the RV.
There was a bit of a drizzle, as I recall.
But that’s how the family ‘does’ football. Typically Marlon would bbq a tri-tip and who knows what else. As long as there was tri-tip, I didn’t care what else there was. Hot wings was about as ‘snacky’ as Marlon got.
Me, on the other hand, I could live on nothing but appetizers. And dessert. And I mean every day, not just game days.
When some bloggy friends asked me if I had any appetizer recipes for the Big Game I had to laugh.
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
Like this 7 Layer Dip. I love the football shaped dish – that’s going on my shopping list – and the corn chip scoops. Mmmm.
I’ve never made any food in the shape of footballs, but this round up from Craft Gossip makes me think I could if I wanted. Pizza? A cheese ball? Yes, please.
While Marlon didn’t share my love of appetizers, he did share my penchant for sweets. These chocolate covered football strawberries from Be Different Act Normal wouldn’t last long. But aren’t they adorable?
I may not be going to Hawaii to see my nephew play in person this weekend, but I’ll certainly be celebrating. As I was looking thru online recipes, I hit the mother lode when I found 135 Football Food Recipes by How Sweet It Is. Something for everybody, whether you’re a football fan or not.
Which, of course, I am.
Today, as I remember my husband and celebrate his birthday, I’m thinking of football and food. I’m thinking of how proud he is of our nephew who is playing in the Pro Bowl. And how, even though the Falcons lost, his beloved 49ers are playing in the Super Bowl.
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m pretty sure my husband has found a way to communicate with our grandson from the ‘other side’.
Last Sunday my phone rang when there was about a minute left in the Falcons/49er game. I saw it was Santino’s mother and muted it. After the loss, I called her back. She told me it was wasn’t her but Tino who had called.
I keep telling him to stop growing up so fast. He obviously isn’t listening.
“Gramma! I’m watching Uncle Thomas’ football game!”That’s great baby, but the game’s over.“I know and Uncle Thomas lost, didn’t he?”Yes, Uncle Thomas lost.“But Gramma! My grampa’s team won! The 49ers won!”
At first I thought wasn’t it cute how a 5 year old thinks. But the more I thought about it the more I came to a conclusion. That wasn’t just Tino’s thinking. That was Marlon! That was exactly how Marlon would look at it.
His nephew lost, but his daddy’s team won. And his nephew is going to the Pro Bowl.
Think what you will, but I know he’s found a way to talk to our grandson. That makes me very, very happy. And today I will celebrate. In fact, every day is a day to celebrate, football or not.
Happy Birthday, Honey.
I hope you go visit my friends, who actually cook, and check out their football appetizers. I wish I lived closer to some of them. Yum!