Monday, August 31, 2015

A Football Memory

In The Moviegoer, Walker Percy talks about the taste of time, unexpectedly sensed on noticing a long-used advertisement in a newspaper or seeing on television a movie seen long before at a well-remembered theater.  I felt a bit of that last week when glancing into Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story of Family Life: The Letters of J.F. Powers, 1942, 1963. A random flip opened to a letter of November 4, 1961, mentioning among other things that the University of Minnesota had upset Michigan State University in a football game played that day.

I remember seeing that game on television, though I remember almost nothing of it. I remember that it was an upset, not because I knew the reputations of Michigan State and Minnesota, but because the announcers on the broadcast said so, and perhaps my father remarked on it. I remember that there was a safety, certainly the first one I remember seeing; was it intentional, and did my father explain the tactics behind it? I don't know. Nor do I know why we watched. Was a Notre Dame game not on that day, or did it follow the Notre Dame game?

But that victory of the Golden Gophers over the Spartans stays in mind with a memory of a late fall day in the Cleveland suburbs. Did I go out back after the broadcast? Somehow the pine tree out back in late afternoon light comes to mind.

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