Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Sundays Will Never Be The Same

Posted by evankessler on September 25, 2007

On September 29, 1991 while my father was being stripped of his living privileges, gasping for his last breaths in our downstairs bathroom and later on his bed, I watched on as New York Giants rookie Running back Jarrod Bunch was being stripped of the ball by Cowboys Safety Ray Horton en route to a defensive touchdown. To this day I hold a grudge against Jarrod Bunch for his subpar play that day and subsequent meaningless career. I could’ve began to hate football after that, since one of my worst moments was now associated with it. However, many of my best memories with my father were of all of the Sundays we spent rooting for the New York Football Giants.

Several days after my father passed, our close family friend Bruce Ullman was over our house and we were discussing Football. He asked if I wanted to make picks against him for the games each week and I happily agreed to a little friendly competition as I was confident I could beat him. From that moment on Sundays took on a new meaning, every Sunday I sat in front of the TV with my picks in front of me hoping to beat Bruce in our friendly pick off. I wrote down my picks and marked where Bruce’s picks differed with a capital letter B inside a circle. This friendly rivalry didn’t last just one season. Nearly every week during the football season for the past 16 plus years Bruce and I spoke on the phone to make our weekly picks. Bruce would always ask if I had been following his Hofstra Flying Dutchmen. My reply was always “No” but he made sure to tell me about them anyway. He would ask how the ladies were treating me and if the Mets were playing well we’d discuss them too. The one point of contention in our relationship was that he was a Jets fan and I, a Giants fan. I had a theory that all Jets fans and Yankees fans are horrific, deplorable human beings, so therefore all Jets fans must be Yankee fans. Bruce threw a wrench into that theory as both a Jet and Met fan and by his nature being the polar opposite of horrific and deplorable. Every now and again Bruce and I missed a phone call due to extenuating circumstances. On those weeks I’d assume that we would disagree on the results of the Jets and Giants games.

For the first few years of our competition there was no prize, just bragging rights. I won a few years, Bruce won a few. When I was in college or maybe just out we decided the prize would be that the loser had to take the winner to lunch. I collected once, but at the last count I probably owed him two or three meals. Sadly, I won’t be able to treat him to those meals as he passed away prior to this past weekend before his time and before we had the opportunity to make our week 3 picks. I made them for him anyway. The only places we differed were that he had the Jets winning and the Giants losing. We broke even but he’s still up 4 games on the season.

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2 Responses to “Sundays Will Never Be The Same”

  1. […] lot to their family and have a strong connection to them as their father had meant a lot to me and I was devastated when he passed away last September.  As we gathered at the home  of his eldest daughter I could swear I could almost hear his voice […]

  2. Jamie Ullman said

    That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read!

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