Welcome to Friday Food For Thought, the weekend conversation starter. Each week, this article presents a topic for debate. Whether in the comments section, on the golf course, or around the weekend game table, the goal is to provide enough background that either side could be a winner. In order to facilitate the discourse, a suggested beverage pairing is also be included. So speak up, mix it up, and drink up.
It is Memorial Day weekend so let’s start with a thank you to all of our men and women of the Armed Services, past and present, who have sacrificed so much for our liberty. Freedom is never free and we are all in debt for your service to this nation.
As sports enthusiasts are celebrating the long weekend by the grill, smoker, pool, or fire pit, we will need something to do. There is cornhole with your Carolina boards or bags. There is poleish with the week’s beverage in one hand. There may even be a game of H-O-R-S-E with reenactments of the greatest shots ever (I can not jump high enough to do a proper Danny Green and none of my friends will be a Greg Paulus stand in, unfortunately).
We also need a fun and good spirited debate. This week’s topic is simple; you are stranded on a desert island with a solar powered television, an old school VCR (that is also magically solar powered), and a tape of one sports game. What game do you pick to watch over and over and over and over?
On October 30, 2004, a 3-4 North Carolina team hosted the nationally ranked number 4 Miami Hurricanes. It was a Saturday night. The Heels were heavy underdogs and the game was nationally televised. A close contest throughout, the game was tied late in the fourth quarter when Darian Durant led a 65 yard drive to set up a 42 yard Connor Barth field goal. The kick sailed through the uprights as time expired and victory was delivered.
Among the fans who rushed the field that evening was an exuberant and hoarse future blog writer. It is easy to remember standing on the field and looking up at my young, pregnant wife in the stands just shaking her head with a wry smile of acceptance. That game is tied to that moment, and it was a great one.
Sports is frequently like that. Our favorite moments are created by a combination of the outcome of the event and the environment in which we watch it. Like listening to an old favorite song, re-watching a game summons the emotions of the moment and generates a healthy dose of nostalgia. Embracing the memory of that game still brings a goofy smile to my face as I picture my wife in the stands. I would re-watch that game a thousand times, if I were stranded on an island with nothing else to do.
Attending a live event, especially a monumental upset, is bound to be enjoyable. This topic, however, can not be limited to live attendance. Nor should it be limited to Carolina fans. It is perfectly acceptable for a game that one would watch many times to have been a professional contest.
On October 14, 1992, I spent the evening sitting on the floor of my parents’ bedroom with the volume turned nearly all the way down. My parents were asleep but I was not.
Francisco Cabrera was called in to pinch hit for Jeff Reardon with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. David Justice was the tying run on third. Sid Bream was the winning run on second. Cabrera lined a hit to left field. Barry Bonds came up throwing but could not beat the lumbering Sid Bream to the plate. The Braves won and moved on to the World Series. It is the greatest baseball game I have ever watched and is well worthy of repeat.
In need of encouragement to debate – for a refreshing treat, we are trying Maria’s Sangria. Mix 1⁄2 can of ginger ale, a tablespoon of sugar, half a banana sliced, half a banana sliced, and lemon peel. Fill the glass with your favorite red table wine. Multiply the ingredients by four for a pitcher.
Can debate without assistance - The kids have started drinking Fanta by the can and they love it. Orange is the first choice. Grape is a suitable substitute.