Dad believed in taking his kids to work and teaching us what it means to be passionate about our pursuits. Not that it was glamorous. Allison and I learned the value of getting people coffee, batteries, and duct tape — the essentials of any production. We learned how to coil cable (well, Allison learned how to coil cable, I’m still a work in progress). But mostly, I think we learned the greatest lesson from the game we weren’t allowed to attend.
That game was twenty-five years ago, in Tampa, Florida, when the country was at war, and Whitney Houston was to sing the National Anthem. Security was tighter than it ever had been. Soldiers guarded the game. The military flew helicopters danger-close to the stadium roof line. For you football fans, this was the first of four losses in a row by the Buffalo Bills; even to this day, there are some Bills players who think that Norwood’s kick went wide because of the air current from the choppers. Of course, if you watch the ESPN 30 for 30 doc on the Bills, one of the players blames Harry Connick junior’s band for misplacing his helmet the following year, so maybe those losses are on the Bills. Just saying.
Regardless, Super Bowl 25 was no place to bring your kids, and so, with a heavy heart, dad told us we’d have to sit this one out.
“But you’re going,” I complained to dad.
“Michael,” he said. “The show must go on. The show always goes on.”
And what a show it was. Here’s a picture from sound check at Super Bowl 25. Dad is on the radio (as usual), Whitney Houston is doing her thing, and soon after this shot was taken they’ll both win a gold record for the National Anthem.
I miss my father every single day. Today, I miss him more than usual. But like you said, dad, the show must go on…