Sundays, on weekend visits with my dad I loved dozing off on the couch in the basement while he passionately watched the Vikings; there is still something nostalgic about falling asleep with NFL commentators giving their two cents in the background.
After I’d graduated high school, I stopped falling asleep and started paying attention. This new guy signed with the Vikings in 2008, sparking my interest more than the rest of the guys with tight pants and nice behinds – but(t) it had nothing to do with the attire or his derriere.
Maybe it was the mullet – after all, Billy Ray Cyrus was my first love.
There is something about watching defense players; manly men busting through an offensive line – slamming into the opposing teams quarterback? I love that shit and Jared Allen was good at it.
Before I asked many questions I assumed the wrangling of cattle move he would do after a sack was something very different – yet I enjoyed watching him pretend to be a jack-in-the-box. It made sense to me; those things can be scary. The quarterback has no idea when it’s going to happen and then, BAM!
Jared Allen – all up in your shit – just like a jack-in-the-box.
He may be solely responsible for my fondness of the game. When I realized Jared Allen was the love of my football life is when my admiration for the game itself all fell together. Now…643 tackles, 136 quarterback sacks, 57 pass deflections, 6 interceptions, 31 forced fumbles and 4 safeties later – we say goodbye to Jared Allen on the football field.
Thankfully, I have experience with saying goodbye to this man – when he left me for the Bears I
almost took it personally. He was supposed to go to the Seahawks – that was what I had planned and prepared for. When I heard the bad-news-bears I knew I’d have to say goodbye. How were we supposed to keep our Sundays together when he left me for something so ugly? The Bears?! It’s just not in me to cheer for a Chicago Bear… ever.
We had to break up.
I kept his wild-game cookbook I’d gotten for Christmas one year [with zero intentions of ever utilizing any of the recipes] displayed in my living room bookshelf, like a memorial; a reminder of the good times. Like any scorned ex, I was glad he didn’t excel in his new relationship. When that [dumb-never-should-have-happend] relationship ended? I enthusiastically gave out high-fives, smiles and hugs.
Jared Allen announced his retirement back in February and I had an idea he’d come back to me – and he did.
Retired in purple, together again.