My son and I were at the Oakland Coliseum watching a Raiders-Eagles game this past Sunday. A good friend in the Philadelphia organization provided great seats, which positioned me to take the above Pulitzer Prize winning iPhone photo.
We had now way of knowing that Riley Cooper’s early TD reception would be just one of an NFL record tying seven passing touchdowns thrown by Philadelphia’s Nick Foles. And we certainly didn’t arrive at the game imagining that we’d see history.
Conversation with my 19-year-old has been a challenge, so any extended talking usually revolves around sports. Any other subject inquiry into his life usually results in a system shutdown. So, safe mode is sports question and answers.
Hence, I asked my son if Foles’ performance was the best we’d ever seen in person?
No compare and contrast. No arguing. No conversation. Fail.
Getting this kid drunk isn’t an option, so if I wanted to get him talking with his old man, I needed to quit asking questions that had a simple "yes" or "no" answer.
Over the years he and I have been to many college and professional games in a variety of historic stadiums. I have an NFL stadium list that we’re working down and now "historic" Oakland Coliseum has been checked off. What a dump.
So I asked my son what he thought was the best/nicest stadium we’d ever been in?
A two-word response…a real conversationalist, this one.
Given that we were watching a historic performance from a quarterback who likely won’t end up in the Hall of Fame, my final question finally hit pay dirt.
"Who is the player we’ve seen play who has gone on to achieve the greatest amount of success at the next level. Have we seen an NFL Hall of Famer?"
This required much thought, discussion and a fair bit of arguing.
It was dad heaven!
In the end, we both agreed that watching Calvin Johnson in the 2006 Gator Bowl was our brush with greatness. While WVU beat Georgia Tech 38-35, Calvin Johnson’s performance stole the show. He torched WVU for nine catches, 186 yards and two touchdowns…and most of that while double covered (he was triple covered on a jump ball and managed to come down with it).
My thoughts turned to this week’s WVU-Texas game. What or who might we see versus UT that will one day live in our memory as a great moment? I now believed it was possible – I mean a back up quarterback from a Philadelphia offense that had lately scored very little, just tied an NFL record.
I immediately began to imagine that if we were going to see a "legend," he would likely come from the Texas sideline. It seemed logical given they have twice as many alumni in the NFL than WVU. However, I was stunned to see that UT only has two players in the NFL Hall of Fame (the other two Texas HOF members are coaches/owners). WVU has an equivalent number of NFL Hall of Fame player members.
Will there be anyone on either team that might be a future member of the NFL Hall of Fame? What do you think?
Please, no one-word answers.