My Electronic Football Game

My Electronic Football Game

As a child I would go dumpster diving. I don’t know why, I guess I was looking for treasure and like it is said, A person’s garbage is another person’s treasure. Anyway, I would find all kinds of things in the dumpsters like old tools, toys, and even magazines a young man should not find. One particular day I was walking down the alleys of Scottsdale when I came across and electronic football game in one of the garbage cans.
As a young man, I always wanted an electronic football game. I always loved football and the Los Angeles Rams were my favorite team. The Phoenix Cardinals later to be the Arizona Cardinals were not in town at the time so the Rams were the closest team to me. Plus, I was born in L. A. so I had to root for the team.
So, I pulled the game out of the garbage and took it home with me. I was so excited! The box was heavy so it gave me hope that all of the pieces were still in it and everything was working. I opened it up and took everything out. The big, heavy, metal football field was intact. The cord was there that was connected to the mechanism that made the field vibrate to move the men. I pulled out one team that was in a bag and it was the Cowboys. I hated the Cowboys because they would always beat my Rams. I put my arm in the box to see if there was another team in there and I felt a bag. I pulled the bag out and it was my beloved Rams! I started to cheer and wonder how could I have gotten so luck. The Rams!
I set the teams up to play each other and lining them up to have the ultimate battle of my childhood football fantasy. I plugged the cord to the outlet and pressed the on button, and nothing happened. I tried again and again to no avail; the machine was broken. I am sure that is why it was in the dumpster in the first place. I was bummed out but I didn’t let it stop me. I realized that all I needed to do was figure out a way to make the field vibrate so I tapped it with my fingers. I started taping and the players started moving. It was glorious! I played with that game for hours and hours. More Superbowl’s were won by my Rams in my football world. It was perfect. My dumpster football game was my favorite game I had ever had in my life.

I have told the story of my dumpster football game to my children many times. Especially the times they would fight over the multiple new toys they would receive and how they did not want to be a certain color in the games or a certain character. I wanted them to be thankful for what they had because they would never have to look in dumpsters for games. As a father, I never thought my lessons or stories would sink in because of the ways they would treat each other.

My boys were here for this Christmas and I felt they were the greatest gifts that I had ever received. I have been without my family for months now and have been missing them painfully. But my boys are very competitive and were again fighting for X-Box controllers. Fighting to be certain characters on the games we played. It got to the point where I had to leave the room because it made me so sad to see them fight so much. I wondered if I had taught them anything. I wondered if they even listened to me or I even went as far as wondering if they loved me. I wanted them to love each other and love me.

I opened up my front door a short time ago to feel the fresh air, the cold air. I looked in the corner of the door steps and found a box. I wondered if it was a belated Christmas box or maybe and early birthday box. I grabbed it and immediate began to weep. I have not stopped weeping even while writing this. You see, sometimes the world surprises you. When you think you have not made an impact on your friends or family, you are shocked. My big grumpy bear Issaiah sent me my new electronic football game that I have always wanted. It’s even the Arizona Cardinals.

When you least expect it, Love Wins!

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