This morning Brandi Carlile’s “Beginning to Feel the Years” came to the top of my iTunes shuffled “All Songs” playlist. I instantly knew I wanted to post the song with a few loving words about my husband Danny. So I searched for a video. In the process, I went on a little YouTube sidebar binge, watching other Brandi Carlile videos, including her Late Show with David Letterman performance of “Keep on the Sunny Side” with The Avett Brothers
It happened on a Sunday in early 1997. Because of Bergen County’s blue laws that kept most stores closed, I had driven down to Wayne, NJ, to shop for some new music. I’d been going to Willowbrook Mall and the other area shops around Wayne for as long as I could remember. As a kid, my neighbor’s mom would take her two sons, my brother, Matt, and I—with our pockets full of quarters—to the video game arcade at the mall. Years later, while I attended nearby Montclair State College, I would often go with friends to eat, shop, hangout, or sing karaoke in a basement bar of one of the restaurants (Casey O’Tooles?).
But that Sunday in 1997, I had gone by myself to The Wiz (an electronics and music store near Willowbrook, but not in the mall) to search the rows of CDs for something new. At the end of one of those rows was a special display, a rack of CDs featuring local artists. And that’s when Fountains of Wayne’s self-titled debut album caught my eye.
For the last forty years, I’ve been asked why and how I’m a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, especially being from New Jersey. I usually say the first football game I went to as a kid was a Giants/Buccaneers game. But I think I was already a fan by the time I went to that game. Truth is, the Bucs caught my eye the minute they entered the NFL in 1976, an expansion team along with the Seattle Seahawks–another team I root for.
I was eight years old when the Buccaneers completed their inaugural season with zero wins and fourteen losses. It’s when I must have developed a thing for losers and underdogs—I’m also a Mets fan. In 1977, the Bucs kept me engaged by losing the first twelve games of their second season. With twenty-six losses in a row, my devotion to them was cemented. Continue reading “A Bucs Fan For Life”