When I was a child, I grew up watching football. NFL football. For those who have known me for a while, you would know that when I was a child we never lived in any area for more than about 2 years. The time that I remember starting to watch NFL football, that was when he lived in Clatskanie, Oregon. There were no NFL teams in Oregon or Washington at that time, so I decided to become a fan of the Los Angeles Rams. I became a really avid Rams fan, and a couple of years later we moved and we’re living in Los Angeles, which made it quite appropriate that I was a fan of the LA Rams.
My favorite player with the Rams was the quarterback, Roman Gabriel. I didn’t know this at the time, and didn’t actually learn it until years and years later, somewhere after the year 2000 , but Roman Gabriel was Filipino, and as most of you know, I moved to the Philippines when I was 38 years old, and lived there for 20 years. Funny how things kind of come around full circle.
But what about my dad?
My dad was also an NFL fan, and I don’t know why, but his favorite team was the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers and the Rams were more or less arch enemies. The problem was, when the 49ers and the Rams were playing against each other, it seemed like about 80% of the time San Francisco would win. I was just a young kid at that time, and when the Rams lost to the 49ers, my dad would kind of tease me about it, and I would run up to my bedroom and I would just stay there crying for the rest of the day. Lol. It’s kind of funny to look back on that now.
It always seems that especially when it was a big playoff game or something like that, the 49ers would always eliminate the rams. Occasionally the Rams would win, but that was few and far between. My dad would always rub it in, and I would always be very upset about it. Oh well, what could I do?
I graduated from high school in 1980. I was still a Rams fan at that time. In fact, during my senior year, I remember that the Rams made it to the Super Bowl. I believe that was the first time since I had been a fan of the team that they advanced to the Super Bowl. They were playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As I recall, but this was a long time ago, the Rams were doing pretty good in the first half of the game, and I thought for sure they were going to win. The Rams lost their lead, and they ended up losing to the Steelers. More disappointment, but by this age I was too old to cry, I just kind of pouted for a while. Lol.
Later that year, I believe it was the day after I graduated, I left town to go to Montana. (I lived in Louisiana at the time. I was going to go to college at Montana State University.
I kind of lost most of my interest in football during the 80s. I was busy with school and other pursuits. I only lasted in Montana for about a year. I joined a fraternity in my first quarter there, and after that I didn’t do much studying, so after doing poorly for a couple of quarters, I decided I needed to get serious about school and I left Montana state university. I went back down to Louisiana and I enrolled at LSU. That was in the spring of 1981.
My enrollment was to start for the fall quarter, which I believe was at the end of August. To earn some money for school. My father was the manager at a paper mill, and I was able to get a job there at the mill. With my dad being the manager, you would think I got a good job there, but anytime that any of his kids would work at a place where he was in management, he always made sure that we got the worst jobs available. He didn’t want anybody to claim there was any favoritism. So, I worked very hard and had some very tough jobs there at the paper mill, but I heard very good money. As I could use that to go to school at LSU.
I ended up quitting school when I was coming into my fourth year. I had been offered a very good management job with a retail company that I had worked for in high school. This was a large retail chain, we had about 3,000 stores. I was working for them in Baton Rouge, and also going to school part-time, but the school part of it didn’t last that long, my work hours were very long, so I decided to leave school altogether and pursue my work.
I did very well with that company, by the time I was 22 years old, I was a manager of a 100,000 square foot discount store, the youngest manager they had in the company.
Football was only something that was in the past. I didn’t have time or interest to watch the game anymore. Somehow, though, in about 1986 or so, I started watching football again, and I was still a Rams fan.
The thing I didn’t like, though, about the NFL game at that time was that almost every season the players would go on strike. If the players didn’t go on strike, the owners would lock them out of training camp. They were just constantly labor disputes, and I decided I didn’t care to watch the game after all, so I stopped watching. In 1990, I got married to my wife, Feyma. I had no interest in watching football after that.
The 1990s and beyond
I was really enjoying having a wife, and being married, in 1991. We had our first son, then our second son in 1996. We filled out the stable with our third son in 2000. I had a lot of responsibilities, and football just wasn’t even on my mind.
The year 2000
In 2000, at the beginning of the year, we moved to the Philippines. My wife did not want to move there, although she was born and raised in the Philippines. I just felt like I wanted to have a bit of an adventure, and although she didn’t want to go, finally I can convinced her. After a lot of trying. We packed up most everything that we owned, put it on a shipping container, and move to the Philippines.
I really enjoyed my life in the Philippines, and I became quite a successful businessman there. I had a lot of businesses there, and stayed very busy. In around 2010 or so, I started thinking that I wanted to watch some football, or at least listen. I could not get American football on TV there, but I was able to stream some radio stations over the internet and listen to the games. At that point, I still didn’t care about NFL football, but I was following the LSU tigers. LSU usually had a very good team, but some years they were rebuilding.
Usually, I would listen to the games, those were on Sunday morning in the Philippines since it is a day ahead of the United States in time. I would just be working on my computer and have the game going in the background. I really enjoyed it. The last year that we lived in the Philippines, during late 2018, I started hearing about the new quarterback at LSU, Joe Burrow. It was always very exciting to listen to the games when Joe was playing. He was fantastic.
In early 2019, at my wife’s urging, we decided to move back to the United States, and we settled in Indiana. We had never said foot in Indiana before, but an online friend convinced me that this will be a good place to live. Overall, it’s been quite good, the weather can get pretty cold though, especially after living in the tropics for 20 years.
Anyway, during this time I kept listening to LSU games, and when they would be on TV that I could access, I would watch them too. That 2019 season for LSU was fantastic. They went undefeated, won the national championship, Joe won the Heisman trophy, and everything was just fantastic for LSU. I really loved watching Joe so much that I decided since he was a senior and would be drafted into the NFL, whatever team he went to that would be my team and I would follow them. He went to the worst team in the league, the Cincinnati Bengals.
In my mind, the Bengals were going to the Super Bowl the first year that Joe started, but I quickly learned that he needed some time to adjust to the NFL game. Also, Joe had a serious injury later in the season, I believe it was in game 10 that year. So the Bengals ended the season winning only three or four games, something like that. I was just disappointed. However, rumors started going around that the Bengals were going to have another high draft pick, number six, and they were going to take Ja’Marr Chase. Chase was the number one wide receiver while Joe was quarterback at LSU. Those two guys just had chemistry, and there was just something about them, they could do nothing wrong.
So it turned out to be true, the Bengals did take Chase when it was time for their pick in 2021. I was really excited and expected huge things from the Bengals. Turns out I was right, in 2021 they went to the Super Bowl, although they lost the Super Bowl game to the Los Angeles Rams. Ironic that the Rams was my team while I was growing up, now I was a Bengals fan, and the Rams beat the Bengals. Lol
However, I still kept on following Joe, I just loved the guy so much, I feel he was very smart, and I enjoyed watching his game. His game. I still do.
Now it is 2023 and I am still a Bengals fan. It’s the off-season now, but I follow things like player issues, trades, the coming draft and such. I really enjoy being involved with watching the Bengals and especially following Joe and Ja’Marr, my schoolmates from LSU.
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