It's the end of August and football season starts this week. Tonight I'm going to watch the Dallas Cowboys play against the Minnesota Vikings in the Minneapolis Metrodome with my friend, Mark. He managed to obtain an available seat from among the block of season tickets he and his friends get every year. It's great for me because the Cowboys have always been my team, but it's been years since I was able to see them live.
Growing up on and around military installations I never had a home team to root for. My grandparents lived in Idaho and North Dakota – no home teams there. But I loved watching football because I loved playing football. Unfortunately I wasn't any good at the sport, basketball and track were more to my talents. I still loved football and I didn't have a team to root for . . . until . . .
We were on Guam – Anderson Air Base, and I was in elementary school, third or fourth grade. We went to church all the time, at a branch building that had just been built right outside the base fence. I wasn't allowed to watch any television except shows my father specifically approved. I wasn't allowed to read any books that weren't assigned in school or obtained through the church. I didn't really have any free time because as I said, I was always in school or church – we were undergoing a really heavy immersion of Mormon at that time. The only exception to this (lack of) entertainment schedule was the USO sponsored shows.
The USO puts on all kinds of entertainment for military members and for their families all over the world – not just in war zones. The shows were filled with music and comedy, some of the performers were well-known, but most of them were B-list talent – musicians, jugglers, comedians, magicians, etc. I liked the shows because they were well done and because they had nothing to do with religion.