01/09/2012 02:47 pm ET

How Football Saved My Relationship With Dad

As a kid I watched football with my dad, an inveterate Texan and incorrigible Oilers fan. I collected football cards and put them in a wicker knitting basket that said on the front in needlepoint, "Enough is better than too much." Ignoring this, I crammed it with cards for players I hardly knew, teams I had no particular interest in; I collected to collect. I would sit with my father in our basement, the ironing board behind us, our feet up on a coffee table, and organize my football cards by team or position or color while this game I hardly understood unspooled on the screen, yelling when my father yelled, cheering when he cheered.

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