Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dec. 8, 1980

I feel stupid.  Here is my memory of 30 years ago yesterday, the night John Lennon was murdered:

I was 8.  The Patriots played the Dolphins in Miami that night on Monday Night Football.  It was a big game with playoff implications.  This was back when the Orange Bowl jinx -- the Patriots went 19 years without winning a game in Miami -- was still on.  My parents allowed me to stay up to watch the first quarter.  I was in bed when Lennon was shot and killed and my parents actually got me out of bed (oftentimes I had trouble sleeping as a kid; come to think if it I still do), after Howard Cosell announced, with seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots lining up for a potential game-winning field goal, that Lennon had been shot and killed.

As an 8-year-old, I barely knew who the president was.  My first thought was: "Wow, John Lennon.  I've actually heard of him."  My second thought was: "What's the score?"

Patriots kicker John Smith missed the field goal.  My parents let me stay up a little while.  The Patriots lost 16-13 in overtime; the loss eliminated them from playoff contention.

The next morning, my third-grade teacher said there was a big news story last night and could anyone explain what it was.  I raised my hand and grumbled, "Yeah, the Patriots had a chance to make the playoffs last night and they blew it."  I could tell pretty quickly that wasn't the news story she was thinking of.

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