1. When you see him watching TV, casually ask if you can switch the channel to ESPN Classic. They’re showing the 1968 Super Bowl today. He loves the 1968 Super Bowl, almost as much as you love the luxurious silk robe he often wears to breakfast. It cascades down his frail frame like a velvet waterfall.
  2. As you’re watching, say something like “I miss when they played football the right way: fundamentally-sound and for the love of the game.” Drive this point home by gripping his silk-clad shoulder. The sensation overwhelms you. Excuse yourself for a moment.
  3. Bring up how football nowadays is all “flash” and “razzle-dazzle,” and how you wish you could go back to the days before player safety was a concern. Say something about how concussions didn’t exist before the 2000s (Thanks Obama). He enjoys this sentiment. You can practically feel the opulent robe on your shoulders.
  4. Wait for him to bring up a story of how he was good friends with a dead, white football player. Tell him that you met Dick “Night Train” Lane (you didn’t). His body quivers with excitement under the semi-translucent garment. You have him in the palm of your hand.
  5. Comment on how you wish you could have seen Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch in his prime. Your grandfather will offer to show you some classic Crazy Legs games, courtesy of a stack of old VHS tapes kept by his bedside. You now have a ‘Weekend with Grandpa’ planned. The finest robe in all the land is as good as yours.


— S. Kupchaunis