49—“Red Right 49 on 2”
And, then each man does his job, calculating his opponent and responding---tight ends pushing a linebacker, right tackle slamming a defensive end, offensive guards arcing behind the line of scrimmage and to the right sideline, and Jim Taylor running to daylight.
David Maraniss, writes in his book.
I’ve seen Eric Simonson’s play three times, but lived with the phrase, “freedom within discipline” for more than a decade; since my parents first moved to Green Bay and traveled to Italy’s Vietri di Potenza in search of Lombardi’s history.
Whenever my father writes a biography, there’s usually one characteristic of the subject that hits me with particular force. I was in college at the time of his book on Bill Clinton, and you better believe my obsessively organized outlines of class lectures were inspired by some line I read about the forty-second president’s study habits.
Freedom within discipline is not that far off from a phrase I’d heard, mostly in theatre classes, where those of us not born with raw genius were taught that understanding a framework, knowing the craft, having a system, allows for spontaneity and creativity. Repetition, discipline. Then freedom.
And, maybe the same can be said in motherhood.
Something moved me when the December issue of Martha Stewart’s Living arrived in my mail. There was Martha, dressed in silver, and inside, there was the headline—one cookie recipe, thirty variations.
I was a fast convert, Xeroxing the recipe and sharing it with friends, talking it up at the library, in the parking lot of my daughter’s school, to anyone who would listen.
The simplicity. The beauty. The brilliance of the idea. Something to bring efficient order to the chaos of the season.
The chaos of life.
I baked. One dozen. Two dozen. Four dozen. Seventeen Dozen. The kids could watch, but this was my project. I spent most of a day standing in the kitchen, holiday music coming from a radio, calling out plays to my husband and kids, “time for breakfast, time for lunch, someone needs to walk the dog.”
My basic vanilla recipe was tweaked to become lemon. Later, chocolate balls. Still later, spice. Half the lemon got dipped in glaze, and were reborn into beautiful stars.
The kitchen was filled with measuring cups and pans, cooling cookies and tissue paper filled boxes. But, it was not chaos. I had one recipe. One basic pattern with eggs, butter, sugar, and flour. From there, there were possibilities. It was not overwhelming, it was simple.
This Christmas night, while my husband assembles a train table and my mother makes hot chocolate for my girls, I will be riding a New Jersey Transit with my father to see the 8 o’clock show of LOMBARDI, one more time.
I’ll get chills when the lights dim, and the projection of the Packers power sweep takes over the theater. But, there’s another moment in the play that usually gets a laugh, but strikes me as equally significant.
What does Lombardi do at night when he’s not watching footage? What does he do to relax?
He reads cookbooks.
There’s nothing like reading a recipe for a nice “glazed ham,” is there?
|With Dad in front of the theater, Circle in the Square.|