So 2020 was a tough year for many reasons, amongst which is that we lost a part of the TWF family.
I have lightly edited what I wrote at the time and presented that below as I don’t think I can say much more save for the following paragraph.
The Wrong Football website was born in orange and black for my love of the Bengals and stayed that way until I set the colours of the site to be a prize for the winner of the picks competition. As two time and reigning picks champions when he passed, these pages were in Vikings colours and whilst the social media pages will continue to change with the picks competiton, the website will remain purple and gold for as long as it is still here.
I had already written in the 2020 pre-season of the power of sports to bring people together, and not only does it do that, but at its best it can provide a scaffolding for friendships and family. Going to the football with your dad for the first time and being enthralled by the green of the grass. The connection to your cricket loving gran and a shared bond through Test Match Special that means the TMS team are never far away from making you think of her, and tears in your eyes when England win the world cup and wishing she’d been here to see it. Taking your nephew to see the Baggies and being responsible for an excited seven-year-old on your own for the first time.
Dan and I met through music. We were the rhythm section for a Leicester band no-one remembers. Making music together is another quick way to tie people together. There’s a vulnerability when creating together that quickly forms a bond if entered into in the right spirit. We stayed in touch even after the band broke up, and a shared love of the NFL led to Super Bowls spent texting each other and so when I was setting up an NFL blog it seemed natural to ask if he would picks games with me to give this blog a structure.
Clearly it worked as we are still here!
About eighteen months after that, Dan came to me and said he fancied doing a podcast and The Wrong Football podcast was born. Early on (I’d have to go back and check to be sure, and I’m really not sure I want to listen to those early pods) Dan’s Dad sent a question to his son and in no time at all a segment was born and continued, even when the podcast went on hiatus where it transferred to my Competition Thursday posts.
To be honest, a lot of the time it felt like Dan & I taking on 3D as he became known to me (Devious Dan’s Dad) and he won not one but two picks seasons as the trivia flowed on, testing us, sometimes relenting if we were scoreless for too many weeks in a row, but never easing up for long.
Dan’s Dad wrote a great post about his own fandom, How Things Have Changed that I would suggest you read for a look into NFL fandom from a different time. I’m sure I will read it again when I can bring myself to.
I am going to miss being stumped by his trivia, and the weekly emails during the season, as well as our WhatsApp group chats. Of course, Dan is going to miss his dad and Dan’s children are not going to remember their grandad. Oh, the stories we are going to tell them, so they know some of the man.
Find someone close and give them a hug is what Dan said at the time on Twitter, and I still cannot think of better sentiment.