“Don’t Let It Become Ordinary!”

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 7, 2013 #418   Coming up next…”Don’t let it become ordinary”!

After further review…As we launched into Robert Burns’ venerable intro “Should auld acquaintance be forgot…?”on New Year’s Eve, I recalled a preacher saying, “Don’t let it become ordinary”. He was referring to his church that had become a place of worship only after many had come together and devoted tireless hours to planning and fundraising. That church is now old enough to seem like it was there from the beginning of time.

 “Don’t let it become ordinary” is essentially the theme of “Auld Lang Syne”, which is about love and friendship in times past. So as we begin a new year, this writer is grateful to each of you who read these columns.

January 1st is a day of football for many. It was for me as I watched Stanford defeat Wisconsin in the “Granddaddy of Them All”– the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. I am fortunate to call the Rose Bowl a second-home, since I grew-up just four miles away in the small town of San Gabriel with those majestic mountains literally in my backyard.

My first recollection of the Rose Bowl was when I was about six and accompanied my dad there to a football game he was about to officiate.  As we passed through the outside gate my dad pointed to me, struggling to carry his bag of officiating gear, and said to the attendant, “He’s my assistant”.  Many times I had that pleasure.

During one game, when I was about 9, my dad said, “Now, watch this halfback, he’s really good”.  That player was Jackie Robinson, then about 19, playing for Pasadena Junior College. Other Rose Bowl highlights for me were watching my dad officiate both the 1945 and 1947 Rose Bowl games played, of course, on January 1st.

When I attended Occidental College I was fortunate to play for the Tigers in the Rose Bowl. After college, I officiated high school championship games there, and refereed the Junior Rose Bowl (the national junior college championship game) three times. When the NFL decided to hold Super Bowl XI (1977) in the Rose Bowl, I was fortunate enough to be selected as the referee, 30 years later– to the month– after dad had refereed that 1947 Rose Bowl game. Whenever I drive by the Rose Bowl or see it on TV, it will never be ordinary!

Will you treat your life experiences as more than just ordinary?

To contact Jim go to www.jimtunney.com or email him at jim@jimtunney.com.


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