The Catch


I think it is bazar the way things work out, whether you believe in the randomness of life, or perhaps divine intervention. It seems to me that life is more interesting when you pay attention. At Notre Dame this morning my blocks fell side by side, as they do every three weeks, with no papers to grade, I head home before lunch. Larry, who was working from home, just finished a conference call, and decides we need to grab a bite to eat. I whole heartedly agree. He wants to pick up a part for his car, which lands us out near Stevens Creek, and Lawrence Expressway. 

Larry says, “You ever eat at By Th’ Bucket?” 

“Nope”

“You’re kidding. It’s been around forever.”

“I don’t get out much.”

I get the look…

I’m thinking to myself it sounds like a chicken place? When we arrive I am not too impressed by the dated building and distinctly 70’s decor.  I was hoping for a hip new place with raw fish, little boats, and warm sake, but I don’t have to cook, so I keep those thoughts to myself. 

We enter from the back of the restaurant and decide to grab two empty seats at the end of the bar. It is cosy, the walls are full of sports paraphernalia, and lots of big screen televisions. A man’s haven if I’ve ever seen one. There are five big screens broadcasting various sporting events, but only one has the volume up, and it’s kind of disorienting. I notice a picture posted on the wall in front of me, it has an impressive frame, so I ask Larry what’s so important about Dwight Clark reaching for a pass. 


Larry, “Are you kidding?”

“I never joke.”

“That’s a picture of The Catch.” He says it with such reverence I look around to see if maybe the Pope entered the room.

“Should I be impressed?”

“That’s only the most famous catch in the history of football,” his eyes are bulging as he speaks. “This put the 49er’s in the Super Bowl. It was epic.” He pulls out his phone and googles a clip of “The Catch,” and he makes me watch right then and there.  

I’ll admit this to you, it was exciting. I mean the Cowboys are about to take Joe down, he tosses up a Hail Mary, fifty-eight seconds left in the game, Dwight leaps into the air, a foot above all the rest of the defenders, catches that damn ball, landing smack in the end zone, touch down, and the rest is history! It was pretty major. 

“So this happened in 1982?”

“Yes it did.”

“The year you caught me?”

I get the look again… I hold up my ring finger, “you asked me to marry you in 1982.” He still doesn’t get it. “You caught me.”

“Not the same.”

Believe me it was epic. 

I went home thinking there is so much I don’t know and so many restaurants I’ve yet to discover. I have to admit By Th’ Bucket served a scrumptious lunch and the wine list was decent. I opened up a blank page to start a new blog, but I’m directionless, and the empty page seems to condemn me. 

I decide to google the title of my blog in search of inspiration, it’s a Hail Mary, but I’m desperate. At the top of the page is a scriptural reference from the book of Ezekiel. It refers to Ezekiel living (standing) in the gap, so I decide to check out the dude with the very cool name. He was a priest living in exile after Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians some 500 years before Christ was born. He was a major prophet of his time. Bet Larry has no idea! I found a Veggie Tale about Ezekiel I should make him watch. Oh how I humor myself with my thoughts. 


Ezekiel was the guy who continually pounded on the people’s conscious, dragging them back to their faith (Judaism), and shaming them for worshiping false idols. A defender for God so to speak. I wonder if Joe Montana might be considered a false idol? (I’ll just tuck that thought away) Ezekiel repeatedly warned the people to return to their faith or deal with the wrath of God. In all fairness to the people who were displaced from their country of origin, adjusting to a new culture, I have to assume adapting was far less threatening then breaking a bunch of outdated laws given to Moses by God. Let’s start with bacon…
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
Ezekiel was the guy who stood in the gap between the people and God. It was a precarious position because he pissed off a lot of people, not unlike Joe Montana, who stood in the gap between the Cowboys and the Super Bowl. He makes the pass, it was inspired, Dwight caught it with both hands, and as some would believe was destined by God. Ezekiel sent out his message, he warned people to grab it with both hands, or go down with the rest of the sinners. Without people like Ezekiel (and maybe Joe), we would lose our faith in the omniscience of God, because it takes a heart of flesh to receive the message, and both hands to pray. 




Who will be going to Disneyland this year? The Patriots or the Falcons? Leave your guess in the comments! I already know who David and Rachael Arruda are voting for! 


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