The Gospel Truth

My Dad’s Dad | June 8, 2010


Tyler and I have something else going for us.  We have John Madden.

If you have been paying attention to this blog, you will realize that I am a realist.

My reaction to a glass being half-full or empty depends solely on whether or not I am thirsty at that particular moment.

I was never good at video games when my boys were young.

The games then by comparison were primitive.  I remember losing to Matthew in a NBA basketball game by the score of 83-3.  I think he was four-years old.

The kid showed me no mercy.  Kids can be very mean that way.

Well I never played those kind of games with them very much after that.

For those who don’t like sports, John Madden is the grandfatherly, sometimes verbally inarticulate former football coach, who was probably the best analyst in all of sports.

Over 20 years ago, he helped develop an electronic football game that is fast becoming more realistic than any other game on the market.

It is perfect for the armchair athlete who thinks if only…he could have been the quarterback to lead New Orleans to the promised land last February.

My nephew David was the first to introduce me to Madden several years ago before the game by today’s standards seemed to duplicate the real thing.

The first time I tried to play it solo against the computer, I thought it was easy because I was winning 50-0.  Dave hated to tell me that it was the computer that had the 50 points.

Years later Tyler had an XBOX version of the game and we would play..or I would try to play. He scored virtually every time he got the ball and I am as helpless as I was when I was playing in the NBA with Matt 30 years ago.

Bonding with XBOX

Then something happened.  His mother got me my own Madden 5, made for Nintendo for Christmas so I could practice at home.

Well I started feeling my oats and actually learned to do a few run and throw the ball!

When I  was ready I tried to test myself against Tyler and I felt good if I could prevent him from scoring 100 points.

Then one day, it happened.  I actually beat him.  By three points I think.

What a way to bond with your only grandson!

I think this was very important for me.  I don’t do any of the standard grandfatherly things, like hunt, fish, play golf or run wild in the woods.

Let others have the fantasy games.  Tyler and I have Madden.

Well that year we must have played 30 games and I actually won three of them.  I mean I went 3-27 and I am as proud as if I had run in the Kentucky Derby and run the horses off the track.

After one of my three victories, Tyler says to me: Daddy B: You Can Really Play This Game!

Those precious few words ran through my mind as the most beautiful words another human being…especially a grandson can ever say to his grandfather.

It was as if he was saying to everyone That’s My Dad’s Dad!

Now I really believe those who say praise can go a long way.

Well needless to say I went back to practice on my Madden IX.  Gone was the Nintendo.  I now was the proud owner of an X-Box 360!

An expert even then, Tyler was just four-years old when he recommended about X-Box.

I practiced every day and beat all the teams in the NFL–I have to confess I cannot play All-Pro but play merely Pro which is the third or fourth level.

I always play the Giants as my team and with Eli Manning and wide-out Plaxico Burress.  No one could stop my long bombs to the end zone–that was before Plaxico shot himself in the leg in real life–albeit accidentally and wound up going to prison for illegal possession of a firearm.

That’s Mayor Bloomberg for you!

I guess if he ever comes back, he will run with a limp–such is the realism of Madden.

With my new XBOX I must have played 35 games by myself.  It got so where I felt I was invincible!

I even started regularly beating the son who skunked me 83-3 over 30 years ago.  Ah revenge your name is Madden!

Tyler and I have had some memorable games. We must have played 26 times and I won 11 of them.  That means I almost broke even with the Madden Master.

If there were a black belt for Madden,Tyler would have three of them.  He plays all kinds of adults on-line and beats them handily.

He told me before this year he was 200-6 with half those losses with me.

I beat him 11xs!   He was not happy about some of them–actually he didn’t like to lose at all!

On Easter Sunday of 2009 I beat him 26-0. Tyler just dropped the remote control, and left the run, shaking his head and mumbling something like…but I’m his little grandson…!

I had one requirement–he could not play teams that have explosive running backs.  Anytime he had someone like Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, I could never stop him–he scored every time he touched the ball.

One time I let him play me with Minnesota and it was 55-0 with just over a minute to go.  Ty kicks off to me. He did an on-side kick, which I was not prepared for and got the ball back.  Needless to say, i was not amused as he made it 63-0.

I told him that I wanted to teach him a new word.  The word was defenestration, which I defined as bodily throwing your grandson out of your second story window. And I was willing to demonstrate it for him.

Now we always play with a window open.  Just as a reminder!

Well for my birthday in 2009 I got Madden X but I’ll save that story for another day.

Look for Part III Next Week!



  1. What every “Grampa” knows. “the ecstasy of Victory and the Pain of defeat” by a worthy challenger

    Comment by Jim Vondras — June 8, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

  2. I am ready to get off the world of electronics.

    Comment by Mary B — June 8, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  3. A great follow-up, Bill. I am really enjoying this human interest story. I look forward to #3.

    Comment by Mary Wainscott — June 8, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at







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