"Sweeter" is my mother. She lives in West Monroe. She loves Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, the NFL quarterbacks of the Colts and Giants, respectively. If Peyton and Eli and me were drowning and Sweeter could save only one, she would have to think for a minute before springing into action.
Then she would save Eli. "He's the baby," is what she always says.
My mother does not miss a football game that either of these two play in. Not if she can possibly help it. So this weekend was football heaven for her. Eli beats the Cowboys late Sunday night, and she watched every snap. "Stayed up past 11," she told me Monday, when I ate a supper sandwich with her.
She was, at the time, in her pregame prep for Monday Night Football, Peyton vs. The Miami Dolphins. (It's never "The Colts" or "The Giants" verses anybody. It's "Peyton verses the Dolphins" or "I think Eli plays at Chicago this week," like that.)
She was in her pregame warmups a little after 6 Monday night, just before I left. She pulled out one of her secret weapons. It's a half-lifesized poster of Peyton, setting up in the pocket. Nea gave it to her last year, and during Colts games it hangs perfectly, like a work of art, from a big armoire in the den. Sweeter hung the poster. In the back bedroom was the Official NFL Peyton Manning jersey Don gave her; it, too, is an essential.
"Now I'm going to take a bath, put on my housecoat, put on my jersey over that, then come back in here and we're gonna play some ball." That's what she told me right before I left. I cannot tell you how happy this made me.
Peyton 27, Dolphins 23. She watched it all.