Chris Lorenzo settled back on
the couch, remote control in hand and St. Louis Rams cap firmly
on his head. "Hey, Sammy, come on, the game's about to start,"
he called out to his wife. "You don't want to miss the
kickoff, do you?"
Rita emerged from the kitchen
with her hands full of snacks and drinks and the Tennessee Titans
logo on her sweatshirt in plain sight where Chris could see it
clearly. She sat down next to him, placed the drinks and snacks
on the coffee table, and playfully elbowed him in the ribs.
"I still can't believe you're really going to pull for St.
Chris snickered. "Gimme a
break, Sam, the Rams were in L.A. when I was growing up and I got
to see them play a few times when I'd go out to visit my mom.
They're my team!" "They're in St. Louis now, Sam.
Playing against the Tennessee Titans, the team from the South! I
have to support the Southern team." "The team that beat
Jacksonville three times," he reminded her.
Rita frowned at him slightly.
"Since when have you cared about the Jaguars? Last I heard,
you were all excited because 'your' Miami Dolphins beat up on
Tennessee. Will you make up your mind who your team is?"
Chris snickered again and
tickled her, paying her back for the earlier poke in the ribs.
Their dear friend Betty was keeping three-and-a-half-year-old
Katie for the night, giving Chris and Rita a rare evening at home
alone. They had decided to spend it watching the Super Bowl, and
neither had let up on teasing the other ever since they had
discovered that they were on opposite sides in this game.
Rita caught the teasing look
Chris shot her and knew he was up to something, but she was
having so much fun cutting up and playing, she honestly didn't
care. "Chris? What are you up to now, Sam?"
Chris faked an innocent stare.
"What? What do you mean? Why do you think I'm up to
"You always are when you
look at me like that."
"I was just thinking,
since we have differing interests in this game...."
"Yes. Go on," she
"Maybe we should make a
little wager on it." His grin grew more devilish with each
"Christopher Lorenzo! You'd
better be glad Katie's with Betty! I don't want you teaching her
to gamble at her age!"
"Ha! No money involved,
Sam, I promise. I was just thinking...." Rita squirmed,
knowing how he loved to keep her in suspense.
"Out with it, Sam,
whatever you have up your sleeve!"
"Hmm, let's say if St.
Louis wins, you have to do whatever I want for the rest of the
"Interesting. And if
Tennessee wins, which they will?"
"Ha! Well, on the slim,
and I do mean very slim, chance that the Titans pull off another
Music City Miracle in Atlanta, I'll do whatever you want for the
rest of the night. But the Rams are going to win, so you don't
have to worry about that."
Rita couldn't help laughing.
She shoved him playfully. "Okay, Sam, you're on!"
Holding out her hand tentatively, she asked, "Shall we shake
Chris grabbed her and pulled
her across his lap. "Why on earth would I shake your hand
when I can kiss you?" Her laughter was muffled in his kiss.
They watched Faith Hill sing
the National Anthem before the game began. St. Louis won the coin
toss, which Chris had to rub in Rita's face. The opening kickoff
got the game underway, and they soon became caught up in the
action on the field in the Georgia Dome. When St. Louis scored
three field goals, Chris had to tease Rita about Tennessee being
down 9-0, but Rita in turn pointed out that the Titans had kept
the Rams from scoring a touchdown on several occasions.
"We've got a killer
defense," she insisted.
"The defense doesn't put
points on the board," Chris countered.
Rita just smiled. She was used
to seeing Chris get excited about sports, but she had to admit
that she was surprised at herself. She was just as into the game
as he was and just as sure that the Titans were going to win as
he was about the Rams. Eventually the score was tied 16-16, and
Rita was hopeful that her Titans were actually going to pull off
a victory. But then St. Louis scored another touchdown, and time
was running out. The 23-16 score on the board made her a bit
Chris looked at Rita sitting on
the edge of her seat and noticed for the first time how seriously
into the game she was. "Throw it, Steve!" he heard her
yell to Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair. She really wants
Tennessee to win, he realized. He was having fun kidding her, and
of course he wanted the Rams to win, but for the moment, he was
just enjoying watching Rita. He had never known her to take a
sporting event so seriously, but for some reason, she seemed to
have caught Titans fever. It was nothing more than a silly old
ballgame, as Rita would say, but Chris found himself suddenly
wishing for a Titans victory after all if it would make Rita
Then it was down to the last
six seconds of the game, with the score still 23-16. Tennessee
was close to scoring, and both Chris and Rita were on the edge of
their seats. The Titans fell one yard short of another miracle,
and the St. Louis Rams were the winners of Super Bowl XXXIV.
Chris could tell Rita was trying hard not to show her
disappointment. She really got into that game, he thought to
himself. "Chin up, Sammy," he teased lightly.
She smiled back at him. "You
won the bet."
"So I did." The
devilish grin returned. "Lie down," he instructed,
patting his lap, indicating that she was to put her feet there.
She complied and he began to rub her feet.
"Oh, Chris, that feels so
good! I thought you were supposed to be getting what you want,
not me." Her voice gradually slowed to a murmur as his
massage relaxed her.
Chris didn't answer, but
thought to himself that he was getting exactly what he wanted; he
was making Rita smile. Later, he rubbed her shoulders, making
sure he relaxed her without putting her to sleep. "You're
not getting sleepy, are you, Sam?"
"Hm-mm, no way. Not with
you doing that." Her eyes flew open, suddenly realizing what
he was up to. Laughing, she turned her head around to face him.
"You've known exactly what you've been doing all along!"
she accused. "You know just how to turn me into putty in
___Chris smiled back at her.
"Maybe I do," he admitted, "but I've been enjoying
watching you relax. I knew you were disappointed when the Titans
lost, and I don't like for you to be down. This was just a little
pick-me-up for my Sam."
Rita hugged him. "Chris,
you are so sweet! Sure, I was disappointed, but it's only a game,
and I had fun watching it with you! I'll admit I'm not too happy
with the outcome of the Super Bowl, but I'm very, very happy with
my Super Sam!"
"And I'm happy with mine!"
Author's note: Okay, I'll admit
I got a bit silly and sappy with this one, but just call it my
way of dealing with seeing Tennessee lose yesterday! Like Rita in
this story, I don't normally get into sporting events that much,
but Titans fever had caught me, too, and I was all pumped up
watching my home town team play in the Super Bowl! Okay, you know
the drill: Chris and Rita do not belong to me; they are the
property of Stu Segall and SJC. Their daughter Katie and their
friend Betty (Holly's mother, who also appeared in "On The
Side Of Angels") are mine, however, as is Rita's "Throw
it, Steve!" line (something I came out with a few times
myself yesterday). The Tennessee Titans belong to Bud Adams (suddenly
a very popular guy here in Nashville!) and the St. Louis Rams
belong to Georgia Frontiere. Paula Pow - January 31, 2000
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