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Trivia Question

Which quarterback made his record-setting NFL debut on Sept. 17, 1961, by throwing four touchdowns?

Foregoing Football

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credit: David Lee/

I grew up in a town too small to field a high school football team, and I currently live in a town too small to field a high school football team, so I am mostly unaware of the Friday night frenzy that erupts this time of year. During my teenage years, I spent Friday nights in the fall driving around with my friends, going to parties and dances, and waiting for basketball season to begin. I was oblivious to high school football. In fact, I was 27 years old before I attended my first high school football game -- and then I brought a husband and child with me!

That doesn't mean I'm not a fan of the sport. To the contrary, that first football game, which we attended with our new neighbors in a town big enough to support a team, lit a fresh fire of interest in both me and my husband (another tiny-town product who had used the fall season solely to prepare for basketball season). We learned the kids' names and the conference competitors. We learned how to dress to watch an outdoor sport in the fall in chilly Ohio (this would serve us well later on when our kids played soccer). And we bought books on the rules of the game. Sure, my husband had played tackle football in the schoolyard with his friends, and I had joined in a few backyard games with my brothers and the neighbor boys as a kid, but it seemed our rules of play back then were radically different from the way the game was supposed to be played. We usually had only five kids on a side, and sometimes resorted to using someone's shoe as the football if the one kid in the neighborhood with a real regulation football hadn't arrived yet. It was most definitely a free-for-all. But it worked for us.

This Friday night, when I watch the school buses go by as they head to a neighboring stadium and I think of those willy-nilly football games I played in my younger years, I will smile. And then I will go back into my warm house and wait for basketball season.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. What did you do on autumn Friday nights in your Good Old Days? We want to hear about it! Send a brief response to me at, and it could appear in a future update or in Good Old Days magazine!

Mary Beth Weisenburger has been with Annie's since April 2011. She has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and publishing fields. In addition to her job as editor of Good Old Days, she has been writing a family humor column for over a decade. She and her husband, two college-age kids, two dogs and various other critters live on five acres in the country, where she enjoys reading on the back porch, refinishing furniture, feeding the birds and digging in the dirt of her perennial gardens.

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Trivia Answer

Fran Tarkenton of the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings put Tarkenton in the game near the end of the first quarter. He was able to complete an impressive 17 out of 23 passes including four touchdowns during his debut performance. Tarkenton led the Vikings to a 37-13 victory over the Chicago Bears that day. He went on to have an incredible football career and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

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