“One thing I have learned about interviewing people is that an interview often turns out to be about something other than, or greater than, what the producer and I thought it would be about.
This particular interview promised to be about football and heroism but turned out to be about fathers and daughters. As a father of two daughters, both of whom possess talents far beyond my own, I am still delighted to hear Y.A. Tittle, the great New York Giants quarterback of my youth, and his daughter Dianne Tittle de Laet.
She is a charming aesthete and classicist, a harpist and poet who saw in her father heroics worthy of the ancient epics. The two of them reminded me that (a) children assimilate the gifts of their parents in unusual ways and (b) some people play football for money so that their kids can play the harp for personal fulfillment…
I would say, out of my entire childhood, that is the one thing I remember more than anything, in particular the last 10 minutes or so of the game when my father threw an interception. That game stands out in my mind as sort of perplexing, a riddle as Perseus was for me when I found him in the book. That’s why I chose to make this game the subject of my victory ode in a sense.
I feel that, at least for me, there was a victory that was shared by my father and maybe me, too, because I think he did show his excellence that day, even though it was the worst day of his career.
I came away from that game with something that I needed to keep in mind as I continue to grow and explore my own art, and go and run down the field with my own ball, so to speak.”
NPR Interview: “A Football Giant and His Hero-Worshipping Daughter” by ROBERT SIEGEL September 19, 2006