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All About Football

This week, it’s all about football. As it should be.

Super Bowl Sunday after all, boasts more than 100-million viewers. And that’s not including those who will for the first time, be able to get the game streamed-live through their computers or on their androids through Verizon’s NFL Mobile app this year. Many viewers will tune in simply to catch the commercials that are selling for upwards of $3.5 million dollars for a 30-second spot. Others will gather in front of their screens or phones, to watch Madonna during half-time, in hopes of witnessing something spectacular. Super Bowl Sunday has something for everyone.

Like baseball and apple-pie, football is a staple of Americana.

My 13-year-old son played on his first football team this past fall and admittedly, I entered the season with a fair amount of trepidation and skepticism. I had my doubts to say the least and even cried foul! on parental interference after witnessing arguments amongst parents and overhearing less-than-encouraging remarks spewed from a dad’s lips to his son’s ears from the stands during a scrimmage. And of course, there were those few pre-game injuries that left “worry” all over me. But it wasn’t about me. It was about letting go and supporting my boy’s passion. Thankfully, the drama was quickly squelched when his three coaches gathered parents and players together and put forth a team “code-of-conduct” that had the distinct air of –if you don’t like it, you can leave– attached to it. This, for the most part, put the ka-bash on future parental outbursts. These men meant business and would stand for nothing less than 100% from everyone. Parents included.

I’m okay with accountability.

As a parent you try to teach your child to take responsibility, be fair, honest and work hard to achieve their goals. For the first two weeks of practice, my boy came home bruised and swollen, dirty and tired. He endured grueling 3-hour practices everyday during the month of August and three days a week from September until the end of November. He was expected to maintain a passing grade average and had to submit school reports to his coaches for review. The integrity of his coaches gave me a new-found appreciation for the game, overall. Along with game-play-strategies, life lessons were taught and there was an in-your-face demand on each player, to show up ready to give it their all, every time.

I am also okay with placing high expectations on kids who are capable.

Knights @ Marist College against White Plains. My boy is center #22.

The emphasis was on the team and while they absolutely protected their quarterback, they also hailed the guys that ran, blocked and threw for him. Maybe this isn’t news to you all but it sure was for me. The best part is that while I had my suspicions that I was liking what this sport was doing for my son’s overall character, the real evidence surfaced in December, when the football league gave him an award for maintaining a 92% or above, average during the season and later that month at his parent/teacher conference. Students participate in their conferences at his school and after his adviser acknowledged his ability to keep-up his schoolwork while playing soccer for the school and the town, as well as Pop Warner football, simultaneously, he asked my son what he felt football did for him this season. I was pretty blown away, not to mention proud when he came out with something that closely resembled this:

When I started to play football I wanted to be the one to get the touchdown but I realized that even if my part in a play is small, if I don’t do my best to execute it, it could effect the whole team and whether or not we win. If we all do our part, we all will benefit from it because we’re a team.

Coming from the boy who proclaimed he would be playing for the NFL long before he every wore his first pair of shoulder pads, I was impressed that the importance of being a team-player was one of the values he came away with. He got it.

He’s since changed his mind and no longer wants to be an NFL player but he will always be a superstar to me.

This year I’ll watch the game with a slightly different eye, one that sees beyond the price of a 30-second commercial spot or the half-time glitz and glamor. I will actually watch the game and the players and hope to see some of the determination and heart that I saw these young boys display week after week last fall, to where their efforts propelled them into the NFC Pop Warner Conference Championship. This year, I’ll look for strategy behind the play and know that it wasn’t achieved without hard work and pain, camaraderie and trust. There’s more to it, I’ve learned, than just running a ball from one end of the field to the other.

Whether you’re a Patriots or a Giants fan, sit back and relax!

Enjoy the game and may the best team win! Whomever that may be…..

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  1. February 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Great post Karen. It gives a different perspective to the game. And it’s obvious that you are very proud of your son. And you should be.

  2. February 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Are the huge pictures of him a give-away? 🙂 Thanks so much, Karl!

  3. anita
    February 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Great post! It is good to see such beautiful pics, too.
    I managed to sleep through the first half, including Madonna…I guess I’m just not there…

  4. February 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    The game was literally in the air ’till the very last second, Anita! Thanks so much for reading, commenting and sharing on FB!

  5. February 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Karen, I’m so happy to read this post! I rooted for NY just because of YOU (and your son), and although I was watching the game in between the activities of hide-n-go-seek and various painting projects outside, I settled in for the fourth quarter and indeed enjoyed the close score and subsequent win by the Giants. And, what an amazing first season of football for your boy, too. A terrific GPA and spirit-filled attitude he has…I was also happy to read that the coaches quelled the parental naugtiness going on…good for them, good for you, and congrats NY! 🙂

    • Karen
      February 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      Woohoo & thank you so much Kasey! You are such a positive spirit in my life and I am grateful.

  6. Jim
    February 8, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Nice post Karen – I’m still suffering the loss of my Pats 😦

    • February 8, 2012 at 7:26 am

      Thanks, Jim! And sorry about the Patriots!

  7. February 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Great post, Mom. That is an amazing insight from someone still in high school on being a team player. You must have schooled him well. Lots of adults still don’t grasp that. I hope you enjoyed the Super Bowl too! I thought you might.

  8. February 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Thanks so much, Andy….yes, I was pretty proud when he communicated his thoughts on be a team player. The game was GREAT!!

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