Sydney & Denny

Sydney & Denny
September at the Park

Saturday, October 23, 2010

High School Football

Man it was cool.
When I was a kid I always used to go to the local high school's football games. Every Friday night, without fail. I was the type of kid who sat in the stands and watched the games instead of running all over the place and playing. I dreamt of one day being a Springport Spartan. The only thing is, we were rarely any good. In fact at one point I believe Springport had the longest active losing streak in the country! I know that while I was in elementary school the varsity team went at least three consecutive seasons with an 0-9 record. I still thought that pulling on that blue jersey would be just about the best thing ever. I would imagine myself out on that field under the lights with the crowd cheering for me and my teammates. I just knew we would be good, I'm talking state champions good. When I got to high school the recent records were not as bad, but still not very good. We had a pretty horrible coach and didn't do much for my first two years on the varsity squad, winning only one game each year. My senior year we got a new coach and a better attitude was born. We went 5-4 that year and pretty easily could have gotten to eight wins if we had caught a few breaks in a couple of games. It was like a rebirth of Springport football. But the coolest thing was, I was playing high school football! It's like a rite of passage for young men in our country. No, it's not for everyone, but for those of us who do, we know how special it is. Some of us even brag about it all the time, like the guy pictured above.
Al Bundy always bragged that "I played high school football." He basically said it is what made him tough. Now I don't know about all of that, but it was really cool for me.
What does it have to do with being a SAHD?
I've mentioned in the past that I come from a small town, and that we all pretty much knew each other. Well, one of the cooler things about being from Springport is that I played football with the same name on the front of my jersey as my dad did. And my mom's dad played as well. That's three generations and I really hope for a fourth. We don't live in that school district, but I would really like to see my son play for Springport when he gets to that age. I sat in the stands tonight with my family and watched Springport finish the first 9-0 regular season in school history, and was filled with pride. It made me really proud that a cousin of mine had her son on the team as well. I can only imagine the pride I would feel if my son played on the same field as I did. He's only two right now so we have quite a bit of time before that happens, but I think we might be on the way there. He sat in the stands with me tonight and was really interested in what was going on. He seemed to follow the action and cheer at the appropriate times, I think. He may have just been yelling because all the big people around him were yelling, but I'd like to think he already has a high football IQ. The thing is, I don't want to be one of those dads. I don't want to push my interests onto my kids. I loved playing sports as a younger person, and I love watching them now. I still try and play softball, which my kids watch me do, but it's not the same. When you're 50lbs overweight and have arthritis in your throwing shoulder and one of your hips, the level of performance slips just a little bit. But, what I don't want to do is make my kids play sports because I want them to. I would LOVE it if both of my kids were athletic and had the same passion for sports that I do. But if not, I'll still love them. I want them to choose their interests on their own. I do however want them to have passion for the things that they do. If they do choose to play sports, with some very gentle nudging on my part I'm sure, I want them to play with passion. If they choose to be drama majors, I want them to pursue it with a passion known to only them. I believe having passion is important in life. It gives us meaning.
So if in the next couple of years you read about some crazy psycho ranting dad being thrown out of a kids T-Ball game, rest assured, it is not me. Maybe. Well, it might be me, but I'm sure it's only because some other Dad started it first. I hope by then that I'll have so many loyal readers that being bailed out of jail won't be a problem at all!
Thanks again, and have a great night.
There will be no football picks this week as both of my favorite teams have byes this week. Michigan is off, as are the Detroit Lions. I know I can't pick the games involving them wrong this week as I'm pretty sure that each of them can avoid losing. It is the Lions we are talking about though so if you hear about the Lions losing this week, don't be surprised.

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