Let me start off by saying I am not a football fan. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the sport, I just don’t get it.
For years, I would try to get into the game but was told I asked too many questions by everyone that was nearby. My football knowledge is pretty much nonexistent. It’s so bad that I once sent an email out to about 100 co-workers asking them if they wanted to bid on Browns tickets against the Cincinnati Redskins. Yep, I’m pretty much clueless but I’ve been okay with it.
Until last year.
Imagine my nervousness and shock when my then-9-year-old, who has as much sports coordination as I do football knowledge, tells me he is going to sign up for tackle football through his school.
What?! Breathe, Dana, BREATHE! Oh, I had to sit down and think. What could I do to prevent this? Yes, instill fear – that always works!
And it did! I told my son that chances are he’d get hurt and did he want to end up in the hospital?
Now, I know what you’re thinking – bad mom! After talking with my husband and other school football coaches, I completely agree with you. Even though I was nauseous just thinking about my poor little baby out there getting hurt, I had to let go and let him learn.
During practices, I closed my eyes. There was no way I could watch. Most of the moms understood my nervousness and tried to comfort me, but when you see these kids sprain their ankles, dislocate their fingers and yes, get a minor concussion you begin to freak out.
Top that off with an obsessive-compulsive disorder and the need to have all clothes spotless. Well, let’s just say that washing the uniforms to get out the mud and dirt became a daily ritual at my house. I think I alone kept Clorox bleach in business during those fall months!
The first game of the season finally came upon us. I couldn’t breathe. How do these moms let their boys do this, I thought? I seriously thought of just sitting in the car and praying for the full hour of the game, but I wanted to support my son so I stayed on the sidelines.
The referee blew the whistle. The two teams got in their stance. On one, two, three . . . GO!
Did you ever go to a game and see that one person screaming at the top of their lungs, running back and forth to make sure they didn’t miss any of the action? Guess who that was? ME!
Oh, what a rush! It was so great to watch my son tackle these boys that were twice his size! I couldn’t wait for the next game, and the next and the next! The season ended with my son’s team being the champions for his division. I couldn’t have been prouder!
It’s been a year now and my son has been to a few football camps and is now playing once again for the SJJ Vikingsin Strongsville. I’m not nervous anymore when he gets hit and, thanks to his explanations of the game, I actually am starting to understand football!
I even watched my first Browns game in years and caught myself screaming at the television. I still get confused and have questions – like why do they wear white pants when they know it’s muddy? – but I’ve learned to keep these questions to myself! Now GO VIKINGS!