Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Time to Play Some Football!

To say I've never been a huge sports enthusiast, is to say sometimes it rains in England. I've never been one to watch every play of a game, trying to figure out all of the players on a team, and be able to intelligently argue a ref's call. Mostly, I am a crowd-follower; If everyone around me cheering for my team stands up and cheers, I do, too.

I have also never understood the appeal of grabbing a coffee at the water cooler and rehashing every excruciating detail of a game- even if my team lost. After all, that's why they keep doing the "instant replay," right?

However, recently my son began playing football. This in and of itself is quite something. This is the child who didn't want to play soccer because it was outside. Now he's wearing shoulder pads that make him so wide he hardly fits in the car.

(I often amuse myself by thinking: "I spent eleven years of his life telling him not to hit anyone and play nicely; Now I'm screaming: 'GO GET HIM! KNOCK HIM DOWN!' from the bleachers.")

Suddenly, I have a very vested interest in a sports team. Now I want to know all the players, because most of them have been at my house at one time or the other. I have become the person by whom I was most confused: a sports fan.

Not only has this given me a whole new circle of friends who join me on the bleachers every Thursday night (yes, Middle School football has a very odd schedule), but it has given me a whole new topic of conversation for people I don't even know. It has compounded my "small talk" repatoire a hundred fold.

In Tennessee, and most of the South East United States, football is revered almost so much as to be considered its own religion. I have gained entry into a large, yet very tight knit club. I am a football mom. There is a whole new impressed posture people take when they ask if my son is into any sports and I reply, "Yes, he plays football."

Next year he may decide to play soccer or tennis or join the track team, and I'm okay with that. But a part of me can't help but hope just a little that he keeps on with the football. And, from a very recent non-sport's fan, that's really saying something!

~Proud Mommy of #59

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