Thursday, October 8, 2009

The greatest game ever played

Saturday I get to watch the greatest game ever played in recreation league football. And trust me, I’ll be watching - every play, every tackle, every touchdown, every field goal. Do eight-year-olds get to kick field goals?

I’m going to learn a lot about the sport this weekend. I’ve always enjoyed football – dressing up for the games, planning the tailgate menu, inviting friends over on game day to gather in front of the big screen TV – I just don’t care much for watching it. In fact, I wrote a blog about my feelings on the subject here.

But this year, things are different. My boy is out there for the first time. He has worked so hard. The first time he practiced with pads he refused to take a shower until I got home because he wanted me to see, feel and smell (Well, that one came with the first two) how sweaty he was.

“Sometimes, you just have to eat dirt, mama,” he said, profoundly, one night as I tucked him into bed after practice.

The other day he came home and announced excitedly, “I’m going to be a full back - F-U-L-L back.”

“F-U-L-L back as opposed to?” I asked, confused.

“F-U-L-L back, not F-O-O-L back,” he said, seriously.

“Oh, baby, I’m so proud,” I said, as I wondered, Which poor kid got chosen to be the fool back?

His coach, an old timer with lots of experience, encourages the boys, including his grandson, to do well on and off the field. My son takes that very seriously, too, which makes me ever prouder. He’s gotten the prize for best effort at practice twice, and his teachers praise his work ethic and character often.

God, I love football! As long as he doesn't get hurt, that is.

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