If you'd asked me in August how I'd be spending my Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, I never would have replied "at football". I was the girl in high school who only went to football because my crush was on the team. Or because it was something to do in this rural community. In college, despite being able to have free tickets, I didn't attend a single game.
I never learned the rules. I never truly understood the point. I got as far as knowing a bunch of cheers (First and ten! Do it again!). But WHAT were they talking about? No matter how many times it was explained to me, it never sunk in.
Then the school year started. And I have three fifth graders on the same team in my classroom, including the coach's son. And I had time one Saturday. So I went. And it was FUN. And I (kinda) got it.
I've learned new things (ineligible receiver? huh?) and I'm still baffled by others (WHAT was that flag for?). But, overall? I'm enjoying football for the first time ever.
Today, T, the quarterback for his team, wasn't feeling well. I kept asking him if he wanted to go home. But he knew that would mean not playing tomorrow or being ball boy tonight at the high school. So he toughed it out. And then asked if I was coming to the high school game. And then someone else asked. So tonight? I'll be at my third high school football game in a month. I'm shocked. But, it'll be fun. And tomorrow? I'll be at the fifth grade game. Because it means something to my students that I take that time. And that relationship? Is invaluable.
So, T, G and E, thank you for teaching me to enjoy a sport I'd rejected in the past. And tomorrow? Go, fight win! Stay undefeated. We're all cheering for you!