I believe in football. As a single mom raising three children, two sons 22, 14 and a 12-year-old daughter, there are not a lot of things we have in common or enjoy doing together anymore. Nevertheless, like a holiday, football brings this family together every Sunday. I believe football not only brings our family together, it also keeps us unified.
Football season runs from the first week of September to the Super Bowl at the end of January. How I miss the sport in between. In our normally busy, fast-paced lives, the family comes together on those Sunday afternoons during the season to enjoy our love of football. The time between waking up on those Sunday mornings, to the one o’clock game time, we refer to as ‘getting ready for the game.’ I wear my Tony Romo jersey and the kids wear one identifying their favorite player. Each of these jerseys costs a pretty penny, but I bought them without batting an eye. These add to the atmosphere, along with the nail biting, yelling at the television, high-fives, complaining, cheering, whooping and groaning – all better known as the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Not to forget, we cannot have football without football food. The once Sunday dinner has been replaced with pizza, wings, subs, chips, and dips.
The familiar voices of the commentators adds to the momentum of the game along with the roar of the crowd as the teams run onto the field and the pride we feel hearing the singing of the National Anthem song. My oldest son and I cheer for the Dallas Cowboys. My second son roots for the Packers and my daughter chooses to remain neutral. We cheer each other on unless we are playing one another, then we have dollar bets.
Last July, my son joined the United States Army. The physical endurance of the army did not bother him; he missed football. While in boot camp, my son could not watch television. It annoyed him that the Cowboys have not played so well since Troy Aikman quarterbacked and he was not able to cheer the team on with us. I kept our family game day alive by keeping him informed of our team’s progress through letters. Once boot camp ended in October of the same year, he had use of his cell phone and weekends free. I mailed him his Cowboy jersey and he watched his first game of the season. This gave our game day a new excitement to know even though he was not physically with us, his newfound game spirit and enthusiasm came through the phone.
Watching the game is exciting, almost excruciatingly so! I have created not only blood binds, but also a kinship. Even though life may take us too far away for our gatherings, as my children get older I hope the memories instilled in them last a lifetime and the family bond we created remains forever.