Sunday, October 17, 2010

Life of a football mom

Sports are one of those things that brings out the best of parents and as every parent knows... the worst...  Every child is "going to be" the next Derek Jeter, Bret Favre, Michael Jordon, Tiger Woods, Vincent Lecavlier or any other sports hero... The funny thing that always amazes me is the real numbers. How many high schools are there, that feed into how many ACTUAL college full ride scholarships, that lead into how many professional careers? Truth is little Timmy MIGHT have what it takes, but for how long? Until that big blow of reality comes and take him out of the game and he has to use what he learned in SCHOOL to get him by... Oh wait... he thought all along he would get by on gym shoes... BIG mistake! Too often I see parents at Little League fields with LITTLE kids pinning their hopes on the fact that their child will make it big. Now don't get me wrong, my kids know they open a letter from ANY college- YES YOU READ IT HERE- saying they have a FULL ride to play sports, I will wear the clothes with pride (including OSU) HA! But that comes with the idea of an EDUCATION, and my children have had it ingrained in them that at the end of "college" if all they have walked away with is a piece of paper that says they know how to get to the cafeteria, and they know how to drink beer, they have LOST! Leaving early to pick up a million dollars sounds great, but how long does that really last these days? Lottery winners can tell you that! The point is, as parents I strongly believe that it is OUR responsibility: To have our children in sports to teach children that losing happens. That other kids can be better than you. You can be better than other kids. You can win a game with the weakest players. Your weakest players define your teams, and when they grow, your team grows. Parents actions and their sportsmanship carriers on to children.
At times I wish I grew up when my grandparents did, the clothes were modest (I prefer shorts when I'm hot) but people had respect and NO ONE "sucked". Never did you hear a MOTHER talk about a child bringing down the team, just unheard of, instead, they would have the stronger players would bring him under their wing. Respect, values. Something Joe Paternio has taught his "unnamed" players at Penn State his whole coaching career. Teams include players, a group of people coming together for a single purpose. His efforts of teaching the ideas of rooting out the "show-boat" I applaud!
So as a mother of three children who wish to be many things other than sports heroes, but hope to gain that knowledge through academic and sports scholarships I still and think where do we go from here. Last night I watched my son play another football game, playing only on kick off, and kick return, then in the 4th quarter a shimmer he played 4 "downs" at defensive end. This is a league where every one pays the same amount to play. THEN the league adds to it with continues requests for fund-raising. We have participated in everything, and he attends every practice giving it his all. While others don't show up for fund raising and treat practing like is multiple choice. Yet he sits, with no explanation, and they start, play both ways and play most of the game. Having spoken to his coach who seemed "unaware" he was sitting and would "look into it" I find myself just further annoyed and eager to end the season and move on to high school. As the team won 39-0 I thought to myself- I really hate that they won, because as life of a football mom means that we might make playoffs with that win! DAMN! I really don't want to watch more games with him on the bench... I am just glad I can make my changes to softball because, like I said... if PARENTS don't do something... it will only get worse... TAKE A STAND!!!