I’ll admit it, I enjoy high school football. I grew up watching high school football in Texas on Friday Nights. Friday Night Lights is a true story in just about every community across America. I never missed a home game and when I was a high school senior, I attended all ten games – home and away. B grew up much the same – except on a smaller scale and was in the marching band throughout high school. It was the same high school where her dad and her older brother played football, too. And a couple of decades later, our nephew.
Then I went to college – Texas A&M – never missed a home game and was part of the 12th Man. Never sat down as an Aggie, unless the opposing band was marching.
I played football, but I wasn’t very good. I didn’t have much talent, and didn’t work hard enough at it. I played a couple of years, but quit playing. It’s the story of my early life and it’s one of my life’s regrets – not finishing, not playing through. That’s why I admire W, my son. He’s not any more talented than me, but he’s far more persistent. He’s tenacious and he works his rear end off. It’s not just sports but scouting and school, too and just about all he does. He pushes himself to better at just about everything he does. I admire him, because I would have given up when I was his age, in fact I did.
Then adulthood set in, we went off to college, got jobs, got married, had kids, and began spending Friday nights watching the local high school – the Wheaton Warrenville South High School Tigers. At first, we took W in a stroller and then, when he could walk; we’d stand along the fence in the end zone and watch. Then O came along, same story. Time passed, W grew, and O grew, too. W played youth football for a few years and took a couple of years off in middle school to focus on scouting and run cross-country. Something I never did, I admire him. Then it was time for high school and joined the football team, and wrestled and played lacrosse – three seasons – three sports. We stayed along the fence watching until last year when we moved to the grandstand. As a sophomore, his team played at 5:00 PM Friday afternoon then the varsity would play at 7:30 – under the lights. We’d stay and watch. This year, he’s on the varsity and he’s on the team. We’ll watch we’ll be in the stands. Most juniors do not play, seniors play and juniors watch, honing their skills waiting for their senior year and their chance to play Friday night. Juniors get their chance to play the next morning. Then on Monday after school, they’ll be back practicing, working hard, focusing on getting better, stronger, and faster – waiting for the next year.
But, there is more to life than football, more to life than sports.
I admire W, he works hard, and he’s good kid. He’ll play football this year and next and then never play again. He’ll go off to school, get a job, meet a girl, and start a family. He’ll do well, I believe because he has grit – determination – tenacity – stick-to-itiveness. Playing football and the other sports, being in scouts, and school have prepared him for life giving him invaluable life skills.
This weekend Friday night was Saturday afternoon under the sun, we were the away team, the visitors. The team we played doesn’t have lights, so they play Saturday afternoon. The junior varsity will play Monday morning instead. They always play after the varsity game with those players who didn’t play for the varsity suiting up the next morning. Yesterday afternoon, the Tigers came up short 10-21. It was a tough game, but in life, you don’t win every game – it’s never too early to learn that lesson.
Last night, he and I went to watch another high school football game – a team we’ll play twice later in the season. We watched, talked, and just enjoyed being with one another. Afterwards, he took the keys, drove us home, and we stopped to grab a bite to eat. B and O joined us and we had time to reflect on the day and look ahead to today, Monday, and beyond.
There is more to life than football, more than sports.
I admire W for his tenacity and persistence.
It’s early Sunday morning, the kids are still asleep. They could sleep until noon, if we let’em.
‘em. But, we’ve got church in the park, yard work, house work, and time to spend as a family. More chores than time. There is more to life than football, more to life than sports, and certainly more to life than blogging. I’ve gotta get moving because today is gonna be a great day. I know it and I can feel it. Making the days Count, one day at a time, one memory made, one lesson learned, and time to reflect on what it all means.
Did you play a sport? What’s your favorite? What life lessons did you take from sport?
Today’s post is in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – prompt – at Word Press. The week’s prompt is “Dialogue.” This week, share two photos that talk to each other and create a dialogue. It is your turn now: for this week’s challenge, bring together two of your photos into dialogue. What do they say to each other?
Photo credits: all images in this post are by Frédéric Biver.