When I grew up, football was not part of my life. Dad never watched it or talked about it. My brothers didn't play it in high school, because we went to a little country school that wasn't large enough to have a football team. Our community didn't even have peewee league football, because our school didn't need a "feeder" system to prepare boys for the sport when they entered high school. As far as I was concerned, it didn't exist. And then I met Ron. Ron went to school in a town large enough to have all of those things, and he loved the sport. His parents loved the sport, had season tickets at the high school, and they actually watched it on television each weekend. I honestly tried to understand the stupid game. I remember spending study hall in the library trying to research the game enough to understand it. It didn't work. Once we were married, I would find other things to do when Ron was watching "the game" on television. Unfortunately, we had sons. Luckily, only one of them (Ryan) played in high school. So, as a mother, I ended up sitting on the bleachers through many ballgames. I still didn't grasp the concept of the game and never grew to understand the fever that seems to consume true fans. Once Ryan graduated, I moved to the soccer stadium bleachers. Finally, here was a game I understood and actually enjoyed watching. All the while, Ron is next to me saying, "I hate this commy sport. Look at that arm on Scott. He would have made a great quarter back. Look at the size of Scott. He would have been great on the line." I sat there and pointed out the many obvious facts. Scott didn't like football as well as he and Ryan. Scott is a very different person than he and Ryan. AND, Scott was a little more like me than him. Now, Scott does enjoy an occasional Cowboys game, and he does back Ohio State. So I guess you could say that Scott is a blend of our points of view.
After the boys graduated from high school, Ron and I went back to our usual routine. He watches the games and yells at the TV, while I putter around in the sewing room, do yard work, bake, or read. All the while, shaking my head at the strange effect that football has on my husband.
Now, the vicious cycle has come around again. Seth is playing football. In Seth's defense, I have to say that he will readily admit that he doesn't like football as much as his Poppy, or his mother. He would rather play baseball, which, thankfully, is something I enjoy and understand. But when you live in Texas.... football is king.
Here are a few pictures I took at the game on Saturday. To show how fanatical the parents are, look closely at the following picture. Parents bring in portable awnings and set up house underneath. The younger brothers and sisters are dressed in team T-shirts or little cheerleading outfits. Older brothers and sisters come to talk to their friends about last night's high school game.... It is crazy! It is part of the small town Texas culture and ingrained in these people!
In this picture, you can see Seth's (#11) team. His coach is Terrance. Terrance was a big time high school jock who grew up, stayed in Gatesville, and is now raising a tribe of little football players. He has had Seth on his team since the boy started playing. That's him on the right in the background with the black head scarf and his hands on his hips. And those of you with sharp eyes will see Ron standing along the sidelines to the left. Yep, Ron helps coach the team.
The next picture shows the "officials" and the 2 opposing teams taking a knee. There aren't enough funds in Gatesville to actually hire trained officials, so the community volunteers to call the games. At least they are teaching some manners to the boys. They do take a knee whenever one of the players gets the wind knocked out of him.
Seth isn't fleet of foot, but he is a pretty big kiddo. He usually spends most of his time during the games pushing on the chest of 2 players from the other team. I am not even going to try to explain what position he is playing, because frankly, I don't know.
So, that is a look at Texas football; Gatesville style. Seth plays because all of his friends do, his Mommy expects it, and Poppy helps to coach the team. Now here I am again, sitting along the sidelines watching a game I really don't understand OR like. But, I love the men in my life.