We don't know each other. We have little in common but for our Oklahoma addresses. You would know nothing about me and truthfully, though I'm a graduate of The University of Oklahoma and an avid football fan, until last night, I knew very little about you. I am the mother of a 5 year old son. He has been acclimated to football since his adoption four years ago. Living in the Bible belt, it was expected that we redefine their definition of "American football", as 'football' in Ethiopia is the American equivalent to soccer. It didn't take long to make him a believer. My husband has worn black and gold as a Saints fanatic since childhood and I ate oysters at Acme once and fell in love with a city that never gives up.
So between OU Saturdays and Saints Sundays, our kids have become overrun with football. While he still loves soccer, the five year old has been asking for the last two years to play on a team. The fan in me is ready to sign him up, but the Mom in me has countless reasons to say "not yet". Safety concerns, his age and the aggressiveness of the overall sport will make me keep searching for flag football teams for several more years to come.
But there is another aspect of the game with which I struggle. As with most high profile positions and situations in life, the bad seem to dominate the headlines and unfortunately are most of what my kids see. Players and actors making news primarily for their wrong choices and not the right ones. Last night Allstate honored players at half time for their activism off the football field and last night you were rewarded for all your hard work on the field.
What struck me when it was all over and the mics were crammed in your face was not your stats, it was your humility, your grace. It was absolutely refreshing to watch. Completely reminded me of a mutual hero, Drew Brees. It made me want to hug your mama.
And while my five year old tuckered out before halftime, you can be sure next season when Sooner Nation dones your jersey because of your on field actions, there's a 5yr old in OKC who will done one because of your off field moves.
A Future Football Mama