Fall means football and headaches

22 Sep

Our family loves football. Shocker, right? Well, this love for football means that we take football very seriously. It’s not just a game, it’s a way of life. We schedule around football, both college and pro (which leaves zero time for socializing on the weekends), Davey plays football and dreams of a career in the NFL, Chris eats, sleeps, breathes and coaches football. It’s this last bit that’s causing a problem. Chris has always coached the kids. When they were 4 they were on this junior soccer team, and Chris was the coach. It was the most horrendously awful thing you’ve ever seen. Chris knows absolutely nothing about soccer and the kids were really, REALLY bad at it. To make matters worse, they were on the yellow team. So imagine this big burly guy running around in a sunshine yellow t-shirt with a bunch of 4 year olds pretending to play soccer. Most of the time they’d stop dribbling the ball to pick flowers or catch butterflies. And poor Chris would be clapping his hands and being all, good job, now run for the ball…no, leave that flower alone! The ball, get the ball! I think our record was something like 1-13. So sad. But the great thing was seeing the lengths that Chris would go to stay involved in the kids’ activities. Enter football.

This is Chris’ third year coaching David’s football team, only this year, he’s not an assistant or head coach of one of the teams, he’s running the whole youth football program for our town, so the pressure is really on him. He’s got parents confronting him all the time asking why they’re son can’t play quarterback, he’s dealing with scheduling crap, mouthy 10 year olds, plus coaching his own kid and dealing with me. Well, Sunday was their first game. They played ok, not bad, but there were some issues. So Chris spent hours retooling both the offense and defense, furiously scribbling notes and X’s and O’s in his little notebook, so he was really looking forward to practice last night. Apparently the kids were not. I guess (and this only hearing it second-hand), the kids didn’t block, they didn’t do any of what they were supposed to, and Chris was really, really angry. But of course, he can’t show the other kids that, he doesn’t yell at his team, and really tries hard to always be positive. However, as soon as he got in the car, he called me and started venting, not really remembering that it wasn’t just his son in the car, that his son is also one of his players. By the time they got home, Chris’ face was red, Davey was almost in tears, it was not pretty. Davey is having a really hard time separating dad Chris from coach Chris, and Chris is having an equally hard time separating Davey the player from Davey his son.

Eventually they talked it all out, and I think they’ll be better for tomorrow’s practice, but man, at this rate I don’t know that I’m going to keep my sanity for the season. It’s so hard to watch them struggle with all this father/son stuff (when all I’ve ever wished for them is to get to that great father/son place) and this coach/player stuff, all the while knowing that I have to stay out of it. I like to fix things, so me butting out is really hard. I think I’m going to bake the team cookies for this week’s game. Cookies solve a myriad of life’s problems. Just ask my thighs and ever-expanding ass.

One bonus though: on Sunday I was sitting by the end zone, “on the wrong side of the fence”, and someone said, I don’t think you can sit here. I said, I’m sleeping with the coach, I can sit anywhere I want.

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