The View from Here

Sometimes, we need a broader view of our world in order to see the big picture. Sometimes, it’s only then that we can understand what life is all about, what we value and what we cherish. Our view is dependent on our perspective, and our perspective changes depending on our view.

If you would have asked me twenty-five years ago, I would never have believed that I would be a football mom. Yet, here I am. And my view from here is very different than I would have expected it to be.

My football journey all started when I met my college sweetheart, a defensive tackle for Baldwin-Wallace University. I soon became his biggest fan, spending every autumn Saturday afternoon sitting in the bleachers at one stadium or another, trying to focus on the defense and not where the quarterback was throwing the ball (because he always asked me if I saw this tackle or that one).

My football journey can be traced back to those early years when I wore Mike’s jersey and cheered for number sixty-eight in the Yellow Jacket uniform. And now, this year, for the first time, I am a football mom, and it feels oh so familiar to me.

But the view from here is very different than I would have expected it to be

Colin will be taking the field this week for the first time in a football uniform on the Dalton 7th grade team, and I am excited to see him play. Not because I want to see big plays, huge tackles and victories, though those are all exciting. What I am looking forward to the most is seeing how his character develops, how he grows up and matures through playing the game.

Football is a tough game. There is the physical game, the hitting, tackling, conditioning and strength. There are sore muscles, bruises and aches and pains, and yet, you finish the game anyway because your team is depending on you. There is the exhaustion after practice and the commitment to seeing the season through to the end even if you lose most of your games.

And there is the mental game. Being pushed beyond your capabilities and showing more resolve than you thought you had. Knowing the plays, the adjustment, and learning to trust your instinct.

And there is the team. Football players are members of a team. Teams must work together to accomplish great things. No one player wins a game. No one player makes a touchdown. Each and every player has a part in that team, and successful players learn to depend on each other, and not let each other down.

I would love for Colin to make some great tackles, experience many wins and few losses. I would love to see him make it through the season injury free and enjoy the team celebrations after touchdowns and great plays.

But the view from here is very different than the view I had twenty years ago when I cheered Mike on at B-W.

Wins and losses are important but not the most important aspect of the game. I hope Colin learns that hard work pays off, that character counts and pain is only temporary. I hope Colin learns about honesty, integrity and teamwork. And if he also learns how to tackle, that’s a bonus.

Let’s face it-victories will fade, trophies gather dust. But what lasts a lifetime is who we become through the game, whatever the sport may be.

Football has been a part of my life for over twenty years, but now I am a football mom, and the view from here has changed. I guess that’s life in the bleachers.

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Posted by Trish Berg 1:17 PM  


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