Football is BACK!
School is back and so is FOOTBALL! We have enjoyed some amazing time traveling as a family and adjusting to life with three little ones but it is finally time for football season to begin. My husband is starting his eighth year in the NFL and this time of year has always been a special time for us as he gets to live out his dream. We started dating in 10th grade and from the very beginning of our relationship, I have always felt like this would be his career because I could always see the passion. He also only had one answer when my mom and I would ask him what he wanted to do. I was not the biggest football fan but I knew that the chances of a high school player making it in the NFL were slim at best. When he said he wanted to be a professional football player I thought, “boy I hope he makes it because if he doesn’t, he’s going to be one depressed person.”
Since we went to different high schools, I was only able to make one game of his and didn’t even get to see him play since he was injured before I got there two quarters late and was taken out of the game. It wasn’t until he started playing at LSU that I got to see him play. Even after a Super Bowl and hundreds of NFL games, there is nothing like a game in Baton Rouge. The energy of the crowd and the cheers that are special to the Tiger Stadium make it an experience I will never forget.
Our first game in St Louis was definitely an adjustment. When Michael was at LSU, they were on a winning streak and the Rams were not when we got there. Fans in St. Louis were not as enthusiastic and the team was not doing well. The losing streak took a toll on his football confidence but I’m so proud of the way he didn’t let deter him.
This week, I was started my standard routine. I wash clothes and pre-pack his bag because if the game is home or away, they still have to stay in the team hotel the night before the game. The morning of the game, I make sure I text him an inspirational text to motivate him and assure him that God has him here for a purpose. I also try to include some scriptures to make sure he’s focused. When I think back on this tradition, I can’t believe that I started doing this back in college! I used to write a hand-written letter, make sure it was colorful and tuck it in his bag so he found it as he was getting ready. Two years ago, however, I decided to preserve trees and just make sure I text him.
After my text, I try to get myself mentally prepared with my devotional and worship music. When we first moved to St. Louis, I only had to get myself ready for games but now it is very hectic and takes a little more effort to get the stadium.
I try to make sure the kids get a good breakfast and pack their bags have of everything they will need for the game including a change of clothes and snacks. When I start to get the kids ready, I start with MaKaela, then Makhi and end with Makael. As any mom will tell you, you want to try to prevent as many accidents as you can. I always get myself done last but between cooking, packing, dressing and driving, it can take us 4 hours to get to the stadium but it is worth it! Seeing Michael do what he loves always makes me feel proud.
You would think that my kids, since they have raised their whole lives around football, would love it but only Makhi is. We are really blessed that the team provides childcare for us because MaKaela is not a fan of the stadium or game days. She gets hot, bored, tired and even scared. The fireworks have frightened her too many times and she doesn’t want any part of it. Makhi is younger but is actually able to follow the game. He cheers at the right time and likes to spot Daddy on the field. Makael is probably too little to be in the stadium this season so it will be interesting to see if he reacts like his sister or his brother when he finally sees Daddy football.
Football has given us great memories and my two favorite games have been the game in Houston vs the Texans in October of 2013 and in Dallas against the Cowboys in 2017. Michael played amazingly well in those games and there is something about being home that fires him up.
Football has always been a special part of our family and I can’t wait to see what memories this season gives us!