Dear Football Mom,
Our son played varsity football in high school last year, and again starts first string as a sophomore this year. His head coach just moved him to start as a linebacker on defense. He also starts as right tackle on the offensive line. That means he’s playing both ways. With no breaks in between, he drinks sports drinks by the pound and tries to stay hydrated, eats well, and stays healthy, but I’ve got to tell you this is so hard on him. He is about give out on Friday nights. While we are proud of him, we are also concerned that this is too much wear and tear on his body. It is so hard. Should we talk to the coach?
Super duper! Your son must be headed beyond Friday nights. Sounds to me like he is one cool cat at playing this game. It’s an honor, really it is.
That said, I couldn’t sugarcoat this no matter how hard I’d try. It’s meant to be hard. Without the hard, this game would just be ordinary. It’s the hard that makes the game extraordinary. And playing both ways gives your son experiences he wouldn’t ordinarily have on the field playing just one position.
Yes, it’s hard. You should know that the coach wouldn’t have put him in this position if it wasn’t best for the team, or if he felt your son couldn’t handle it. I don’t believe there is a coach anywhere who wants his players hurt. Football and playing one position are hard enough. Playing both ways is giving your son opportunities of a lifetime, valued experience, and will put him in the category of extraordinary talent once he finishes high school. Yes, it’s hard.
Is he complaining? Sounds to me like he is staying healthy, and doing the right things to keep it that way. Does he want to play in college? Now, I’m not saying that playing both ways is a sure way to have recruiters lining up at your home, salivating, licking their chops to sign your son, but it does give him an edge, and his ability to be versatile gives him notability. Quite honestly, it’s all about position in college. Rarely do you see players playing both ways on college teams. But playing both ways now widens his scope of understanding the game and will give him unprecedented vision when it comes to reading opponents, regardless of offense or defense. And that my dear friend, is priceless.
Think of it this way: try to look beyond the pooped-out at the end of his games and look at the what ifs because of playing both ways. What if he catches the eyes of recruiters and has the opportunity to play in college? What if he is offered a full-ride scholarship? What if, because of playing both ways, his stats go up, toughness increases, and he sharpens his skills to put his marketability on top and ends up becoming an NFL-er?
What if? The possibilities are never ending. If it weren’t hard, it wouldn’t be football. Are there really any easy roads to success?
Dear Football Mom,
We are a football family who doesn’t believe religion should be shoved down our throats. We have a son playing high school football who worships Drew Brees. Don’t you think Mr. Brees should keep his religion to himself? He has taken his religion too far by encouraging kids to take Bibles to school. I am put off by this move on his part.
Oh gee. Let me get this straight. You are put off by a book that teaches the human race to be kind to one another, respect parents, and choose good over evil? Okay, now I get it. No, actually I don’t get it, but let’s try to walk through this together.
Seriously, it’s hard to understand how a body navigates our children’s moral compass if we aren’t teaching good solid values, life principles, healthy boundaries, and—news flash—the Bible is the perfect blueprint for that. Why reinvent the wheel when God’s got ya covered through His Word?
Look, I am not really trying to be bombastic, but you gotta ask yourself, what is your beef with Bibles? What is everyone so afraid of—that your kids might pick up some decent life lessons on how to treat people or deal with conflict? There is some good stuff in there even if you don’t believe. And it’s not about religion, it’s all about relationship and faith.
For the record—which may not matter a hill a beans to those of you who take issue with Bibles—but Brees suggested to students to bring their Bible for one day, and one day only. Not religion day. Not see-who-you-can-put-off day. And not shove-religion-down-your-throat day, but “Bring your Bible to School Day,” hosted by a purty reputable organization. That’s all.
Drew Brees is a Saint. Encouraging the kids was a good thing. He has since recoiled a bit due to the backlash and, truly, I wish he hadn’t. Even big guys get bullied, and Saints are no exception. I was surprised that he buckled under pressure and walked it back, like a ten-yard penalty. I hope like crazy those of us who claim faith would stand firm when confronted with bullies. But you never know until you are in someone else’s cleats.