In less than two weeks the 2011 NFL football season will kick off. I’m always excited for football season, but this year especially so. The doom and gloom of the lockout was downright depressing. While I love fall in Indiana, winter and I aren’t so chummy. The thought of spending most of winter football-less was about as appealing as spending July in a wool turtleneck.
It’s so good to have football back. I was downright giddy when the lockout ended and spent the next 24 hours soaking up all the glorious football news that was actually about football and not CBA’s and private owners’ meetings. And then the children started getting all over me about wanting food and fresh air and the like, so I had to remind myself that I’m a mother, not a paid NFL blogger (I’m still waiting for Jim Irsay to make me the official Mom Blogger of the Indianapolis Colts . . . still waiting).
I did manage to make it to Colts Training Camp in Anderson twice, though. I contemplated a third trip, but realized that normal mothers do not arrange sitters to meet their child off the bus on their first day at a new school so they can try one last time for a Peyton Manning autograph. No, normal mothers do not do such things. Sigh.
I think Peyton was a little miffed about my absence, if you ask me.
Don’t even get me started on poor Peyton’s neck. It stresses me so. As much as I enjoy the visor look (almost as much as I’m enjoying Aaron Rodgers’ sweet ‘stache.), I want to see that boy in a helmet.
It’s a little late now, but if you have the chance to attend your favorite NFL team’s training camp next summer, I highly recommend it. It’s such a fun way to get a close-up look at the game and the players. You can see and hear things that you’d never get a chance to experience otherwise, and for any football fan it’s a real treat. I’m continually amazed at how accessible the players are, and how genuinely happy they are to sign autographs for the fans after practice. There’s nothing like seeing a kid walk away with a signed football and a goofy grin plastered to his face because he just met a real, live NFL player.
Speaking of real, live NFL players, my kids were thrilled to meet Colts Tight End Jacob Tamme. I had the pleasure of meeting Jacob and his adorably pregnant wife, Allison, last spring while we waited in an interminable line at a local kids’ consignment sale. They were both so fun and easy to chat it up with, and a few weeks later he surprised Elena and Eli with some autographed Colts stuff (including a wrist band that is now disgustingly dirty, but Eli refuses to have it washed). I thought we’d just say “Hey” and let Jacob get back to signing autographs, but he proved again what a kind, sweet guy he is when it comes to kids. He hoisted both kids up and let me take this picture. Goofy grins, indeed.
I have to finish with a little story about picking your battles, and really thinking through the things you buy your kids. Last spring I came across a Ben Roethlisberger jersey at a consignment sale (thankfully not the one where I found myself behind Mr. Tamme. That would have been awkward.). Knowing how Eli loves football, and given that the jersey was only $5, I thought, “Why not?”
I’ll be damned if that kid doesn’t love that jersey more than any other piece of clothing he owns, including his Peyton Manning and Eli Manning jerseys. If it’s clean, he’s wearing it. We get more comments when he wears that jersey out, not all of them meant for children’s ears, if you know what I mean. 99% of the time, I really don’t care. The Steelers were Mike’s team growing up, and even though I’d like to shake him at times, Big Ben and I are fellow Miami alums. I like to see a MAC guy make us proud. I had to draw the line when Eli came down to get in the car for Colts camp in the black and yellow, though. The offending jersey was switched out for a proper Colts jersey, but not without a solid five minutes of crying. The moral of the story is:
Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Steelers fans.
So who are you rooting for to show up in Indy for Super Bowl XLVI? Are you excited for football season, even if it’s only for the snacks?