One of my favorite things is watching (American) football. It is male dominated in almost every way possible. I have been watching almost my entire life. Being from New England, I am a Patriots fan. Every fall my dad would have the games on, so I have been watching the Pats every Sunday before they ever won the Super Bowl. I am a Patriots fan because I am a New Englander. It is the very core of who I am. I love watching football because it is exciting at every turn. Unless it is a blowout, which is rare, football games tend to be close. The better the Pats have become, the more this has been the case. Every season I grow more and more into the team and football in general. It is something I share with my dad in excited chats on the phone and going to games. It is a way that I connected with people in college and found community. It is an interesting thing being a big NFL fan when it is so male dominated. On principle, I avoid certain jerseys that most people have to show what level of fandom I am on. I have a Tedy Bruschi jersey and will never own a Brady one. Of course, I love him, I’m a Pats fan, but every woman I know who is a fan has a Brady jersey. Or Gronk or Edelman. Don’t get me wrong I love these players, but Bruschi will always be my number 1 favorite. As a woman, I sometimes feel I need to prove how much of a fan I am and that it isn’t because of a guy or because I think they are hot. I honestly LOVE the game. The more I watch and understand it the more I love it. It is exciting and weird but so cool. I love playing flag football because I am fast and can catch well and no one expects that from a 5 foot 1, 115-pound woman. I can score and get first downs. I am the Julian Edelman of college flag football. All jokes aside I have a weird relationship with this sport I love because playing wasn’t an option for me unless I was the most confident badass girl out there. I wasn’t that at all. I was so quiet I often felt invisible. That girl isn’t going to play football and stand out. She’s going to play soccer like everyone else. But that was what I wanted to do. I didn’t love American football yet. But now when I think about it I wish I had been taught to throw a spiral the way my brother was even if I never played tackle football, being about to be QB in flag or two hand touch would be nice. Getting thrown to because I am open and not just because it has to be a girl play would be nice. Having my teammates trust my knowledge of the game would be nice. The only reason I can’t throw that well is that no one ever expected me to. Woman want to play football, and we watch it too. Proud to be a football fan. Go, Patriots!
They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.
When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.
Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.
When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.
If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.
When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.
And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.
When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.
After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.
When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.
It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.
When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.
When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.
When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.
My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.
Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.
For the last week now I have tried to process the events that transpired in the world of golf. As many of you may know by now, I am a fanatic for Tiger Woods. I have watched as one of the greatest athletes to ever grace this earth fell from his pinnacle. I have watched as he and his family were brutally subject to a national embarrassment. I have watched as one of the greatest athletic bodies in all of golf was twisted and contorted through 4 back surgeries and physical rehabilitation. I have watched as critics and fans alike believed that his professional career was over. That he would no longer be a competitive golfer and that he should just retire instead of trying to recreate something that had gone awry.
Today I can say with the utmost of certainty that this is no longer the case. Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters last week in dramatic fashion. Here are the stats plain and simple. Woods had never won a major tournament after trailing entering the last day of competition. Woods had also not won a major in more than 11 years and his most recent Master's victory was in 2005. Last week, Woods entered Sunday just two strokes behind the leader Francesco Molinari. At the end of the day, Woods won the event.
I have stood by this man's side as a loyal fan for the last 11 years and seen all that he has endured. For me, his victory was unequivocally the greatest moment in all of the sports. Period. There really aren't enough words for me to sum up the magnitude of this event and in the fashion that it took place. I still am speechless a week later. As I sat watching the final round unfold from a live stream on my phone (as I was in a car driving back from Florida), I was in actual tears. I knew that Tiger Woods would be a winner again. What I didn't know is that he was destined to return back to his place in history as the greatest golfer to ever live. The race for Jack Nicklaus 18 major championship victories mark is now back in contention - something that has not been highly considered for the last decade. What Tiger Woods did on Sunday at the Masters is greater than the sport of golf. It goes beyond athletics and winning. It demonstrates the story of grit, relentless toughness in the face of adversity and most importantly, it epitomizes never giving up.
For this current generation of young golfers who grew up idolizing Woods, they saw and heard first hand the return of the roars that followed Tiger every time he stepped onto a golf course. For runner up's Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele, they were not mad that they had lost, rather they were happy that Woods had won. They both said in their post-round interviews that the atmosphere and energy that was felt at this tourney was unrivaled to any other sporting event they had played in. It was because of one man, wearing his notorious "Sunday red" as he remained unflappable in the face of his opposition. On the 12th hole, a short par-3 that faces the infamous Rae's Creek, Woods demonstrated his poise and maturity. 5 of the top 6 players in the field hit the ball well short of the hole and landed in the water. The only player not to do so was Tiger who chose to aim well left of the hole and play for par. It was here, with 6 holes left to play that Woods reclaimed the lead. Fans and players were all aware of what was to transpire, they could feel that Tiger was ready to pound.
For me, Tiger Woods' victory will be a moment in my life that I will never forget. More importantly, he unified an entire nation to sit down glued to their televisions and watch the final round play out. I had friends reaching out to me to let me know that they were tuned in to witness history unfold, people who aren't golf fans in the slightest. This demonstrates in the most minimal way possible the magnitude and importance of this win. It was bigger than golf. It was something that young fans and old ones alike will cherish indefinitely. For that, I thank you Tiger Woods. You made all of the moments where we as sports fans wanted to let you go and move on to this new era of talented golfers worth sticking by your side. You brought a country with such polarization and difference together to watch a round of golf. And lastly, you made a fan of yours believe in something bigger than sports, but rather, believe in comebacks and hope. Tiger Woods you will always be my hero.