A Different Kind Of Family

A Different Kind Of Family

With the right chemistry a sports team can become the best family.

I awoke to the beeping of my alarm clock with butterflies in my stomach and the mindset of ‘game day’. Reluctantly rolling out of my warm, cotton sheets and into the chilly morning air, I threw on a pair of old soccer sweats and my hair into a messy bun, and out the door, I went.

Running through the rain, I hopped into my car and instantly cranked the heat dial to HIGH, and with cold hands, started the car. With the occasional direction from my GPS, I drove through the small town of Otego with rain pouring and leaves dancing from the trees through the air, and Bon Iver’s voice playing from the radio.

Two right turns, and through many puddles, I had reached my destination. Pulling in right after my fellow teammates, the rain had turned into huge snowflakes, wet and heavy, falling from the sky. A cold, rainy day had turned into a beautiful snow sparkling scene.

After watching the snow for a few moments, I made my way up the steps and inside the McCoy’s log cabin. I was instantly enveloped in the aroma of breakfast and surrounded by a cozy feeling room. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, fresh biscuits, and many more smells instantly made my stomach growl and my mouth water.

The snow falling outside, the smell of delicious food and the chatter of the rest of my teammates around the table only built my excitement for later that day. Surrounded by lots of laughter and loud conversation, I realized just how lucky I was.

I had a team that was not only talented, but these girls became a kind of family to me.

In the past, our teams had talent but always lacked chemistry. Someone was always fighting and it affected the way we played together. This year, our team is a totally different story. We’ve become incredibly close, hanging out together constantly even though we see each other every day for practice. We laugh a lot, and by a lot I mean I don’t think we ever stop. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to spend my final season of playing high school soccer with.

I made my way through the living room and into the kitchen. The home had wooden walls and a rustic country design that made you instantly feel at home. It gave me the feeling of wanting to curl up on the couch with my favorite book and a cup of tea.

It was comfortable with its light wooden floors and dark wooden walls, and the plaid, quilt tablecloth under my arms. From the table, I could watch the snow falling through the glass doors that overlooked the rest of the hill. As I made my way through the line of food displayed along the counter inside shiny silver tins, the combination of smells was overwhelming. I took as much as my plate could handle and sat at the table with the rest of the girls.

There was an anxious buzz in the air, everyone getting ready to play. The feeling I have on game day is one of the best feelings a person can experience. I get nervous, but an excited kind of nervous. I become totally focused on the game and all the outcomes that could possibly happen, whether it's six hours before kick off or five minutes.

The game consumes my head and I become immune to anything else. This is what each and every one of us was feeling as we sat around the table, knowing that this game mattered more than any we had ever played.

It was do or die. If we lost, that was the end, and if we won we moved on, one step closer to section finals. We all wanted to win more than anything and hoped that would be the outcome.

Sadly, we got the call that our game had been canceled due to the weather, the rain leaving puddles all over our field. The vibe in the room went from serious and focused to disappointed. We were all sad we wouldn’t get to play that day, but knew we would be playing only two days later.

Instead, we began scheming and planning for the game, using our time wisely to make sure none of us were unprepared for Monday. We soon began joking and having a good time now that the seriousness had vanished.

The room was enveloped in chatter and laughter, everyone in there own conversations. The snow was still falling, leaving a thin white blanket across the ground only to be melted away later on. Girls began to make there way back up to the counter for seconds, knowing a full stomach would no longer slow them down for the game.

Soon, one by one, teammates began to leave for home. As the people decreased, so did the volume of the room. It became quieter, and the breakfast smells had started to vanish, leaving the smell of wet shoes and pine in its place.

I soon left as well, hugging those who remained goodbye and running back through the rain into my car. It was colder inside than it had been that morning, and I cranked the heat up as high as it could go.

As I drove back home, I thought about how lucky I had gotten to be given a team as great as this one.

With the whoosh of windshield wipers and the ping of rain on the roof, I pulled in my driveway and entered my home, only to be hit with the smell of breakfast all over again.

Cover Image Credit: Cambre Codington

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7 Struggles Of A Girl Who Understands Sports

Other girls just don't get it.

I love sports. I live for the time of the year when football season and basketball season overlap so I can watch my two favorite sports at the same time. However, as any other girl that likes sports knows, there are a few different struggles that we experience on a day to day basis.

1. People won't believe you.

I’ve gotten very accustomed to the “look” people give you when you tell them you like to watch sports. It’s a look that reeks of disbelief. I'm sorry I don't know the blood type of the former coach's oldest son. You’ll just have to learn to let it go... but yes, I do watch sports.

2. People will try to explain the game to you.

Yes, I know that was a sack. Yes, I see that it’s a fourth down. Yes, I know what foul that was. Yes, they are about to take a free throw. Please stop talking while I watch my team play. Thanks for trying to keep me updated, though.

SEE ALSO: 47 Things All Female Athletes Have Said

3. Guys will think you are trying to impress them.

Dude, stop flirting with me while the game is on. Don’t block the TV. I need to see this. I could care less about you. My team is playing.

4. Your girl friends will never care about sports as much as you do.

You will have to beg and grovel just to get them to watch the game with you. Even then, either they won’t pay attention, or they will ask you what’s going on every couple of minutes.

5. No one finds it acceptable when you yell at the TV.

My dad yelled at the TV during football games when I was growing up. My guy friends do it. But the minute I open my mouth when my team starts losing, people start staring at me and silently begging me to act more like a lady.

6. Women's sports apparel is awful.

I get asked on a regular basis when shopping for team apparel, “Do you need me to show you where the women’s stuff is?” No, no, nope, absolutely not. I would much prefer not to run around with rhinestones on my chest or in a pink football jersey. I’m cringing at the thought.

7. You turn into a child when your team loses.

No, it is not my time of the month. You know good and well my team just lost. Don't speak. I’m going to my room to lie down under my baby blanket and eat chocolate ice cream. It’s just too much.

Cover Image Credit: Gator County Photos

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13 Gifts That Any Sports Fanatic Is Sure To Love

These gifts are sure to be a hole in one.


Check out these 13 gifts that any sports lover in your life will absolutely love this holiday season.

1. NFL Barware Crate

This NFL Barware Crate from Man Crates is ideal for any football fan. It includes pint glasses with any NFL team's logo, bottle openers and a mix of bar nuts. The perfect mix of gifts for the perfect football Sunday.

2. NBA ugly Christmas sweater

If your sports fan is a fan of the NBA like me, they would LOVE this NBA ugly Christmas sweater. It's festive and shows off who you're rooting for this basketball season.

3. Knitted beer mitt

I'm from Wisconsin so, obviously, I'm a Green Bay Packers fan. Most of our football season is played in the winter, and Lambeau Field's nickname is "the frozen tundra," but that doesn't stop us fans from going to Green Bay and supporting our green and gold. And what's a football game without beer? This knitted beer mitt is ideal for any football fan that cheers their team out in the cold.

4. Golf mug

For the golf fan who is also a fan of coffee. With this coffee mug, you also get a mini golf ball and a putter that is actually a pen. During some downtime in the office, start a round of golf.

5. The Sports Bucket List book

This sports bucket list book written by Rob Fleder and Steven Hoffman is a great gift for a sports fan who likes to travel. The book includes 101 different and memorable places, games and matches around the world. Gift this book to your sports lover and help them complete their brand new bucket list!

6. MLB game used uniform wallet

This wallet is definitely something a baseball fan would cherish for a long time. This wallet includes interior dividers that are made from game-used MLB jerseys. You can choose from seven MLB teams.

7. Funny sports socks

One of the most practical ways to tell someone you're busy watching football. These socks are not only cozy but sport the, "Shhh, I'm watching football" saying to let everyone know that you shouldn't be bothered while your feet are up.

8. Vineyard Vines college shirt

Vineyard Vines is a brand that is known to be worn around college campuses. If your sports fan is currently enrolled at a university and loves supporting his colors, this shirt is the perfect fit for him this football season.

9. Unique cuff links

If your man is strictly business but loves strutting off the love for his NFL team, these subtle but super unique cufflinks are best gift he'll receive yet. They are not only classy, but the color inside is actually a piece from an NFL stadium seat!

10. Game used hockey puck bottle opener

For the hockey fanatic that also is a fanatic for brews. These hockey puck bottle openers are not only cool (hockey pun intended) but were once played as game pucks for an NHL game.

11. Sports mug with backboard 

This mug is fun for all ages and comes in other sports like football, basketball and more. For once you won't get yelled at for playing with your food.

12. Their favorite player's jersey

Every sports fanatic has a favorite player. A jersey is one of the easiest but one of the best gifts you can get someone. If they have one already, get them one from a different era or a different color!

13. Tickets to a sporting event

Another easy but perfect gift for a sports fan. Get them tickets to their favorite sporting event. Give them an experience they will never forget.

Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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