Friday Night Football is King

Friday Night Football is King

Lessons learned growing up on the sidelines
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There is a group of people that were raised on a field they will probably never play a game on. They have been going to football games since they were only months old. They love the game and have learned from the game, even though they haven’t ever stepped on the field. They are coaches’ daughters, born and raised on the sidelines with a never ending love for the game of football.

As coaches’ daughters we are a breed of our own, we have laughed and cried in the stands on Friday nights. We have endured countless "Remember the Titans" and "Friday Night Lights" references, but in all reality we are all too much like Sheryl (Hayden Panettiere’s character in "Remember the Titans"), and we are proud of it. We will pace back and forth in the stands and bury are head in our hands when we just can’t bear to watch the next play (even though we are probably watching in between our fingers.)

As a coaches’ daughter, people underestimate your knowledge of football and look at you like you are crazy when you explain to them what the textbook definition of targeting is, or explain any other aspect of the game. People yell at your dad from the stands about a play call, something that you have grown used to; so you just sit there and snicker because you know it was their son that missed their block or didn’t run the correct route. You grew up with hundreds of boys that were like your brothers, and when you were little treated you like a queen. You always had your favorite player, even though you didn’t tell anyone (except maybe your mom) who it was. These are just things that come with the title of coach’s daughter.

You learned that hard work pays off. You watched teams work hard in the weight room and reap the benefits on the field. You also watched teams who didn’t work in the weight room have to deal with the consequences. You learned to set big goals and work towards them, what’s the worst that can happen. You get better. You learned that your mom was the strongest person you knew because she basically became a single parent during football season. You got strong because you were always running around chasing “the boys”. You love your title as the coach’s daughter but you love your dad so much more. Faith, Family and Football is what you live and die for.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Fulton

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.
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Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

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Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.

Love,

Your Daughter

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To The Mom I Appreciated Back Then, But Appreciate So Much More NOW

I hope you're proud.

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I started writing this articles about three to four months ago when I told my Mom how excited I was for this new opportunity before "I am proud of you" was said she screamed, "when do I get an article??"

Well, Mom, I told you never so you would get off my back, but here I am - writing you the article you deserve.

Mom,

I wrote about this in my letter to you and dad about your divorce but it reigns true, going to college showed me so much. I found people cursing their mother on the phone, never wanting to go home to see their mom and hating their mother with everything they had. I sat there in disbelief. How can you hate someone who did everything they could to give you the life you live? Who got you to where you are now.

I appreciated you before, but college made me realize how incredible you are.

Mom, thank you for raising me as a single parent - I know that Dad was always a big part of my life too but you did so much for me. Thank you for understanding me and what I needed even when I was not vocal about it. I never told you what I was feeling but you always seemed to know when something was off. Thank you for giving the best hugs, every time something is going wrong or I am missing home all I can picture an image is coming home to hug you.

That warm embrace that through everything was always there. Thank you for encouraging me, pushing me and never letting me give up. Thank you for showing me a strong woman, one that refuses to accept the glass ceiling, one who refused to let anyone get in the way of her and her goals. Thank you for loving me, supporting me and believing in me when I refused to do so for myself.

I know there have been times when we get rocky and our relationship was not perfect, it is a mother-daughter thing for sure, but thank you for showing me every time that your love, care, and devotion to who I am is unwavering.

Your taco chicken will forever be my least favorite meal and your singing will always be the last thing I want to hear. Yet I would not trade those for the world, I would not trade your crazy outlook and insistent ways for anything else.

I will never be able to repay you for what you did for me, but I will forever be so thankful and appreciative of it, I hope I make you proud.

Love you most,

Your Daughter

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