Name A Better Date: Chips, Salsa, National Championship

Name A Better Date: Chips, Salsa, National Championship

Is there anything better than a girlfriend who will sit and watch a game with you? There is. It's a girlfriend who will sit and watch the game with you, and bring snacks.

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It's me. I am that girlfriend. Recently, I endured the lovely date night of watching Clemson vs Alabama, and while most everyone else was upset or amazed by the score, I was just happy to be there.

Sitting on the couch with my glass of wine, snacking on chips and dip, and snuggled up with my man. While my boyfriend screamed over Alabama's loss, I sat back and enjoyed the game of football. I wasn't cheering for Alabama or Clemson.

I never really pick one team's side of the other. I am, however, fairly educated in the game of football and know a good play when I see one.

As the daughter of a head high school football coach, I've spent many, many, many summers and fall seasons surrounded by the stinky boys and learned the difference between good football and bad.

Now my dad's team was not exactly state championship material (sorry dad), so looking at how the players play the game versus the score and number of wins is how I grew up to appreciate the game.

The benefit of it all is that I can a.) enjoy football games with my boyfriend whenever he wants to watch, b.) not be in any arguments because we like different teams, and c.) not have to ask questions about the sport.

When you don't have a favorite team and just enjoy the game itself it makes it a lot easier to have a date night where we can watch football and eat junk food. I don't try to keep up with player's stats or know even the slightest bit about fantasy, so you don't have to worry about those boring conversations or those fake conversations where it's obvious I barely know anything about what I'm talking about. I'm simply here to say "Woah, good catch." or "That was a nice play." or even "Wow, what a hit." and then I'll go refill our drinks and the chip bowl.

And really it's not just football that makes a fine date night, it can be any type of sport. Although when it comes to hockey and baseball I do indeed have favorite teams (shoutout St. Louis Blues & Cardinals), we still enjoy the games together. It's nice to be able to get along during times we watch sports, it makes me sad to see relationships struggle because they think their S/O spends too much time and effort in sports, but for me and my boyfriend, it is something we can enjoy together.

And for that, I'm thankful. So when there's another big game on this week or the next, I will be with my boyfriend, and we will have snacks, and we will spend some quality time together watching whoever it is playing their game.


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To The Girl Who Wears My Jersey

Now that you wear my jersey, here's what I'd like to tell you.
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To the girl who wears my jersey,

As an athlete, a jersey and number is more than just something you wear during a game. It means something more to an athlete.

One of the saddest parts of an athlete's career is when they have to give that jersey up for someone else to wear when they move on in life. After sitting in a box for a couple months after graduation, another athlete comes along and takes the jersey as their own. So, here's some things I would like to say to the girl that is wearing my jersey.

I hope you are working hard at the game. I hope that you are putting in extra hours when practice is over, and going 110% doing whatever you are doing. Enjoy the time you have now because soon it will be gone. It goes by in the blink of an eye and before you know it you will leaving your jersey behind just like I did, so cherish every moment. When I wore that jersey, I thought that the games and practices would never end until it got close to the end.

That jersey you're wearing has been through everything. It's gone through winning streaks, heartbreaking losses, comebacks, and blowouts. It's full of memories that I made with my teammates for years. There were the long bus rides or the pre-game traditions. There were the times we went out to eat and I got food on it, and times where it held my tears after a tough loss. That jersey you have has literally been with me through blood, sweat, and tears. It's seen all of the hard work I have put in on the field or court. I met so many different and amazing people in that jersey. I've played for coaches that have showed me perspectives of the game that I never saw before. I traveled to small towns, big cities, beaches, and other places I never thought I would see. It's an exciting time when you have that jersey on. You will meet new people, learn new things, and travel to places you never thought you would go before.

The jersey you are wearing means something to me, because I picked it for a reason and wore it for so many years. I picked the number on the jersey because it has a story, like every athlete's number does. The story can be as simple as it was picked for me and grew on me, or it could be your role model wore that number, so you chose it too. Another story could be that a family member wore it so you carried on the tradition. Whatever the story was, it's your turn to add your story to the jersey.

Be legendary. The truth is sometimes when someone thinks about that jersey you're wearing they'll think of the people that wore it before you. They think of the way the ones before you played, but that's all going to change. You are going to be added to the legacy and tradition. It's time for you to make your own legacy and name for yourself. It's about making people think that whoever wears the number next will be as great as the one before. Play to the best of your ability and work hard every day to be better than the next girl. Play with heart, be humble, and don't disrespect the tradition, team, or organization you are a part of.

Finally, play for someone other than yourself. Play for the name on the front of your jersey more than the one on the back. Play for everyone who got you to the point you are at now. Play for the ones who don't have the opportunity to play the game you love. Play for the little girl who watches you. Play for all the ones who wore the jersey before you.

Above all else, be your own player, create a name for yourself, and be humble.


Cover Image Credit: Caroline Showalter

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Don't Count Out Gronk From Coming Back

While some may think Rob Gronkowski has hung up his cleats for good, I think he still has more left in the tank.

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Rob Gronkowski, better known as "Gronk" former Patriots Tight End, announced his retirement at the end of this last season after the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Gronk's agent, Drew Rosenhaus told Peter King that it wouldn't shock him if Gronkowski decided to come back before the year is over. We have been made aware that the wear and tear on Gronk's body has worn him down through the years. However, maybe after several months off for some R&R;, he might be persuaded to come back sometime during next season.

At 29 years old, Rob is still very young so it wouldn't be out of the question to rule out a return to the NFL entirely. If Tom Brady is struggling without his big target and expresses this to Gronk, it would be a real possibility he would return to help out his former teammates.

We have seen it been done before, football players coming back to the NFL after retiring. The most recent of examples is Jason Witten, the former Pro-Bowler announced earlier this year he is coming back to the NFL after spending 1 year on Monday Night Football as an analyst.

Another recent example is Marshawn Lynch, the running back retired at 29 years old which is longer than the usual shelf life of most running backs in the NFL. After retirement, he requested that the Seattle Seahawks trade his rights to the Raiders so he could come back to the NFL but with a new uniform.

Of course, Gronk is enjoying his retirement as of now, he definitely has the personality of the life of the party. It's not uncommon to see videos of him dancing of at parties on different platforms of social media.

While I don't like the Patriots, and how annoying it was to see Brady and Gronk march down the field, he was a top-tier athlete. Gronk made a great decision to go out after a Super Bowl win, and seeing his competitive nature, I don't think he would have it any other way. We will have to wait and see, but I think there is a real chance that we haven't seen the last of Gronk suiting up and taking the field.

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