Monday, October 26, 2015

Giving Thanks

Our experiences as football families are usually some of the best times of our lives.  Usually.

Today, I'd like to thank someone I don't even know.  I'd like to thank the person who anonymously used social media to call for my husband to be fired.  Really.  Thank you.  For once, I'm not being sarcastic.

Thank you for (inadvertently, I am sure) causing at least a hundred people to show support of Mr. Coach.  People came out of the proverbial woodwork commenting on how ridiculous the request was.  Current students, former players, parents, friends, other coaches..and especially other coaches' wives were quick to be the supportive and wonderful people with which this job comes standard.

Thank you, anonymous Sir, for reminding us all why we do this.  Thank you for causing us to reflect on all of the kids over the years that have grown and become young men within this program, and  programs all over the country just like it.....whether games are being won or not.

Thank you for justifying the hours spent, not on the green acre of turf, but on the things that really matter.  Things like sitting with a kid while he recounts how he can't handle life at home anymore because his dad is cheating on his mom.  Or his mom's boyfriend is doing drugs in the house.  Or they don't have enough money for football shoes. Thank you for reminding us how it feels to help these kids become men.

Thank you too, for reminding us not that it is about raising a Heisman trophy winner, but rather, that it is that feeling you get as a coach when a kid finally "gets it."  When he finally runs the play correctly.  Finally gets that tackle.  Finally gets to experience what it feels like to wriggle into that varsity jersey on a Friday night.  And you have the same chest-swelling pride in him that you have in your own child.  That's what coaching is about.  Thank you for reminding us of that.

Thank you for causing us to reflect on all of the young men that leave a program and come back to say thank you.  Those moments bring us to tears.  There is no possible way to quantify or qualify what that means to us.   You'll never know how thankful we are to you for causing us to revisit all of the times adult former players have let us hold their newly born children, or honored us with an invitation to their wedding or high-fived my child at a college football game as they wear a collegiate jersey.

Much thanks to you for focusing on my husband and not any of his assistants.  These are the true unsung heroes of the gridiron.  Thank you for not dragging their names into any of your posts.  They put in as many hours as Mr. Coach and get no recognition for them.  Nor do they get any public credit for the wins for which they are equally responsible.  They are the ones that travel 200 miles on a rainy Monday night to scout a team or play a c-team game in a cow pasture.  I really appreciate you not calling for their jobs too.

Thank you personally, from me.  You've made me a better parent.  I get to answer questions from my 11 year-old about why anyone would want daddy to lose his job.  I really wanted to answer with ire and immaturity.  But, I took the high road.  I explained there will always be bad people out there that don't think before they talk.  I used it as a reminder that our actions and words have consequences.  I used it to remind my children that everyone is entitled to an opinion.  And those people who put their names and faces with their opinion are respected.

Your actions also remind me of all of my sisters in this crazy sorority we call Coaching Wives, and how very much I appreciate and love them.  How they all gave me the "We're with you-we know what you're going through-hang in there" look that we all share.  I love them.  I had forgotten to tell them that.  Thank you for reminding me.

So, please accept this digital fist-bump of gratitude, Unknown Tweeting Man.  You make coaching memorable.

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