I love football and this Fall, for me, has been all about football. My love of the game started when I was in third grade. I was a cheerleader and my Dad (who came to all my games for cheerleading and field hockey through high school) stopped me as I was coming off the field. He said, "You know the first cheer you girls did was ‘FIRST AND TEN DO IT AGAIN?’ Well, the other team had the ball. I need to teach you the game of football." From that on, my Dad and I would gather our snacks and watch all the televised NFL football games together as he taught me the game. Not only did he want me to learn the game, but also it was his way of bonding with his oldest of three daughters. Today, my kids know when I'm watching a Giants game that I've recorded when I scream out, "Where's the O LINE?" (Although I've been screaming less of that lately).
I have taken more football photos than anything else this Fall from the NFL to youth football. I've been to a preseason Steelers game in Pittsburgh with my family (Steelers fans in the family). I'm looking forward to a regular season Giants game soon (equal time for Giants fans in the family). I also had the honor of accompanying my nephew's high school team on the field at a Jets preseason game. The only way to describe how happy those boys were, is as my sister said, "They look like 5 year old boys who got everything they ever wanted on Christmas morning."
There are reports that NFL viewership is down for a variety of reasons. If you are not watching football because you don't agree with Kaepernick or you’re fed up with the bad behavior of the NFL players, both on and off the field, I urge you to seek out your town's high school and junior football programs. These kids play with a passion for the game that is palpable. This season I've seen a high school defensive lineman pick up a blocked punt and almost score a touchdown for the first time, a 9 year old pull three defensive players with him to gain the yardage for a first down, and a high school freshman score three touchdowns in the second half of the game. If you love the game, these kids will make you love it more. Their respect for the game and camaraderie with each other is what I love the most. #Family.