Are You Ready for Some Football!

By Betty Boyd

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There is a nip of coolness in the air. The tailgaters are once again gathered at their favorite college campus. The anticipation is enormous, and discussions abound on how each team will do in the upcoming season.

Some say baseball is America’s sport, but from what I can see, football really is. While growing up, I can remember sitting around the television every Saturday afternoon, and watching with wonder on how my favorite college team -Notre Dame-would do against its current rival.

There is a unique competitive spirit running through a college football team that is unlike anything any other sport can offer. I marvel at the athleticism, skill and tenacity of every individual on that team. College football is a breath of fresh air, in that, you have a distinctive bond that cannot be matched by any other sport.

Don’t get me wrong, I follow baseball and pro football, but I have never found quite the excitement and thrill I get watching college football. The tradition and nostalgia it exudes is what makes it so awesome a past time.

So, are you ready for some football? I sure am, and I will still be watching every Saturday afternoon to cheer Notre Dame on to victory.

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Writing prompt: What is your family’s football tradition?

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Atmosphere is Everything

by Carlton Hughes

football, sports, kids, gamesWhen I was a young lad in the dark ages of the 1970s, I enjoyed NFL Football. Back then you only got a handful of television channels, so there wasn’t much choice. The Puppy Bowl and the Kitten Bowl didn’t exist, so what else was there to do? I watched the NFL with my dad. My favorite teams were the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins.

Those were glory days for the Cowboys, with Coach Tom Landry (who, in his impeccable suit and nifty hat, looked like he should have been running a bank instead of a football team) and Quarterback Roger Staubach, not to mention the cheerleaders. I even had a Cowboys duffel bag I carried with me on overnight trips to my cousin’s house.

I had no choice but to like the Redskins, as, living in Eastern Kentucky, our local television channels came from nearby Virginia and Tennessee. Being in that market, we were treated to Redskins games every Sunday evening throughout the season. I couldn’t name the coach or any players if my life depended on it, but I do remember the uniforms and the logo because I’m observant that way.

football, sports, gameMy attention to the NFL faded over the years, and, especially since my own college experience, I now prefer the college game. I love the gameday atmosphere—the band, the cheerleaders, the student cheering sections, the alumni fans. Even though my alma mater has traditionally been a basketball school and doesn’t quite burn it up on the gridiron, I enjoy returning to campus on fall Saturdays to take in a game, to visit with old friends, and to relive the sights and sounds of my college days.

Beyond my visits to my old campus, I would rather watch a college game on television than a pro one any day. Many college players will never see pro action and give their all for their schools. The traditions, the rivalries, and the pageantry make it an easy choice for me.

[Click to tweet:] Carlton Hughes prefers the traditions, the rivalries, and the pageantry of college games.

WRITING PROMPT: Imagine you’re attending a college football game, maybe at your alma mater. Describe the sights and sounds you witness as you enter the stadium.

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It’s September. Therefore Football!

I am not a huge sports fan, but Tim and I have two teen boys. One is a Senior who plays football, the other a Junior who’s into soccer. So, most Friday nights you will find my husband and me sitting through a high school football game. We love to cheer both of them on!

If you’ve read many of my past blog posts, I love to refer to my childhood for a good story. Growing up, the favorite sports team tended to change from season to season. I seem to remember that the Miami Dolphins was the team of choice for my brothers in the early 70’s.

My father worked swing shift at a cement plant for many years. He was either working or sleeping, but on Sunday afternoons during football season, he would spend his day off watching a televised game. There was never a particular team he liked. He would just pick a side and cheer for them.

The reason I recall watching America’s favorite pastime with  Dad is because of  the exuberance he expressed when his team was winning. We didn’t see my Dad in a good mood very often. He was always kind of a grumpy guy, but we found ourselves cheering too. It was a good time, and a great memory.

How about a good show? I can admit that there are a few “sports” type movies that I have loved watching for inspiration and entertainment.

There are two from my childhood that I remember well. One is Brian’s Song. I would rate this one as a two-tissue box movie. This ABC Movie of the Week aired in 1971, with James Caan playing the part of Brian Piccolo. After Brian is recruited into the Chicago Bears franchise, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. This story is told by his friend, the legendary Gale Sayers. It’s a real-life journey about friendship between teammates, and Brian’s courageous struggle battling cancer.

Another made-for-television story, which aired in 1977  is titled Something for Joey. A three-tissue box movie if ever there was one. Based on the life story of the relationship between Penn State football player, John Cappelletti (played by Marc Singer), and his younger brother Joey. Joey is diagnosed with leukemia. John would do anything for his brother.

Joey expects touchdowns from his older brother. John pushes himself to the limits to give Joey what he wants, so much so that his efforts win him the Heisman Trophy in 1973.

More recently in 1993, the movie Rudy gave us a real-life tale of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. Despite being told he was too small to play football, Rudy has a dream to play for the University of Norte Dame. He has neither the money, nor the grades to qualify for scholarships. After overcoming all the odds stacked against him, he fights his way onto the football team. I was recently told by a male co-worker that this movie is the only one he ever shed a tear over. It was during the part when all the players on the Notre Dame team threw their football jerseys onto the coach’s desk to show they would not play unless Rudy did. It’s another great movie.

So, even though I don’t like sports much, I do love to watch a good game, and it’s even better if it comes on the big screen in a film.

Do you have a favorite motivational quote from a sports coach or a sports movie?

Click to tweet:  There are a few “sports” type movies that I love watching. #football #inspiration

Writing prompt: I grabbed the remote, flipped on the television, and leaned back in the recliner. It was time for…

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Go, Dawgs!

by Gail Johnson

We are talking football this month! Favorite teams, colors, and tailgating recipes. Woo hoo! Are you a fan?

Sanford Stadium Wikicommons author Pruddle

Sanford Stadium, Wikicommons, photo: Pruddle

No one would call me a diehard fan. That would be my son, the one with all the red, white, and black memorabilia. But I do enjoy getting together with family and watching a college game now and then. For my family, that includes the Georgia Bulldogs. Here are a few stats for those unfamiliar with Georgia.

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Frank Sinkwich, Wikicommons

Inaugural season – 1892
UGA Fight Songs – Hail to Georgia, Glory, Alma Mater, Going Back, and Bulldog Marching Song
National Championships – 1927, 1942, 1946, 1968, 1980
Heisman Trophy Winners – Frank Sinkwich, Herschel Walker

And who can forget Coach Vince Dooley and announcer Larry Munson?

Tailgating Recipe

No matter the team playing or the fan watching, food is a must. Who can say no to a bowl of hot chili?

1 pound ground beef (85-15)
1/2 roll Jimmy Dean roll sausage
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 can black beans
1 can red beans
1 jar Paul Newman’s Fire Roasted Tomato and Garlic sauce (Trust me. It’s just tomato sauce)
Salt and Pepper
1 packet Chilo seasoning (Or use your own)
½ – ¾ cup water
1 bag nacho cheese Doritos
1 carton sour cream
1 jar deli-sliced Tamed jalapenos

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Herschel Walker, Wikicommons

Directions
Place beef, tomatoes, Rotel, beans sauce, salt and pepper, chili seasoning, and water into a pot and cook until beef is done. Let simmer until ready to serve. Can be cooked in a crockpot. Serve in individual bowls over crushed Dorito with a dollop of sour cream and jalapenos. Enjoy.

Let the games begin! Go, Dawgs!

 

Click to Tweet: “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” Herschel Walker #GoDawgs

Writing Prompt:
Unbelievable! Everyone in the stadium stood to their feet and waited for the referee…

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HUDDLE!

This months theme on Writing Prompts is Football. Great topic for a football mom–Nick (tight end) is playing for the Ragin’ Cajuns at the University of Louisiana – Lafayette and my older son Jake (tight-end) played for the Wisconsin Badgers and also in the NFL. We are definitely a football family.

Nick, sister Betsy, and Jake

Nick, sister Betsy, and Jake

Instead of my thoughts about football, what better than thoughts from the guy who played in the NFL. Here’s an excerpt from my son Jake’s A-Z devotional book – First and Goal – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up. Jake is a type one diabetic who never gave up his dreams. Harvest House Publishers released his book on August 1, 2015 just in time for football season.

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HuddleA large circle formation taken by the players on the field prior to the start of the play. In the huddle, the quarterback (offense) or linebacker (defense) informs the players which play will be run, along with words of encouragement.

“I can’t go,” Phil Supernaw said. “I’ll just be a burden.”

“Huddle!” I said to my teammates. Phil, a tight end for the Texans, had suffered a football injury–a broken foot–and couldn’t walk. My buddies and I wanted to get out of Houston and attend a concert in Austin, but we couldn’t leave Phil behind.

“We’ll find a wheelchair.” Ben Jones grabbed his smart phone and started searching.

“No player should be left behind.” Cody White pumped a fist in the air. “You’re coming with us.”

I clapped my hands and then pointed. “You two. Interlock arms and make a chair. Carry him. I’ll get my pickup.”

We hefted Phil out to my truck and drove around town in search of the medical supply store. Finally, with the wheelchair in back and my buddies in the truck, I parked at the concert. We lifted Phil into the chair and wheeled him to Will Call, where our tickets were being held.

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Jake pushing NFL player, Phil Supernaw

A smiling young woman behind the counter glanced at the tickets. Her smile faded and she shook her head. “These are for the general public. There’s no wheelchair access.”
“If one of us can’t get in, none of us will go.” I crossed my arms. The others nodded.

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).

The girl looked at Phil and sighed. “Y’all are so sweet to care for your friend.” She smiled. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

A few minutes later she returned with special tickets to the VIP area close to the stage and back stage passes too!

Huddles are used in sports to bring everyone together, discuss strategies, and encourage individuals. On offense, the quarterback relays the plays in the huddle. On defense, the captain relays the coach’s instructions for the proper alignment and how to defend the expected play. Words of encouragement are passed in the huddle to keep each other motivated and to keep the game plan in sight.

In our huddle, we had decided we couldn’t attend a concert and leave a teammate behind, especially one who was injured and downhearted. In the end, our commitment toward each other gained us VIP passes and we all had a great time, a night we’ll never forget.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Got a player on your team who is weak? Downhearted? Are you? Gather your team, discuss strategy, and encourage one another. If the plan benefits the entire team, a successful outcome will follow.

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Excerpt from my son’s book, First and Goal – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up. Available in Christian Book Stores, Barnes and Noble and online books sellers. Link to the Amazon site. A great gift for anyone with obstacles to overcome.

Writing Prompt: When did you have to huddle and work as a team to get a job done?  Have you had to carry someone in prayer to get them through a rough spot?