So I am sitting here watching football and they keep running the "Why I Love Football" commercials and it made me think about why I love football.
See, I used to loathe football. I hated it with a passion. I hated it because my Mother loved it. She watched all the games and she yelled, screamed, and I think even threw things. She was passionate about the game. She loved College and NFL football, she knew all the players. She would follow her favorite college players NFL careers with glee. She hated Notre Dame because back in the stone age they "cheated" LSU out of a bowl game. One of her prized possessions was a Les Miles signed LSU football. She was a FAN.
I hated all that yelling, all that passion. My Dad used to joke that he had to go stand in the front yard during games so the neighbors would know he wasn't beating her, she was THAT loud. I would always find something else to do far far away. It was like that for years.
Then I met Mojo. He loves football, but he loves me more. I'm pretty sure that he did not watch more than two or three games the first year we were together. That, my friends, is love! Then I felt bad and he would watch the games and I would read a book. Then somewhere along the way I started watching, and enjoying the games. I would talk them over with my Mom the next day. We would watch them together and yell at the TV together, both loud, both passionate, I think I may have even thrown something.
My Mom and I were pretty tight. She was one of my best friends. She loved Mojo too, and I overheard her once telling him thank you for getting me to love football!
Then she got sick.
Football was the only thing that calmed her and soothed her so she could sleep during the last weeks of her life. She wasn't awake and aware very often and didn't know who I was or where she was most of the time when she was. She would get agitated because of this and watching reruns of football games on the NFL channel calmed her down, made her feel safe and happy. If she got restless in her sleep all I had to do was put on football and she soothed right back down into peaceful sleep. And believe me, with the amount of pain she was in peaceful sleep was a huge blessing.
So why do I love football?
I love football because it is a connection to my Mother, who I still miss every single day of my life. I love football because I can feel her watching with me. I love football because the last crop of college players she loved are just now starting in the NFL and I can follow them for her (Honey Badger, I'm looking at you). When we watch as a family I can feel her happiness in the room all around us. I love football because Mojo and I are passing the love of football on to our three girls and I KNOW that makes my mom happy.