Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Men...rejoice! Football season is upon us.

Actually...I never really got our fascination with football. I mean...I watch it. I follow the New England Patriots, and my alma mater, Boston College but unlike many men, the Earth does not stop for me when they play. In fact, as I told someone over the weekend, I think I watched only two Patriot games in their entirety last year. An opportunity to do this or that always seemed to open up and I rose to the occasion and took advantage....such were my Sundays last fall.

However, it was on the Saturdays of last Fall when I gained a new appreciation for the game. My boys played organized football last year and again this year they are already attending preseason practices. Aside from the daily two and a half hour practices, it was a positive experience for the boys and me.

I learned that youth football has a different rhythm and tenor than Little League. Whereas in the Little League the players are treated like big boys, in football they are treated like young men. And more often than not, the boys responded well to being treated as such.

While I believe that baseball is our finest game and is a superior sport, football teaches things to young boys and men that baseball cannot. Football stresses the importance of preparation and it teaches the importance of responsibility. Football, by its very nature, teaches the virtues of teamwork and instills in the boys a sense of camaraderie.

Parents today find themselves in the untenable position of having to fend off elements of our culture that erode and undermine the values we try to instill in our kids. Exhibitionism, self indulgent excess, and unrestrained selfishness are celebrated whilst quiet preparation, sacrifice, and teamwork or either ignored or dismissed as values from a bygone age. Its a relief to me that we still have activities like sports, dance, and Scouts where our efforts are reinforced and enhanced. season is upon us...and while the Patriots and Boston College will get some of my attention, the Earth will stop when my boys play. My oldest has his first scrimmage tonight. I can't wait.

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