This post is dedicated to my dad. Thank you for teaching me to the love the game as much as you did! Xoxo, Priss
“Well Dad, it looks like I owe you $5. Just put it on my tab.”
I would give anything to have that conversation one more time.
So, if you love football as much as I do, then you are probably thinking I am crazy. How could I love NFL Sundays more than I love Saturdays full of college football. I am for sure outnumbered on this one.
I should provide this disclaimer before I begin. I still love college football. I bleed red and black, and I am now a Georgia Bulldog through and through. I also enjoy a good Friday night high school football game. If you love football, you should love it all. And did I mention that I love football?
So let’s just get right to it. Here are the basics behind my passion for the NFL.
You are watching the most talented players in the game. Professional players did not just come out of their mother’s womb playing with the talent they have (well…maybe they did). But the point is that they had to work to get to the level they are currently at. They began to blossom during Friday Night Lights, and then, they only refined their skills during three or four long years at college. They worked hard, they practiced harder, and they put in the time to become the best of the best. Now, they are the best of the best.
It is fun to watch Jacob Eason grow as the 18-year-old starting quarterback for UGA. I can only imagine how he will be able to control the pocket three years from now when he takes the field against a powerful SEC team. However, at this point, Eason cannot compare to the 31-year-old Matt Ryan who just threw 200 passing yards for the 45th straight regular season game, tying the longest streak in NFL history. The talent in the NFL is undeniable, and you get to see it every Sunday.
Sundays are a day of rest, and I take full advantage of that rest while watching football. Logistically speaking, most of my Saturdays during football season growing up were spent cheerleading at the football field (how ironic) or in a gym for a cheerleading competition. DVR did not exist, and we just did not have time to watch the Georgia game.
On the other hand, after a fun-filled Friday and Saturday, we went to church on Sunday, and then, we were in for the rest of the day. This meant we were almost always home to watch the Falcons. Coincidentally, it was the team I grew to love.
Lastly, the Falcons, an NFL football team, were my daddy’s team, and who does not cheer alongside their daddy during a football game? It would be dumb not to because they know the ends and outs of the game. If it were not for my dad, I would have never grown to appreciate football. Neither of my parents went to a college where cheering for their football team was a big deal, so growing up, our family never had a connection to the Dawgs. Now, we do, and in the future, I will make time on Saturdays to watch them…until I have kids who are either playing or cheering on the football field, and then, I’ll just make sure Kody keeps up with the live updates.
Anyway, as a family we cheered for one team and one team only: The Falcons. And as a six-year-old, it did not take me long to figure out what this meant. It meant I needed to learn the game. So that is what I did. “Dad, what’s a fumble?” “Dad, why did the ref throw that flag?” “Dad, why are we not kicking an extra point?” “Dad?” “Dad?” “Dad?” It was one way we bonded.
He never told me to be quiet. He never hushed me. He listened and answered—question after question after question. Until my mom said, “Marlee, I’m trying to hear the commentators.” And now I get it, the commentators have some valuable things to say.
As I got older, I had the game of football mostly under my belt, and throughout middle and high school, my dad and I would bet on the Falcons’ game. I vowed to NEVER and I mean never bet against the Falcons, so my dad always did. Over the years, each of us racked up quite a tab.
All of this to be said, my love for the Falcons runs deep and wide, and it just won’t ever be otherwise.
I will come back to Athens as an alumna to watch games, I will likely have a Georgia room in my house for mine and mostly Kody’s sake, and I will sport my Georgia gear on and off season. But when Sundays come around, you can catch me yelling Rise Up, and you should not be surprised if I am just a tad more enthusiastic.