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Dad Moves: A Football Parents Reality and Fears
I hope Damar makes a recovery and that I never overlook the human side of this game.
Along with the rest of America, I watched the footage of Damar Hamlin on MNF. It made our favorite pastime of Fantasy football seem insignificant. My oldest son plays high school football, and it's been his dream since he was 4. He lives, breathes, and dreams of football. Like many young men, the NFL and the sport of football have been his passion. His dream, like so many, is to be where Damar's dream took him, an elite athlete playing for the NFL. As a parent, and I'm sure just like Damar Hamlin's parents have done, we have stood behind him with support and love and watched him live his dream. Alongside him, we celebrate the wins and struggle through the losses. We know the risks. Every hit we see on the field makes our heart skip a beat, and with fingers crossed, we pray our child is ok. But, never in our wildest thoughts would we imagine a player hugging his mom before he takes the field, playing the game he loves, and potentially not returning from that game.
After many hours of footage, I called it a night.. My son was shaken up by what happened, not wanting to go to bed. Perhaps I should have said more to him other than, "you need rest, get ready for bed." As a football dad, I always focus on the glory of the game and being a good sport. As the Fantasy Dad, I sometimes get so involved with the fantasy side of things. But, there is a humane side of the sport that often gets overlooked. The game of football is fun. It's fun to wager on, watch, and play. I hadn't felt this since May 23rd, 1999, when Owen Hart died live on a WWE PPV. It puts everything in perspective, and I saw that on my son's face last night. I spent the whole weekend mad at Justin Jefferson for not "coming through for me." It seems so ridiculous right now. These men put their well-being on the line to play the sport they are passionate about; I hope Damar makes a recovery and that I never overlook the human side of this game. A mother should never have to go through what Damar's mom is now, no matter their son’s path in life. This is what is important. The humanity of the game is what is important when it comes down to it.
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