I have a strong dislike for football. I know that most sports are physical but there’s just something about having a position that solely consists of running through other bodies and dealing with the damage that doesn’t sit well with me. Also, sitting on a commuter train with a hoard of Patriots fans on Super Bowl parade day didn’t exactly endear me any more to the game. So needless to say, my husband and I are going to discourage our son from playing this sport in the future even though he will be growing up in America. Andrew takes a stronger stance and says that “C will never play this sport.”
My perspective softened slightly after the Patriots won the Super Bowl and I started to listen to some of the media interviews. I only really became interested because of the Malcolm Butler story. Come on, who does not love the underdog triumphing in every way imaginable on game day? One soundbyte that was quoted frequently basically involved Malcolm saying that it doesn’t matter where you came from, but it matters what you do when you get there. This is a scrapper who did not give up. Fuck, that’s inspirational. If you watch the interception you notice that he sort of puts his shoulder in front of the other player to get at the pass. You get that grit from having to fight for a spot on literally the last train that was going to come for you in your pro career.
Many other players also spoke of how what ensued on the field was nothing special because these were the exercises that they performed each and everyday. What they achieved did not happen because of an exceptional event but instead was the result of the time they put into their craft. That is such an important message to any young person who may be looking up to them and hanging onto their words.
Never having been particularly sporty, other than excelling at swimming, I wished that I had had this sort of influence for most of my life. This type of work ethic and determination can positively impact so many other aspects of your wellbeing. I’m happy that my son has an athletic father to grow up with who can nurture this part of his development. My husband is not cocky, loud or boisterous, in spite of both his intelligence and talent in various athletic endeavors.
Through his immersion in learning to ice skate each Sunday, my son’s current idols consist of hockey players. A few weeks ago a young player was practicing on the ice with his full gear on. As he’s making his way off the ice, C points out to his dad that there’s a real hockey player. This thirteen year old kid, with Ashworth on his uniform, smiles and comes over to say hi and gave my son a high-five. Later on, when C takes a tumble on the ice Ashworth comes over, helps him up and even demonstrates for a bit how to skate, and man, he was a great skater. I was amazed that at a such a young age he was so humble, nurturing and sweet. I’ll take these type of hockey stars over Spiderman or Batman any day. Play on player.