Disclaimer: This is not perfectly written, nor did I want it to be. I wrote the thoughts that came to me. Hope you enjoy.
For all you high school football players who’s season is about to end, I’d like to talk to you about something more than what happens between the goal lines. As you take the field this Friday night, I challenge you to look in the stands and find your biggest fan.
For me….It was my mother. She raised 4 children by herself but never missed a game. Win or lose, she greeted me with a smile. She was that crazy lady who would jump a fence when I got hurt and yelled at every snap of the ball. She was proud of me no matter the outcome.
They say that moms know best….That statement couldn’t be any truer. Just ask any ref who has had her yell at them for throwing a flag. When I quit my sophomore year, she told me I would regret it. I DID… When I tore my ACL my junior season, she was right there with me. In fact, we ate the best KFC meal of all time after surgery. She was there when I was awarded First Team All-State my senior year and she was there when I signed to play College Football.
She talked to me when I had a broken heart. She listened when I was upset. With a calm and soothing voice she would always say, “it will be alright.” I was forced to stop playing football because of my knee and when I asked to move back home, she welcomed me back with open arms. I may have been disappointed and felt like I let everybody down, but she was still my biggest fan.
She supported me when I became a father at the age of 21. She was in the room when my daughter was born. I’ll never forget the smile on her face and hearing her say she is proud of me. She has seen me at my best and definitely at my worst. She was in the recovery room of every surgery I’ve had….
I tell you this because…I’m 29 now, and am facing the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I have to bury my biggest fan. The one who changed my diapers, taught me to throw a football, and tie my shoes. Your season is coming to an end in the next few weeks, but the game of life will go on. You will be faced with many challenges along the way. You will fail, you will succeed, and your mom will still be your biggest fan.
You will never be able to repay her for all that she does and that is ok. She doesn’t do any of it for recognition and when you are not around, she will brag on you constantly. You are her star, when in reality….she is the star.
You only have a certain amount of practices and games. Seniors, you are at the tail end of yours. The same can be said with your biggest fan. You only have so many days with her. Cherish those days, those moments, and those memories. Say thank you, and I love you. Be proud of her as much as she is you. You only get one mom, just as you only get one go at a high school football career. Don’t take any of this for granted. Make the most of every opportunity, every snap, and every day. Become the man that your biggest fan always hoped you would be. I’m not even 30 and I will have to live the rest of my life without mine. I find comfort in knowing that no matter what she was, is, and always will be my biggest fan.