Saturday, August 28, 2010

Little League Football

My sister with my nephew
in his football jersey.
It's no secret that football reigns as the most glorified sport in Texas.  I grew up in a small Texas town and was a cheerleader from 7th grade through my senior year in high school.  As such, I understand the basics of football.  It was as much a requirement as learning to read and write in our small school. 

My sister and her family now live in our hometown and my nephew has been playing organized football there since the 1st grade.  He loves the sport, his momma loves to cheer for him, and his daddy loves to coach him.  My parents are full-time cheerleaders for him, too.  It's completely a community event and is a lot of fun to watch.

The first time I went to see him play two years ago, I showed up at the football field and got into line with a zillion adoring parents and fans.  When I got to the entrance, I was given the fee for entrance and was sure I was in the wrong place.  "No," I said, "I'm just here to see the 1st graders play."  I was certain there must be something else going on that would require an entrance fee.  The lady at the ticket stand looked at me like I had just sprouted a second head and said, "Yeah, honey, the fee for just watching the 1st graders is the same for everybody."  Oh.  So I paid my fee (just a few bucks, but really!?!) and made my way into the stands.

Now, remember, I am accustomed to Varsity games.    I am comfortable and familiar with that scene.  I just had no idea that it was 'shrunken' and now applied to my baby 7-year-old nephew!  The players were completely decked out in their uniforms, fully uniformed cheerleaders lined the field (with megaphones and pom poms!) and the stands were full!  A full concession stand was operating, too.  Other than a band playing, it looked just like a Varsity high school game. 

This year, my nephew plays tackle football in full pads.  I went to his first game and was amazed at how much they looked like a REAL football team!  They lined up correctly, called plays, kicked off, tackled, even completed a few passing plays.  I was very impressed.  In our little military town, competitive football starts in middle school, or is done through a private league of some sort.  I had no idea how much these little guys (now just 8 years old!) knew about the sport.  And they love it.  My nephew relived every play for me after the game and wanted to be sure everyone saw each pass, run, and tackle. Very cute.

Oh, and did I mention that my studly nephew is the quarterback? And can complete 20+ yard passes?  And is as adorable as he is talented?  Just wanted to throw that in.  ;)   Stay tuned to hear more about the season this year!

Getting decked out for the first game of the season.
Check out the 'game face!'

My sweet sister and her adorable family!

Heading off the the big game.

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