I love watching the pros play and I especially like to watch the college kids playing for their future. But what I love most is watching my son play middle school football.
Middle school is that awkward time in a male’s life when he’s not a boy, but not a man. Sometimes their feet run faster than their legs and sometimes their feet seem to be moving so fast, but nothing is really happening on the field.
I’m the crazy guy in the stands…sometimes on the field…that screams and hollers every play. I found that taking a camera and trying to watch the game don’t do very well together. I missed getting a picture of my son catching a TD pass because I was too busy using the camera like a Viking war hammer being waved at the enemy as I shouted my encouragement.
I was so proud of the boys last night in a Tuesday night performance. They were shut out last week 44-0 and needed a boost. But it wasn’t my son’s two touchdowns or the great tackles at middle linebacker that I will remember most.
It was one of referees.
The kids weren’t even done lining up across the field to shake the other team’s hand and a ref came jogging over to our side of the field, found his way through the fence and approached my wife and I.
He had a stern look on his face and asked, “Is number 17 your son?”
I wanted to ask what he’d done or what he’d said, but that would be doubting my kid. So with a big grin I smiled and said, “You bet he is.”
The ref stuck out his hand and as I shook his hand he said, “You’ve got a classy kid. I wish there were more like him.”
Then he turned and jogged away.
I asked my son later why the ref would say that and my son just shrugged like he either didn’t know or maybe didn’t care. When I pushed him for an answer he said, “No one ever got lost going out of their way to be cool to other people…even when you’re trying to knock their heads off.”
Train up your child in the way they should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6