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|| News Item: Posted 2007-11-11

A Dad's Top 10 Reasons For Loving Football
By Gary Bogdon

Photo by Ian Fraser

Photo by Ian Fraser

Gary Bogdon working the chain gang at his son's football game.
After covering hundreds of high school, college, and professional football games in my career, the 2007 football season brought something new to me. My 10 year old son began playing his first season of Pop Warner football for the Mighty Mites and being a dad, I was reminded of why I love this game so much. NFL games are awesome, College football is exciting, but there's nothing like Pop Warner and watching your own kids play.

Here are my Top 10 reasons of Why I Love Football:

10) Watching the kids get out there on the field and doing their workouts, sprints, and practices during 90 degree heat, 5 days a week (in the first month of practice) and NOT complaining even once about anything.

9) The sights, and sounds of football practice from the jumping jacks, to the coaches yelling. (My wife asked me after watching her first kids practice: "Do the coaches always yell so much?" Which I replied to, after some deep thought... "Yes. It wouldn't be football if they didn't!")

8) Sitting on the field with the other dad's (and some mom's) and watching practice, and hearing all of the dad's talk about their son's football experience from last week's game. Who made the big tackle, the big hit, and how the smallest kid on our boy's team, is the fastest, and the leading scorer each week.

7) Seeing how excited the boys are, after the coaches tell them that "next week, we're going to start hitting". They loved it.

6) Watching the passion and hard work that our coaches bring to the field at every practice and at every game. They are all volunteers.

5) Hearing the kids sing their team song, pound in rhythm on their pads, and cheer on each other from the sidelines during the game.

4) Seeing the excitement on their faces when they score, or make a big hit against the opposing team.

3) Seeing how far the kids have developed from the first day of practice until now, nearly the end of the season.

2) Being the water boy (in my case, water dad) or working the chain gang from the sidelines during the game. I can't stand still and sit in the stands, so working on the sidelines as the 'water boy' --- no Adam Sandler jokes please --- or chain gang is awesome.

1) And by far the best memory was early in the season after one of our practices when the kids were handed out their uniforms and helmets. My son wore his complete uniform (pads, helmet, jersey, everything) in the van on the way home after practice just to show his mom. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a proud grin on his face the size of Texas. I asked him if he liked football so far, and he said "I can't wait 'til we start hitting".

(Gary "Razor" Bogdon is a freelance photographer based in Orlando, Florida who regularly shoots football on assignment for Sports Illustrated magazine. And sometimes works the sidelines for Pop Warner games as a member of the chain gang.)

Related Links:
Razor's member page

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