Have you ever gone somewhere and realized you have no idea what's going on?
It's not that I don't get football, we all know that's not the case. But here I was Saturday dressed in purple and cheering for a team I basically know nothing about playing against a school I have been to many times for 7-on-7 tournaments, and lived about 20 minutes away from for the last 14 years, and know many kids on the team just because of my son's training in the area. Now that Maryland is part of the Big Ten, it was also weird seeing the flags of all the B1G teams being paraded around at the start of the game. As a Penn State grad, I get B1G traditions. PSU actually joined the B1G when I was a junior in college. (just aged myself...) So, I have a lot to learn about a new team in a new conference that I didn't even really know much about before, other than Towson played in it.
It's a weird thing to experience. My son is on scout team, and likely redshirted this year, so he wasn't even on the sideline, which is a first for me - since he's been a starter his entire high school career. Cheering for kids I kind of know, but not really, is just a new place for me. I'm a football mom. I have been involved since his freshman year in high school. Driving kids to and from practice. Making sure there was water and gatorade available. Volunteering my time, watching practices. All the things football mom's do.
So here I am. I know nothing about James Madison traditions. My only experience so far, is reading this message board which honestly doesn't make me want to learn much more, Talk about awful. (Don't read it unless you want to feel like throat punching someone immediately).
So, I am in a weird place. My kid isn't playing. I am learning about his new team. Seeing the coaches who recruited him in action and hoping that he can make an impact next year. I don't have to worry about whether they have enough water at the 7-on-7 tournament. Or do they have lunch if they are there all day? Do we have enough gatorade? Does everyone have a ride? These things are now not part of my life. (oooweee all the free time, I don't even know what to with myself!)
So what advice do I have for other football mom's who are in a similar place?
1. Support your son. I know my son is frustrated. He wants to play and he's dying to get on the field. But I tell him that this is good. He can do what he needs to do to get bigger, stronger, faster, keep his academics in line and get a better handle on the more complicated offense. Taking the pressure off him this year could benefit him in ways he doesn't even realize yet.
2. Get involved. I went to the Dukes Club tailgate that was held at Maryland and met some people, a few, anyway. I hope that when there's a home game I can get more involved with other football parents, especially the freshman parents. I met some when we moved him into the dorms for training camp, but looking forward to getting more involved.
3. Relax and Enjoy. For the first time, I don't have to worry about anything. I just have to show up and cheer. That's kind of weird to begin with. I don't need to worry about water or gatorade. Nothing. So, enjoy football. Even with them losing pretty badly this weekend, all I had to do was cheer (and be thankful I didn't have to go to meetings Sunday and hear the coaches). I can actually enjoy college football and be a regular fan. Well, not exactly regular, I am still a mom.
Next year I hope he gets to help his team win and make an impact. I look forward to learning more about the traditions and core values of his new team. And I will continue to wear purple and cheer for them. Looking forward to seeing them grow and learn this year.
And most of all, I am thankful that my son was talented enough to get a scholarship at any level. One less thing for me to worry about and one more reason to relax and enjoy the show. I just hope next week's show is the complete opposite of this week's show. #GoDukes