Let’s go back to my sophomore year in college (only two decades ago). My best friend, Julie, a devoted fan, didn’t miss a football game, so I tagged along. She taught me the rules and strategies, and equipped me with players’ names and statistics in case we ran into the famous football players on campus or around town. To this day, I wonder how she knew all that she knew without a smartphone in her purse.
Julie’s obsession was contagious. Ultimately, it created a loyal four-pack of fans that attended every home game, rain or shine. We rushed the field after victories. We cruised Lindsey Street screaming ‘Boomer Sooner’ at every passing car. Yes, we were the crazy girls that loved football!
Norman continued to be my Saturday destination for nine years following graduation. I was a season ticket holder that couldn’t resist the magic of the stadium, the beat of the marching band, and the day-after hoarse voice from chanting every chant!
The game-day plan changed when my daughter was born. My heart ached at the thought of being away from her another day. As a working mom, I already missed five days a week, other than the few hours in the evening and middle of the night cuddles. It was time to enjoy Sooner Magic from the comfort of my living room couch with my daughter.
Momma, it is a win-win when we can engage our children in what we enjoy. Football is now a family affair!
Dress in Spiritwear!
Fans wear their spiritwear with pride to the stadium. Why not wear it in your living room? Pompoms are a great addition. Plus, kids like them for cheering or pestering each other. When teams stripe the stadium, you can stripe your couch. Each family member will wear the designated color creating a colorful and energetic home stadium.
Have a Tailgate!
Who doesn’t love tailgate food? You can have a tailgate on your kitchen counter, island or dining room table. Retailers sell cute football or team paper goods and disposable cups in various colors to make clean-up easy. No dishes is always a plus! The favorite menu in our house is cheese dip with sausage, barbecue smokies, and a sweet treat like cookies or popsicles. Pizza and build-your-own sandwiches are also popular choices if the game falls around lunch or dinner. Full tummies make happy fans!
Sing the Fight Song!
Upon the scoring of any points, it is time to sing ‘Boomer Sooner’ (or your fight song of choice), clap your hands, and be the crazy fan! I’d like to say that the entire family joins me, but the reality is that they usually look at me like I have lost my mind. Ha! This is part of the fun and experience of being at a live sporting event. Boomer Sooner! OK-U!
Teach your Kids the Game!
Several years ago, my first-grade daughter was not happy with the referee’s call during a football game. She decided to take the situation into her own hands and wrote a letter to the referee about his ‘unfair call.’ That was a proud mommy moment because she knew the game! Sports are more fun to watch when you know the rules and the game. Watching football, or any sport together, gives you an opportunity to learn together and find an interest that hopefully you can share!
Enjoy the Quality Time as a Family!
Our children need quality time with us in the comfort of our homes. This is the perfect time to engage without electronics and be present together for a few hours every week. If football isn’t your favorite sport, then pick another sport to watch together. It’s about creating quality family time and making memories. Football just happens to be my pick.
As my daughter got older and the step-sons were introduced to football Saturdays, there was some moaning and groaning because they would rather do what they want to do. But, the reality is that our children should engage in things that we like to do.
Pick the thing that you want to do with your kids. Be selfish. Require them to join you. And, who knows, your kids may find great enjoyment in momma’s favorite thing if they give it a chance. If not, the family tradition and time together will still be meaningful. The memories will be cherished by all, especially you!
In memory of Julie Kostohryz Rowe, my best friend and devoted Sooner fan. Boomer Sooner!