I love sports, especially Buffalo Sports. Always have, always will. But something changed when my first child came in September of 2010. As we sat watching the Bills lose to the Dolphins In the opener, in one of Trent Edward’s Classic starts, I didn’t care as much. Sure it was frustrating to watch, but the little guy in my arms soothed me. He took away that anger, frustration of watching grown men lose at a game. 2 years prior, I probably would have broken something or just be miserable. Not this day, I was just clamoring to get out of the hospital and take my little man home.
It’s been almost 3 years later, and I have another boy at home. I’m also a Stay-at -home dad now; you know the family with a female breadwinner, ruining America. They aren’t old enough to start sports yet, but the oldest will kick around a ball or try to make a catch. The youngest is just trying to walk, but he is so big and heavy, that I’m awaiting Nick Saban to recruit him. I’m not into sports any less. I still follow with a passion.
But the emotional response that I once had has faded away. This in hindsight is a great thing for me. I really could have done damage after the Music City Forward Pass. And was a despondent 10 year old after Super Bowl XXV. And being 18 and having No Goal happen, is the wrong age, because you think that was the greatest tragedy to befall the planet.
When I watch sports now, it is more for entertainment value. And not a reason for living. Bills losses hurt less as wins are cool, but quickly forgotten by dinner time. The Sabres are fun to follow, but at this point in my life, it’s almost helpful they miss the playoffs. I don’t have the emotional energy for playoff hockey, or the control of the TV. Jake and the Neverland Pirates win the day, or whatever the wife wants to watch. Dad falls a distant 3rd in TV viewing.
I remember reading an old BfloBlog post about taking his kid to a Sabres game, and thinking I can’t wait for that. I’m getting to that point where I can take my oldest to a game, and it’s super exciting. The thought of taking him to a game, is more exciting than the game itself. I’m just looking forward to sharing sports with my sons, rather than the product the local teams put out there. Right now I’m more concerned with the performance of the Schools then the Sabres. If they win or lose it is irrelevant, as it’s just fun to go to a game.
Soon enough I’ll be involved in my kids sport activities or whatever passion they have, and I’ll have more interest in those, then how the pro teams perform. And I’m sure my sons may share my passion for Pro Sports one day, and see them emotionally devastated over a loss and curse the Bills once again for hurting my family. The hurt I’ll feel is not from the result, but seeing my son’s reaction to it. You become very aware and protective when a child enters your life. I get angry at those YouTube clips of parents taping their kids reaction to a loss. Why? It’s not funny because they are hurt. Give them a hug and take them for Ice Cream. Don’t tape it and put it online. Sports shouldn’t hurt you.
As Father’s Day approaches and I await a Card (maybe) and a Happy Father’s Day from the wife, I get to share the day with my 2 sons and look forward to the future… Triumph and heartbreak, joy and disbelief and the excitement of taking my boys to their first pro sports game. A ticket I will always keep and smile at, because I know what it means for me and them.
So Happy Dad’s day to you fathers out there. Enjoy it, and enjoy your kids.