One of my favorite scenes from the movie Talladega nights is when Ricky Bobby is being interviewed and he says I’m not sure what to do with my hands. Well that’s how I feel right now during this time of the year.
For many years I was a part of many successful programs and got to partake in Bowl Season – planning, practice, and ultimately the game. In hindsight, I guess it was a good thing to have the routine of practice, packing up, traveling to the Bowl game site and staying in a hotel, and playing a ball game.
As my kids got older they always knew around what date we would be leaving and headed to the airport. They always knew that we would be spending Christmas day in a hotel with the other coaches and their families along with the players. Many of their friends were the children of other administrators and coaches. The level of creativity we had to have with coordinating Santa’s drop offs was just short of a military operation. Most of our kids knew the athletes and vice versa. This was our usual holiday routine and we considered it to be a family tradition.
But this year we found ourselves coming up with new traditions as we now live in a new city, state, and I am in a new administrative role… oh, and covid! My girls are much older and we’re looking at colleges and extracurricular activities they might be involved in. After so many years of traveling with the team, I think they actually looked forward to just being able to stay home.
I think what made this new chapter really interesting was having to think about the little things: how do we prepare the holiday meals? What food do we even want to eat for the holidays? Do we invite friends over or do we accept invitations to spend time with other families? What do people do for the holidays when they’re not at a bowl game? It was a learning process, but the one thing I am grateful for is, regardless of where we are or what we might be doing, I still have my family.
So congrats to all the coaches, administrators, and athletes who will got to experience Bowl game preparation, planning, and playing. Please don’t take it for granted – I enjoyed awesome times that I had for many years. But now I get to come up with new traditions and I’m looking forward to enjoying the bowl season from a different position, (in front of the TV and fireplace). I can use one of my hands to control the remote control to change channels and flip between different games and the other to lift the lever to the footrest.