I never thought I would become a follower of football to the extent that I have become one. Actually, I have always loved sports. I spent countless hours on a soccer field starting when my son was in the first grade and it lasted all through his high school years. Club soccer when he was a sophomore meant road trips practically every weekend and even a 3 week trip through Europe playing soccer against teams in Amsterdam, Holland, Lucerne, Switzerland, Prague, Czechoslovakia, and Brussels, Belgium. You meet wonderful people when your family members are involved in organized sports. When my son graduated from high school, that part of my life disappeared and I felt truly lost.
But, then my nephews started their involvement in sports and I was off to the soccer fields, football fields and basketball courts all over again. My nephew Sam has been something to behold, however. Basketball and football at Washington High School was exciting but nothing quite compares to the football experience I have enjoyed while he has played at Augustana College.
Although I am an Aunt and not a mother of one of these athletes, I feel like I am part of a very active, passionate and fun loving parent group. I have not missed a game of Augie football since Sam started as a red-shirt freshman. Each year became more exciting than the last. A connection established with parents from all over the place and with young men who pulled hamstrings, separated shoulders, broke fingers and hands, got concussions.
This year, Augustana Football is quite unbelievable. As we head out for Duluth for the semi-finals playoff game, I am thinking I have come a long way in what I will and will not do and the discomfort I am willing to endure for the sake of the sport of football. That means watching a game in pouring down rain, baking in the sun, freezing to death with temperatures in the teens and the wind blowing like there is no tomorrow. It means taking off for an away game when the forecast says a possibility of six inches of snow. Standing and sitting for 4 hours or more when you no longer can feel your hands or toes.
One big benefit in all this travel, is finding unique eating establishments. My brother should be a food critic. He is a master at searching out and finding the most unique local places to eat when we are on the road. No chain restaurants for us. Memorable and 20 pounds later.
Off to Duluth and that fabulous restaurant we found two years ago. It's comical when you associate towns with the eating places of past visits. Just another adventure to go along with the fantastic game of Augustana football.
Go Augie Go!!!!