Reflections of a Football Grandmother/Writer

Our grandson with his dad

Determined to support our football-playing grandson, my husband and I ventured across the Ohio River into Indiana to see him play his varsity game last night and JV game this morning.

All I can say is I have now witnessed close up why it took less than two weeks for our grandson’s high school to revert to online instruction. Never mind the warnings on the loudspeaker exhorting fans to practice social distancing and wear masks. Hordes of students ignored the rules. Thrilled at a reason to get out of their homes and see one another, they bunched together and boisterously laughed and talked with their masks pulled down somewhere around their necks.

I can’t even be that upset with them. I remember being fifteen and feeling invincible. And football games were prime times to hang with friends and check out your latest crush.

The thing is, though, the adults in the stands were not much better. The family sitting directly in front of us regularly pulled their masks down to scream at the players and referees. They didn’t seem to realize it was possible to shout at someone while wearing a mask.

At one point, my husband turned to me and said, “You know we’re not safe here, right?”

I did, but what are devoted grandparents to do?

Meantime, our grandson had a discouraging Friday varsity game, in which he hardly got to play. My heart ached for him. I know what it’s like to feel you’ve worked so hard at something, but you’re not getting much of a chance to show what you can do. One of the hardest lessons for me growing up was accepting that life wasn’t always fair, and hard work didn’t guarantee the results I’d hoped for.

Of course, as a very proud grandmother, I must report that our grandson got to play a lot in the JV game this morning and scored a mere four touchdowns plus two extra points. Redeemed!

In a way, our grandson’s rollercoaster football weekend reminded me a lot of what it’s like to be a writer trying to make it in a very competitive field. You’re down, you’re up, and sometimes you’re somewhere in-between.

But whatever the result, like our football-playing grandson, you get up the next day and go to practice. It’s the only way to have a shot at making a touchdown.


  1. Marty Stiffler on September 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Beautifully written. I felt as if I was there in the football stands. And I appreciate the life-lessons you drew from the weekend. Thanks for a terrific message.

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