I had high hopes for this past season. My employer had season tickets to the 49ers, a team who had been projected to be in contention for playoff spot. If you follow football you know how well that turned out. As my 6 year old daughter Skylee put it, “How come the 49ers never win?” At one point in the season, after a particularly dismal performance Skylee was very excited because the 49ers managed to score 7 points.
Am I raising a little football fan? That was not my intention. I didn’t think Skylee had any interest in football, and in fact she didn’t, but when the preseason started and I got tickets to the Oakland Raider vs. San Francisco 49er game at the old ‘Stick, the stadium where my father took me to my first game at the age of 7. Skylee insisted on going. Let me tell you something, an Oakland Raider game is no place for a little girl. The game was like Halloween on steroids.
I ended up taking a colleague, and Skylee made me promise to take her to the next game: BIG MISTAKE. The next game I got a ticket to was against the Seahawks. I got one ticket, and my employer wanted to take ‘the boys’. Sorry, Skylee, no girls allowed. “But you promised!” She wailed and flailed and gnashed her baby teeth. You can imagine how that felt. My conscience weighed heavily on me all the way to the first of several game day beers.
I truly felt awful about going, but what was I going to do? Say “Sorry I can’t go, I promised my daughter I would take her the next time I went to a game. No, she doesn’t know any of the rules or any of the teams or even have the slightest clue about how the game is played, but she really wants to go”?
The next game I got tickets to was the Ravens, and Skylee was not going to be denied. Despite her lack of knowledge about the game she had an awesome time and so did I. Being there wasn’t about the game at all, but about us sharing time together in a unique and electrifying setting, the 49ers offensive woes aside. So when I got tickets to the Saints, Skylee’s four year old sister Sabrina was the next in line. It was just as fun. The 49ers lost both games but that didn’t matter. My daughters LOVED the cheerleaders. They ate popcorn. They sat on my lap. It could not have been better.
Late in the season I was offered 3 tickets to a Cal Bears game. This time I took both daughters. We arrived early and had a great time checking out the band and–of course–the cheerleaders. Personally I had no problem with focusing on the cheerleaders!
I’ve got this to say about football games. If you’ve got an opportunity to take your young kids, go for it! You will cherish the memories.