Watching Games or Watching Dad?

17 Sep
Gary and his son, Luke, getting their game faces on at the OSU game.

Gary and his son, Luke, getting their game faces on at the OSU game.

Last week, we had the privilege of taking our kids to the Ohio State football game.  We had previously bought two tickets for me and Luke, and then a friend wound up sharing three more tickets with us so Jennie and the girls could go as well!  We’re grateful!

There’s something incredible about being in a stadium with 107,000 people who are rooting for the same team, the same goal, and the same result.

For about four hours, though, my focus was on just one of those 107K.

I enjoyed sitting with Luke.  We had some incredible fan experiences, like getting to high-five the players as they ran out to warm up.  Like getting J.T. Barrett’s autograph.  Like getting our picture taking with all-conference linebacker Joshua Perry.  The whole day was full of fun memories for two guys that love sports.

But for me as a father – and for Luke as a son – it was so much more.  We made memories together.  We had great conversations.  We had a great time talking about the game and about the players.  And, throughout all of these conversations, I’m thinking “dad thoughts.”

Things like, “encourage your son.”  “Listen to him.”  “Point out things we both can learn from the people we’re watching.”  “Talk about how grateful you are to get time with him.”  “Pray for the player who got injured.”

Football is not just our common interest, it becomes a common context to talk about life issues.  Like why a player got suspended.  Like how much money is involved in big games like this.  Like how hard these players have worked to get here.  Like what do former players do.  Like how God feels about every single one of these 107,000 people.

You mean, there’s more to life than football?  🙂

So, while we Dads can enjoy sporting events with our kids, we’ve got to focus on the greater challenge and opportunity to invest in our sons and our daughters.  For me, going to game is never just about going to the game.  It is just one more opportunity to prepare our children for the game of life.

As much as our kids enjoy watching Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones, or anyone else for that matter… they are watching their Dads and Moms so much more!


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