It seems like just days ago we were beginning the semester, yet somehow the holiday season is upon us. Holidays mean traditions – and football is a tradition in my family.
I never put much thought into my family traditions growing up and how much they center around the pigskin, but looking back now, my life would not be what it is without football.
My parents raised my brother and I in the small town of Perryville, Mo., because my father’s job coaching high school football moved us there.
I watched my brother play football on the same field that my father played on as a young man, and just a few years later, I found myself cheering for that same team from the sidelines.
Growing up, my dad’s players were constantly coming and going, visiting our house, writing letters and calling to stay in touch.
Even now that he no longer coaches, almost anywhere I go with my father I hear him referred to as “Coach Tucker.”
Football has always been in my life, and that’s no different now that I’m in college.
One of the things I’m most looking forward to next week – aside from the short halt in my never-ending amount of schoolwork – is watching football on Thanksgiving.
As with many families, my household enjoys traditional holiday football as a side dish on the fourth Thursday of November.
Last year even more of our entertainment came from my 3-year-old cousin attempting to tackle my boyfriend and calling him only by “football guy.”
As per usual, my mother and I will judge who has the best throwback uniforms while the men of the family reminisce their glory days and argue over who will win. (No matter the game, there has to be some sort of debate.)
My 2-year-old nephew won’t care to watch any games, but I am sure he will throw a football around the house until he breaks something.
And once our first, or perhaps second, meal of the day has settled, we’ll eat sandwiches of leftover turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce until at least one person falls into a food coma with a game still on the television at full blast.
That’s what the holidays are all about, isn’t it? Spending time with people you care about, doing things that you enjoy.
I wouldn’t by any means say that my family is obsessed with football.
But I would venture to say football is something that has shaped our lives in ways that I never noticed before.
It brings us even closer on such a special day, and for that reason, I’m thankful for football.
As we prepare for a well-deserved break, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.
Watch one game on Thursday or watch all three. Love or hate the throwback uniforms. Eat pumpkin pie or opt for pecan.
Whatever traditions you have, I hope your day is filled with food, family and football.
I know mine will be.
Column by Mallory Tucker, Staff writer