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Candy A. Westbrook: A Football Mom column
Helmet Kisses

Dear Football Mom,

How do you feel about peewee teams holding two weeks of spring practice and then a scrimmage game? Charging admission, no less, and holding the game over Memorial Day weekend ruining plans for our family. We always went to the beach with my sisters and their families. Besides, I think this is too much for little guys.

Dear Reader,

Honestly, what a great idea for a fundraiser. Peewee teams are always looking for fresh ideas to raise funds. Other than the inconvenience for your family, sounds like an awesome game plan. Wish I’d thought of that when my sons were in peewee. 

Look, it’s very simple. If your family believes football might be in your future, you’ve got to change up your thinking right now about holidays and quit sullying over past family traditions. Honey, ya gotta make new ones. 

What fun memories y’all will make at the ballpark. I can think of no better way to celebrate Memorial Day than gathering at a football field, grilling hotdogs, or hamburgers and watching your son’s team go at it. 

It really doesn’t get any better than that. Yippee-ki-yay! Pass the mustard, please. 

•    •    •

Dear Football Mom,

Our son is finishing his freshman year of college and was redshirted, which I still don’t understand, because he was promised to be on the team when they recruited him. But now, we just found out he flunked last semester and isn’t eligible to play on the team next fall. I am furious. At him of course, but then at the coaches, too. They tell us he has to stay on campus and take summer school courses to raise his grades so he’ll have a chance to play next year. Well, I wanted him home. What should we do?

Dear Reader,

Do you want the short version or the even shorter version? Oh golly. 

First of all, it was a good thing he was redshirted his freshman year. It is supposed to give players a chance to settle in on campus and smooth out any wrinkles they could be challenged with as a new recruit. So actually, the coaches were right-on having him redshirted. 

Second, the real question is how or what happened in the classroom for him to peddle such poor grades when he wasn’t even playing? Granted, I know, he still practiced, spent time in the weight room, and was part of the team whether he clocked time in a game or not. But, if he couldn’t get the grades with the pressures of traveling and playing in games, what do you suppose will happen when or if he does play next season? Sounds to me like the boy better hunker-down and getter-done in the classroom. Same thing happened once with us and, oh trust me, somebody got his head peeled like a peach even though he was, indeed, a first stringer. You never want to accept excuses. I suggest you make that clear to your son as well. No bragging here, but the head that was peeled did graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree. Peach-peeling works. 

Third, thank those coaches till you are slap wore out from thanking them for giving your son a second chance through summer school. If his grades don’t get up to snuff, no worries. You’ll have him home soon enough.