By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Candy A. Westbrook: A Dear Football Mom column
Helmet Kisses

Dear Football Mom,

We are at a crossroads. Our son has a choice to make and we’re not sure how to help or guide him in making this decision. He has two trips lined up with two different D-IAA colleges. Both have offered him partial scholarships. One is in our state, the other is a few states away. What questions do you suggest we ask on these trips to help with his choice?

Right off, I’d ask how much the total yearly tuition is, including books, food, room and board. Get that total number first before you ask, “what part of that total are they offering to pay with the scholarship offer.” Very rarely do D-IAA programs offer full rides. Which brings me to another question for your family: Are you willing to pay out-of-state tuition to the college a few states away? Is it worth it? And remember, if you want to see him play you will also need travel funds. Will it put a burden on your household budget once you’ve weighed the pros and cons? The out of state tuition may or may not be factored in, but it’s something to double- check. Nothing wrong with doing a little financial negotiating, yourself. 

I get it — your son wishes to change it up and possibly attend another college outside your state. It may be a great experience for him, and I commend him for the challenge to go to the unfamiliar. But going out of state may come with a little too much sugar for a dime for y’all. Either way, once you visit, your son will decide which one feels like a fit. 

I always suggest choosing the program that has been steadily perusing him. If coaches (especially position coaches) already know where and how they’ll plug him in, that’s a good thing. A plus for the visit too, is if the program spreads on a little extra jam throughout the weekend making sure their hospitality game goes off without a hitch. You’ll know how badly they want him by the end of the visit and whether or not one college is a better fit than the other. 

How exciting. Enjoy your weekends.


Dear Football Mom,  

What happened to the Crystal Ball Trophy for the National Championship? I am perplexed! That other trophy looks like a piece of garbage. 

I understand completely, but if you were a player on the team that won the National Championship, I just bet you it really wouldn’t matter. Those boys are basking in some serious glory and really don’t give two hoots what trophy they hug! 

But, that hunk of metal vs the Waterford Crystal Ball, that’s some comparison. The crystal was beautiful, shiny, and sparkly, and its diamond-like rays glowed from any platform on the field as it was passed through the hands of the National Championship winners since 1986. The hunk of metal — not so much.

Once upon a time, in a football field far, far away, there was something called the BCS, (Bowl Championship Series) which was the fairest in all of college football. Not! Too many programs, teams, and fans complained about the bias culture of the BCS that the poor BCS had to turn in their glass slippers and take-up fireplace cleaning — cinders, soot, and all.

Within the last few years a new sheriff has come to town confusing everyone involved, at least those of us who were confused to begin with on all this championship ranking stuff, as to who plays who in the bowl series. Just ask Central Florida how they feel about the rankings of the newly formed CFP (College Football Playoffs) and if anything has really changed. Hopping on fresh horses, the CFP commissioned a two-foot gold/bronze/stainless steel trophy, which was introduced in 2014. Rumor has it that the new posse, (CFP) wanted a new trophy to represent the new legend on the trail. 

The delicate crystal ball has not been retired. Its bestowing ceremony takes place to the No. 1 winner in a coach’s pole. By the time this piece publishes, it will already be presented. Congratulations to Alabama and the refs who helped getter-done.

Each question is handled with discretion and privacy. Identity of persons asking questions will not be shared. All information is strictly confidential. Questions are not limited to Forsyth County and encompass surrounding areas, including other states. As “The Heart Behind the Gridiron,” we try to answer a variety of questions and scenarios surrounding the game. Answers are opinion-based. We are not responsible for results. All questions should be submitted by email to