Monday, January 6, 2014

more than a game

I knew I married a football loving man when I said yes over a decade ago. I knew I married a Vikings loving, yell at the TV, and plan everything around Vikings games man. From our first face to face encounter with him in his old grey long sleeved Vikings t-shirt, getting down on one knee in that same shirt, and hiking in it on our honeymoon... I was well aware that the Vikings were closely linked to my forever man.

Once baby boy #1 came I assumed this Vikings obsession would slightly start to fade a bit. But it seemed Someone had bigger plans for this family of mostly boys and their love of the game.
We took Jaxon to his first game by the time he was two. And they both loved every single minute of it.

By the time Jax was 4, Dave had already planned a weekend up in MN to treat his football loving boy to a boys weekend of hotel and NFL game fun. Let the tradition begin.

Every end of summer/early fall Dave plans a weekend up to the city for each boy...some love the hotel stay more then the actual football, but either way... they go for the game and this always brings them together.
 We've followed the men who sweat it out in yellow and purple at training camp and made family time include yelling at refs, chasing down players for autographs, and singing along to the Skol vikings song in the same way you sing along to Sweet Home Alabama when it comes on the radio.

 Jax especially has found his Dad's love for this team. This game. This way of living.

Even Mom gets included every few years...

So to write a post on the last ever game at my guy's beloved Metrodome is a little sad. Seems a little weird that its over.

 Dave found himself with the chance to buy season tickets 10 years ago. The seats weren't great, but they were seats and he jumped on them.

 At the time, I didn't know what that small yes would turn into for our family...

 I know we are each crafted with a passion for different things. And for many seasons, I did not accept the value in having a passion for football. The people it gathers and the lives that it effects is gigantic though. Huge. And I will be the first to and boys has a lot of value.

 If having boys has taught me anything, it is this...Boys, as sweet and gentle as we may want them to be...are made for action. They love through action. Action is the love language of boys. Whether you are playing the game or hiking down a hill or swimming across the lake, boys know you love them when you move with them.

 I've watched my boys drive mile after mile back and forth, season after season to experience the thrill of this game.

 They've worn the colors, yelled the cheers, sang the songs, and even when they returned home with a loss... they get suited up again and head back up there.

 We tried to count all the people Dave has included in this yearly event. The beauty of having cheap seats is that he always was able to sell a couple games and totally pay for his season...often times more then pay for his season tickets. 

 He also was able to usually bless a few people by taking them along for the ride...around 100 we think. 100ish different people Dave has invited for one of his most favorite places on earth. Vikings games in the Metrodome. Consider yourself lucky if you were one of them. He's been known to ban Vikings haters from coming back with him :)

 Whether it was one of you or one of my boys, my husband shared his passion for this game and this team like no other.

 The seats have been a good excuse to build my son's relationship with their Dad. 

 The players have been a good reason to yell and scream and cheer together in a way only boys do over a game.

 My husband has shared his passion with many by simply saying yes to the cheap seats...him in his sweet spot, leaning against his wall, season after season... hearts being poured into while my boys all found a love for the game and each other.

 I'm super thankful for my Vikings loving husband and his heart for sharing his seats.

 I'm super thankful these seats have served my boys well over the years. 

The final play went down last week as the Vikings prepare to tear down the beloved old Metrodome for a "better facility". I don't know... this facility has served many well. This Mama has been taught to let boys be boys and to give into the love of the game...

Because behind all that traveling and cheering and scheduling around and playing is the hearts of a Dad and his boys. Forever changed by a game they love together.Where the action goes, the boys go...and I know this old tradition will find it's new seats and some familiar looking faces to fill them.


Juli Camarin said...

What a sweet post! No doubt these will be some of the most precious memories your boys will have of their childhood!

Maribeth said...

Jess, this needs to be sent to the Vikings public relations department. If you can bring a tear to my eye over football, you've got yourself a jewel that's written straight from the heart!