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Football is Family

As we’ve entered into the NFL post-season, I noticed myself getting a little sad instead of excited.

This may come as a surprise knowing how much I love football – especially when it means getting together with friends and family on a Sunday to cheer on our favorite team (or root against a division rival!); instead of thinking about what was to come, I got stuck in a rut of sadness knowing that football season would soon be coming to an end.

You see, this football season was especially bittersweet for me. Depending on how regular of a reader you are, you may or may not know that my dad passed away on October 12, 2015. I spent several days in the ICU by his side before he passed, along with my three half-brothers.

We don’t get to see each other very often, and there’s quite a big age gap between us, so it’s safe to say we don’t always have an over-abudnace of topics to freely discuss – and after days of sitting in a hospital room hours on end, we’d tapped out most of the usual subjects.

And to be honest, seeing dad in the state he was in didn’t make any of us feel like talking much anyway.

But once Sunday arrived, dad’s room got a breath of new life. The game went on the TV, and suddenly we were all unified again. It was almost as if we could just pretend dad was in his recliner watching the game alongside the rest of us. We were given something to focus on other than our present situation and it was refreshing.

I dare say we regained a bit or normalcy that day.

The four of us had to make one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever made that afternoon and when we did, we decided it would be good for us to leave the hospital for a little bit. What did we do? You guessed it – went back to my brother’s house to watch football.

Even though we each lived in a different city and each cheered for different teams, we found comfort in those NFL games that afternoon…and the fact that dad would be watching along with us if he could.

So when I was presented with an opportunity to have a  football video filmed at our house just one week after dad died, it seemed ironically comforting. The focus was family, family game-day traditions to be exact, and the event allowed me to relive those memories with my dad and my brothers from the week prior.

The video featured Mama McCourty (who has twin boys in the NFL – one on the Titans and one on the Patriots) and how she gets game-day ready. You can watch it here:

With two sons in the NFL, Mama McCourty is the ultimate football fan. Her sons are Titans Cornerback Jason McCourty and Patriots Safety Devin McCourty! Learn more at http://bit.ly/1ObV1Vw.

Here’s mama getting ready to walk in our turquoise front door to share those famous game day traditions:


And here she is prepping her famous wings in my dining room for our game-day buffet:


As you saw in the video, one of Mama’s game-day traditions involved getting her game face on…it was just humorous to watch three camera-men stuff themselves into our little bathroom to try to capture it!


And of course, it takes a whole team to pull off a video event like this, so here are just a sampling of the good people who helped make it happen (and what it looked like behind the camera).


And to have any good game-day party, you need to celebrate with people you love, right? So I was glad I got to invite some of my favorite friends over to partake in the goodies with us.


Even though our table was Titans-tastic, it wasn’t enough to push our home team into the playoffs :(


So I guess I should really celebrate the season instead of mourning it. After all, the family football memories I made this year will stay with me for a lifetime, but next year I’ll be ready for new ones (and hopefully my teams will actually make it to the postseason too!).

Football is family to me…what about you?

This post was written in partnership with SheSpeaks. I was compensated for my participation, but all sentiments are completely my own.