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My Sons Passion for Football
Big Poppa 2014 Sophmore Season
How my son's passion and love for football brought us closer
My favorite time of the year is finally here, football season. Thursday, August 14 the New England Patriots lost to the Greenbay Packers in their first preseason game of 2015. How do I know this information? My son texted me when I was working that they won. He is a football fanatic and dedicated Packers fan. He is the only reason I grew to love it just as much as him and he inspired me to write about his love for the game and how it brought us closer.
You know the old saying, “ Like father, Like son? “ Well not exactly in this case and don’t get me wrong I would never bash his father because he’s a great dad. It’s just my son and I have such a special unbreakable bond. I loved him from the minute I felt that first kick in my stomach when I was 17 years old. When I first laid eyes on him after the horrible labor I went through I knew he was my first true love. He had his eyes shut tight and wouldn’t open them until the nurse cleaned his little chunky cute body up and placed him on my chest. He opened his big brown eyes and looked at me real quick when he heard my voice and shut them closed again for days after. All my pictures of him in the hospital he has his eyes closed. From the beginning, my son was unique and not your average child. He was always the biggest and tallest kid in classes and on teams. I’ve had coaches, family, teachers and other parents tell me my son was huge for his age and he is. He was a 10 pound baby at birth and he’s above average but he’s tall, solid, strong and athletic. Almost all of his coaches have approached me and praised me on a good job I did with my boy. He’s mature, disciplined, respectful, kind, always follows directions and never talks back. He’s quiet and shy at first it takes a minute for him to warm up to a person but once he does you’ll love his spirit and personality. He is a character and he shines on and off the field. We have nicknames for each other, he calls me Mama and I call him Big Poppa. My Poppa has my characteristics and my personality to the T. You would probably think that we’re a little crazy too because we are always laughing, being goofy, rapping to our favorite songs together, going back and forth with our Instagram tags on who’s the funniest and in our own little world just having fun. For example, the other day one of my best friend’s/ business partner was at my house for a business meeting and we were in the kitchen. Poppa comes in serves a bowl of cereal and goes to get milk. Being hungry I hear him loudly sigh and say “ Dang It ” and I turn around and ask what the problem was. He replies “we ain’t got no milk!” I replied back “ use water it won’t hurt “ he says “ we ain’t never got two thing’s that match, kool-aid no sugar, peanut butter no jelly, ham no burger.” We all start busting out laughing and my friend says “ your boy is too much “ in a good funny way. I said “ I don’t know where he gets that from” she looks at me like I was crazy. We start laughing again because I know that he gets is from me.
The Importance of Youth Sports
I was taught to be active growing up because it instills discipline, structure and builds team work. I live by that until this day and I push my kids to be active for those reasons plus it’s fun. I’m that mom on the side pushing them to play harder and move your feet, you better hustle. My parents put all of their kids in sports and activities. I played softball for years, I was a cheerleader, a gymnast and I played the piano and clarinet. Both of my younger brothers were in Karate and my youngest brother became the first black belt and only one in our family. In fact, he taught both my kids the techniques in the same Dojo he learned Karate from. Both of my brothers received numerous awards and achievements while playing football but not until they reached high school. They received MVP awards , they were captains and had articles and pictures in the Daily Breeze. When Poppa was 8 in 2010 I decided it was time for him to play a sport. Of course he wanted to play football he was around the sport all the time and watched my brothers play on the field. That year he played flag football. It wasn’t what I thought it would be but he loved it and he was appointed team captain by the coach. He saw something in my son and told me I had a star in the making. I’ll never forget it. He’s been playing for the past 5 years including this season but it wasn’t until the 3rd season it took a turn for me because I was watching my son become a beast. I watched him grow from flag to tackle and develop his rhythm, his skills, his determination and his love for the game showed in every play. I could hear people around me talking about my son and how good he was and did you see that play by #75? I’m thinking in my head, “ that’s my boy get ‘em Big Poppa. “ I was so excited about everything football from that 3rd season on. As a parent we watch our kids grow, we nurture them, we discipline them, we punish them, we reward them and set our examples good and bad ones so they learn from them. I wasn’t always the greatest mom, I messed up too but my kids love me and I try my hardest to be the best mom for them. We had our share of struggles as a little family and I moved them around a lot and we did live in a mansion on the top of Hollywood Hills and we lived in Watts. So you get that, when I say we struggled we did and we had our good moments too. Through all of Poppas life he always watched me, he is my protector and he didn’t care if we were doing good or bad because he just loved his Mama and as long as he was eating, he had a home and a football he was good.
Big Poppa #75 Southbay Bucaneers 2014 Season
Love for the Game
Poppa started playing for the Southbay Bucaneers in 2011 and that’s where he’s been ever since. The coaches praise Poppa because again he always stays consistent as a player and he’s a team leader. I mean the boy has passion for it, he lives and breathes everything football. I remember the moment he told me that he wanted to play for the NFL. It was after they won a game that same season, it was a good game and Big Poppa was on fire. He was in beast mode and that defense could not get passed that offensive line. Poppa came up to me as he always does, handed me his helmet and said “ Mama, I’m going to buy you a big house one day so you never have to move again?” I took a pause and I said “oh yeah, how are you gonna do that? “ He looks at me with his little cute smile and says “Mama, by playing for the Packers in Lambeau field. “ He was dead serious too and I can’t lie I did shed a tear. He kissed my cheek said he loved me don’t cry mama and ran off after handing me all his gear to get his snacks. I was instantly emotional and proud at the same time. It was an unforgettable and one of my favorite moments I share with my son. Players look up to him because he carries himself as a leader and he sets examples for them. He makes people feel excited when he plays and as a parent when it’s your child they’re talking about you feel like you’re a celebrity or something. It makes you feel proud that you’re raising a good kid and you get those bragging rights. My son gave me a reason to tell friends and family when his games were and invite them to come route for him and the Buccs. They all came and watched and were impressed too. To me it’s not about how many games he won or trophies and MVP awards he received. It’s about the boy he was before he played the game and the man he is becoming from it. He is the reason, I love the game and route for the Packers too.
My son and I May24,2014 Poppas Birthday
I interviewed my son for this article. I asked him questions and he answered.
Mama- Do you remember how old you were when you first started playing football?
Poppa- Yes, I was 8 years old.
Mama- Do you remember the year?
Poppa- It was 2010
Mama-Was it tackle or flag football?
Poppa- It was flag.
Mama- What team?
Poppa- Torrance Panthers
Mama- When did you know you wanted to play football for the rest of your life? And why?
Poppa- When I was 5. Because I wanted to do better than anyone in my family and go to the NFL and be successful.
Mama- Wow, that’s great. So you want do this for the rest of your life? What schools do you want to go to?
Poppa- High school I want to go to Serra High and college USC.
Mama- What NFL team do you want to play for?
Poppa- The Greenbay Packers
Mama- Who’s your favorite Packer?
Poppa- Aaron Rodgers
Mama- Mine too. After you retire from a long football career what do you plan to do?
Poppa- Be a coach.
Poppa- Because I would like start my own league and name it CYNFL.
Mama- Wow, what does that stand for?
Poppa- Coach C’s Youth National Football League