For an English girl, I sure have an American passion: Football (and I don’t mean soccer). In 2006 I barely knew it existed but then I met my husband and then of course his Father. Let’s just say Football is a big part of the Pope family with my husband playing college football and my father-in-law being one of the coaches for the NY Giants. Very quickly I was thrown into the Sunday rituals and
fell in love with it all….from the superstitions, to the family affair it has become for us from Friday Night Dinners to Saturday adventures at the stadium and the anxiety and comradery of Football Sundays. I love that it appeals to every age and to people of all walks of life. And for my sons, I can’t think of a more amazing and fun Saturday than when they get to run around the stadium with their grandfather (and I get to sample the amazing and I mean amazing chicken fingers on hand!).
My father-in-law is a remarkable coach and his work ethic inspirational to us all. I was pregnant with JR when we went to Arizona and played the patriots in the 2007 season. I honestly can’t remember ever feeling sicker than at this game. With a combination of morning sickness and full blown flu I clutched my gatorade bottle as the game ensued, spending most of the half time show gagging in the parking lot as Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers belted out “Free Falling”.
Well I certainly felt like falling! But they won and I was there for that amazing ride. I truly thought that would be my one Super Bowl experience but then this year we were destined to go again. On this Super Bowl Sunday my youngest son turned one and I am pregnant again. So you can imagine everyone is insisting I get pregnant for next season as the baby dust seems to work some Giants magic!
This year there was no vomit, just me dancing to “Like a Prayer”. The experience was so truly amazing to be part of a crowd that passionate and a family that invested in the game. I can barely describe the build of anxiety that precedes a game and the number of breaths held every time a play is made. But then the Pope family embrace when they win is like no other. Charging the field with the players as the Super Bowl confetti rains down on you makes you feel part of something great and truly inspires me to achieve the Super Bowl of my life. I am still trying to figure out what that means but I’m pretty sure it has everything to do with being the best mom I can be.