Ready, Set, Playoffs

For most, this Saturday means…Halloween. For this kid, it means first round play off game. And in true football playoff form it is supposed to be raining and in the 40s. Here’s hoping they have all the right ‘tricks’ to ‘treat’ themselves to a victory! And that we all survive without hypothermia!
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Dear Laurie Rizzo

 

Dear Laurie,

I wanted to take a moment and send you a heart felt note of appreciation. As a life long Cubbies fan I obviously love your talented son, Anthony for all he brought to the field this season.  In a year FULL of memories, I am certain that his wall hopping catch in the stands will forever be one of my faves.  I have spent more than a few minutes this year watching videos of him and Kris Bryant in interviews etc together, bringing the pure joy back to the professional level of my favorite sport.

But on a more personal note, I want to thank you as MOM.  As the mom of a young baseball player, I want you to know how much it means to me that there are men out there like your #44 for him to look up to.  Men who not only give their all on the field everyday because they clearly love the game.  But also who are amazing men of character off the field.  I have been equally inspired by the amazing things I have seen him doing off the field as on.  In our world today we see many athletes and celebs clearly doing their quick good deal here and there for a photo opp, while it is obvious that your family is truly passionate about the work of the Anthony Rizzo Foundation and I am always blown away with how he makes time in such a hectic schedule, even during the playoffs, to be there, making a difference and bringing smiles to the faces of children going through something so horrible.

And I KNOW that men of such character don’t just happen.  I also KNOW that athletes of such caliber don’t just happen.  Of course, there is almost immeasureable work on their parts, I also know, fellow first baseman mom, that there are countless hours spent in the car, and on the bleachers for YOU.  I know that much of who he is today is because of who was always behind him, who was there in the wins and the losses in the early days.
I can’t begin to say I understand what it was like to watch him endure his own cancer battle but I’m certain that he came through and came back to achieve such success in baseball AND life, because you’d built such a fabulous foundation.

Thank you for raising a baseball player who made THIS my favorite tweet of the entire season….anthony rizzo cubs 44 laurie rizzo baseball moms

Love and HRs.

Your son’s second biggest fan (because I KNOW you’re his biggest)

Besides, I’m already THIS first basemen’s biggest fan!

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Football Life

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For several seasons now I’ve been a football mom. I believed that the hard work and dedication required for the sport were building character in my first born. However, yesterday I watched the movie Undefeated and was struck by the above quote. Instantly the images of last weekends game flooded my brain. Most of those images look like this…IMG_8317

IMG_8717My son play after play giving 110% effort.  Seriously playing with so much heart, I can’t help but get caught up in it.

But the heat and humidity were also beating up on him.  I was super impressed when he actually pulled himself out for a short series when he felt it getting to him and tried to get re-hydrated.

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Other than this quick, self inflicted, break he played in every play on offense, defense and special teams, with the same intensity (or maybe more) in the fourth quarter as the first.  He was a defensive rock star.  He quite literally left it all out on that field.  When the final whistle blew he was left physically tanked.

IMG_8759We learned some lessons last week and will be working harder to make sure that he doesn’t experience the level of dehydration he did at the end of that game again.  But as I reflect on this quote it makes me realize how amazing my young man’s character is.  He plays because he loves the game.  But he gives his everything because of his love of his team.  I have always loved watching him play sports because you can see his passion but I am amazed at how his strength has grown.  He is developing his voice and his own sense of leadership.  I love watching him getting his teammates psyched up almost as much as watching him make a good play!

If football reveals character, I’m pretty proud of the character of my young player.

 

Sponsored Video: The Kids Of Summer – Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes #ShowYourStripes

This post has been sponsored by Frosted Flakes, but all thoughts are our own.

 

I am a sports fan!

I love to show my support by donning my team colors and cheering my heart out! I LOVE to see my team win!  But if that team happens to be one that my child is playing on, all that really matters to me is that they gave their best effort and they did so with a good attitude.  The speech featured in the video above is one I have listened to many times since last year’s Little League World Series.  To me it is all that is right in the world.  It is why I work harder and sacrifice more so that my kids can play team sports.  The lessons learned in a team sport like baseball, on of our personal faves, are ones that will last them a life time.

The thrill of victory is fleeting but the character and relationships built on that field will last long after the equipment is packed up and the lights are turned off.  To me that’s what the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes #ShowYourStripes campaign is really about.  As a mom it is always fun to watch the hard work pay off in a great hit or an epic diving catch.  But the moments I’m really most proud of are ones like when after a tough loss my son still seeks out the pitcher of the opposing to team to congratulate him on a great game because they played together a few years ago and will always be friends no matter what colors they may where on game day. My favorite saying is “my son never loses! he either wins or he learns!”

Visit Frosted Flakes Little League Page, Frosted Flakes Facebook, or Tony The Tiger on Twitter for more great stories or to share how you #ShowYourStripes!!

 

 

Peanut to Pony, For the Love of Baseball

With the changing voice and the copious amounts of attitude that fill my house it really come as no shock that things, they are a changing and my boy is growing up.  But it never seems to really hit me until I can look back and see the difference.  This week the baseball season officially began for him, kicking off his first season as a Pony player.  He’s only 12 and will be playing with mostly 13 and 14 year old but he has typically bumped up to each level early except for way back when, when he spent a second year in ‘peanut’ baseball so that he and his brother could be on the same time.

It’s funny how big he seemed back then compared to the t-baller he started as when he was just 4.  He loved the game back then.
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And he still loves it today.  These photos are from last season and he’s changed even since then.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is that neither one of us can wait for that first crack of the bat at the first game of the season.10519500_10154305496240510_4419534477085999413_n10394461_10154305497435510_1604062123761530179_n10487456_10154239911315510_5912046510614407104_n

Dream Big or Be Real? #NFLBlogger

10648539_10154508743180510_198426179402531793_oMaybe this is more about life then sports but the topic comes from a piece by DudeMom for NFLEvolution.  It’s about how she feels about letting her kids believe they will become pro athletes.  You can read her full piece here.  But basically she if fully aware of the slim chance that her kids will play professional sports but she is basically making sure they remain well rounded kids (keeping up those grades) and then letting them dream big!

I love that her kids have talked about how they will support her when they make it big. It reminds me first of how I dreamed as a child.  I was going to marry a prince and live in a castle and I promised my dad he could live there with us.  While my dreams shifted over the years I was still daring to dream in high school. I dreamed of a creatively focused career.  And well meaning people who loved and cared for me, convinced me that I should play it safe.  I went away to school with a major I wasn’t passionate about and after 3 colleges I never finished that degree.  Of course there were other factors and maybe I wouldn’t have succeeded in what I dreamed of but since I’ve come back full circle to some of those same passions I believe somehow, SOMETHING would have been different.

That’s why when my young athlete talks of his MLB dreams (because well he’s at least somewhat of a realist and knows that as much as he does love football he will likely never be built like a NFL player) I don’t exclusively dash those hopes.  I am a realist and we talk often about the chances of college sports and slimmer chances of pro sports but then we also talk a LOT about the endless career opportunities that surround sports besides those few men on the field!  There is NO reason that he can’t be surrounded by what he truly loves while he works in one way or another.  As he gets older we’ll explore those options more and more. But for now he’s too busy making the most of this season and that’s just the way I like it!northwestern universtity il college evanston chicago football big 10 bowl

 

 

Wordless Wednesday: Basketball Brothers #WW

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Football Fan Favorites on Netflix #StreamTeam

This post is brought to in partnership with Netflix. All opinions expressed are my own.

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If you’re a football fan I don’t need to tell you that’s it is SUPERBOWL week!!!!!  That means it’s time for Food, Friends and FOOTBALL FLIX.  What?  I can’t be the only one who loves a good football movie almost as much as a regular game?  I mean, I must not be or there wouldn’t even be so many great movie choices.

Check out a few of Mary’s (from Mission to Save) Favorite Football Films here.  She definitely picked a couple of my all time favorites!  I mean, I can’t count how many times I’ve watched Sean Astin charge on to the field to the chants of the crowd and it still makes me tear up EVERY TIME!  But I felt like this was just the tip of the iceberg. So I went searching Netflix for more of my favorite football flix. Please note that some of these aren’t suitable for young audiences, so please use your own discretion.

Varsity Blues

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Necessary Roughness

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Undefeated

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And if you happen to have the DVD plan from Netflix there are even more favorites:

What are some of YOUR favorite football flix?

Dear Opposing Team Sports Mom

sports mom graphicDear Opposing Team Sports Mom,

I saw your whispers. I caught your annoyed glares. And I heard your snide comments. First of all, let me say, I’m sorry you don’t like my enthusiasm or my volume. But go ahead and keep the glares coming because they really only fuel my fire. Maybe next season you’ll be sharing a sideline with me and you’ll feel differently, but if not, that’s ok too. And here’s why…
Does your player ever come off the court/field and ask you, “did you see that….?” Yeah? Probably! Mine very very rarely does. You see, he doesn’t have to! He knows. He knows I’m there. He knows I’m not on my phone or otherwise distracted. He KNOWS I saw that shot/catch/block/etc, because he heard me cheering, LOUDLY! Maybe things would be different if my cheering was met with typical tween embarrassment. But he loves it. It’s the one place he seems to not be completely displeased for people to know that he does in fact have parents and wasn’t hatched from some alien pod. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but this is OUR thing. I spend countless hours working on extra projects and jobs to afford to pay for sports and many more hours getting him to and from practices and games. He spends hours working hard and giving 110% every chance he gets. So continue to judge if you must, you really won’t steal my thunder, but please do take notice that I have a great appreciation for all the kids who play youth sports. I acknowledge good play regardless of which team it comes from. I value good sportsmanship and effort over a final score any day. And I am teaching my son to do the same. So while you shuffle off, annoyed after a game, you might not notice that I take the time to tell the kids who played hard from BOTH sides, ‘good day.’ I am also the mom who will show up early or stay late to watch the games of kids we know from sharing teams in previous years. It’s all about a love of the game. So if this hour a week is painful for you, again, I’m sorry. But we love it, and we’ll KEEP loving it, loudly and proudly, feel free to pull up a chair and enjoy it with us!

Signed,
Proud Sports Mom

Back to School, Back to Sports

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