A Friendly Reminder for Fantasy Football Owners

Football Field 1I wrote this letter last year and every single word of it still rings true today.

 

Dear Fantasy Football Owners,

This, my friends, is the most glorious time of year. The air is a little more crisp, the temperature is slowly dropping, pumpkin spice lattes are being purchased and… it’s football season!

With football season comes fantasy football season. Some of you are very serious fantasy football owners, some enjoy a casual competition, others may have had their spouse twist their arm to participate, while others may have been lured by free food at a draft party. No matter the manner in which you decided to become a fantasy football owner – congrats! You own a “team”! Hopefully, it’s your dream team that will bring you to victory.

Fantasy football can be a very serious competition in some leagues. This competition can lead to some VERY disgruntled owners – men and women alike. Disgruntled owners often feel the need to vent their frustrations to the players they “own” (and the entire world) via social media, which is where I want to focus this letter – the all too popular player bashing that’s ALL over the internet. Yes, my husband plays in the NFL, so this topic is personal.

As we sat around the table for Christmas dinner last year, we were surrounded by several of Jacob’s teammates. In attendance were a rookie, a Pro Bowler, a player who is the highest paid at his position in the league, and several veterans, all of which had been threatened, harassed, ridiculed and belittled on social media. As I listened to the guys talk about things people had written about them on Twitter, I realized that even these rough and tough NFL players can be bullied. There is nothing more cowardly (or silly) than personally attacking someone that you’ve never even met, and yet it happens day after day online. I dare say, not a single one of these online bullies would EVER be brave enough to say to an NFL player’s face what they have said online. Hiding behind their electronic device gives them a sense of security and social media gives them a voice – and a way to voice their opinions directly to athletes through mediums like Twitter.

I’m not naive. I’m not asking for sympathy for NFL players. I realize that they choose to play football for a living and therefore they choose the spotlight. However, they didn’t choose to be bullied, online or otherwise. [Jacob says “bullied” is not the right word to use… But I don’t know what else to call it!]

People feel the need to ridicule players when they don’t perform to their standards, which is just crazy. Have you ever had a bad day at work? Missed a meeting? Been late to an appointment? Lost a client? Didn’t close the big sale? Has your student ever failed a test? Or your child been disobedient? We ALL have bad days at work, no matter the profession. Usually a bad day at work elicits a “better luck next time” or passing the blame to [insert your excuse]. What excludes NFL players from that? The fact that their work is displayed for millions to see each week. Can you even imagine if your work was on network tv and shown to the masses? Yeah, me neither.

It seems so easy to bully NFL players. I mean, on the news they are portrayed (and sometimes rightfully so) as cheaters, womanizers, thieves, drunks, and even murderers. It’s easy to see them as something other than real people. However, when you’re on the inside of this fraternity of sorts, you see things a little differently. Before you decide to bully one of your fantasy football players, remember this: The VAST majority of men playing in the NFL are men of character and integrity. You may see them catch touchdowns on Sundays, but on Tuesdays they are visiting the pediatric cancer ward at the children’s hospital. On Wednesday evenings they are attending Bible Studies. Thursday nights are spent signing autographs for children at the local grocery store. The off-season is spent running non-profits and organizing fundraisers for charities. They use their breaks between practices to call fans with terminal illnesses. These men are not the thugs the media portrays them to be and they are certainly not deserving of the hate that is spewed at them when they drop a pass, throw an interception, or otherwise don’t play to the standard that would have helped win a fantasy football game.

So, fantasy football owners, my one request is this: Please be kind. What you say (or write) says much more about you as a person than the player you are writing about.

Regards,
An NFL wife

Football Fridays: College Colors Day

Football Field 1Today is College Colors Day, which means one thing… football season is here! And I mean REAL football, not any of this pre-season nonsense. Wear your College Colors Day was started in 2004 and I was first introduced to it when I worked at an office in Lexington. We were encouraged to “dress down” and wear jeans and a t-shirt to celebrate. Hello? Of course, I was a big fan of this new found holiday.

Tomorrow our family will be sporting Blue and White for the University of Kentucky. Many of you know that I’m actually a Hilltopper by degree, but Wildcat at heart. While I will always root for WKU, Kentucky holds a special place in our family and in our hearts. The University of Kentucky has been a HUGE blessing to us and continues to be. The people that work in the athletics department treat us like family and we are forever grateful for their continuous support: of our family, of Jacob’s career, of our charity golf event… the list could go on forever.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few pictures we had taken of our family before training camp began. Our amazing photographer, Katie Davis of Kat’s Eye Photography is seriously one of the best. We’ve always been blessed with crazy good photographers, but Katie can always bring out Luke’s real smile. Always. It helps that she attends the same church and has a daughter Luke’s age. If you are in Central Kentucky and need family photos, she is your gal! I promise you won’t be disappointed. Just look at the magic she worked with our crazy crew! Wow! I’m thinking about getting custom wallpaper printed with these photos because I can not choose just a few to print and hang. Ok, I would never seriously print custom wallpaper… but it did cross my mind.

fan day 03 This was our first picture ever taken at Commonwealth Stadium. It’s blurry and terrible quality because it was probably taken on a $3.99 disposable camera from Walmart. Crazy how things have changed since this was taken. It was August of 2003 and I was SO excited to go to Fan Day at UK so I could see my boyfriend. I’m not sure why *anyone* let me in the stadium in this get up. White tube top, Nike shox, glitter belt… y’all.

UK/UF Game 2004This is the only other photo I have on our Mac of us from our college days. The rest are stored on our external hard drive and it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to retrieve them. Well in all honesty, I’m sure 99% of the population could figure it out, but I just don’t have the patience for that. (read: lazy) This was after UK played Florida in Gainesville in 2004. They had moved the game up in the day because of an incoming hurricane. I think the humidity may have been over 1,000% and UK had an ugly loss. It wasn’t pretty. But, I asked for a picture with Jacob after the game and he agreed. And even smiled. I knew he was a keeper way back then! On a side note, I look like I’ve been crying. I don’t remember why. It could’ve been from the ugly loss , the extreme heat (I don’t sweat pretty) or maybe the fact that I was heckled by Gator fans… we may never know.

KAT_0004And here we are today! We’ve been together for 15 years… whoa. Seven homes, four states, three teams and two babies later.

UK Luke with FootballThis boy made me a Mama and he has my heart. See that smile I was talking about? Only Katie can get that out of in him in front of the camera.

KAT_0016Miss Priss is our little spitfire and is so sweet we can hardly stand it. We have no idea where her nearly white curls come from, but we sure love them. And that (not so) little gap in her front teeth, I just love it too. One day we will spend thousands to get rid of it, but for now it is just so cute!

KAT_0028Can it get any sweeter than this? Lyla Rae stole Jacob’s heart from day one and she thinks her Daddy is the best thing since sliced bread. She cries every day when he leaves for work and asks for him multiple times during the day. I’m basically chopped liver, but at least I fill her sippy with milk on command and ya know… gave birth to her.

KAT_0123I love everything about this shot. I love that even though he is growing fast and is a big school boy now that he still lets me love on him without complaint. I love that his hair is sweaty because that’s how it looks 90% of the time.. And I love that Katie edited out my gray hair! Thanks, girl!

KAT_0106Jacob is usually a good sport about all the crazy things I put him through except for when it comes to taking family photos… he loathes them. However, once he found out I had planned a UK themed photo shoot, he was hooked. We couldn’t get him off the field and he actually asked Katie to take more pictures. What?!?

KAT_0098Hard to imagine what life would be like the first time we stood on this field together. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. My goodness we’ve had our ups and down, trials and joys, and so many insanely crazy days, but he has always been my constant true North.

KAT_0049And last but not least, our Luke taking the field at Commonwealth. I’ve always said I did NOT want Luke to play football. I even started the hashtag #mamalikesnoncontactsports. I just don’t think I could bear watching my baby boy get hit. However, when I see this picture my heart swells with joy. Maybe football isn’t so bad after all.

And just to clear things up in our hometown: we will be changing in to BLACK and GOLD for our crosstown rivalry football game tonight! GO REBELS!

A Letter to Fantasy Football Owners – Football Friday

Football Field 1

Dear Fantasy Football Owners,

This, my friends, is the most glorious time of year. The air is a little more crisp, the temperature is slowly dropping, pumpkin spice lattes are being purchased and… it’s football season!

With football season comes fantasy football season. Some of you are very serious fantasy football owners, some enjoy a casual competition, others may have had their spouse twist their arm to participate, while others may have been lured by free food at a draft party. No matter the manner in which you decided to become a fantasy football owner – congrats! You own a “team”! Hopefully, it’s your dream team that will bring you to victory.

Fantasy football can be a very serious competition in some leagues. This competition can lead to some VERY disgruntled owners – men and women alike. Disgruntled owners often feel the need to vent their frustrations to the players they “own” (and the entire world) via social media, which is where I want to focus this letter – the all too popular player bashing that’s ALL over the internet. Yes, my husband plays in the NFL, so this topic is personal.

As we sat around the table for Christmas dinner last year, we were surrounded by several of Jacob’s teammates. In attendance were a rookie, a Pro Bowler, a player who is the highest paid at his position in the league, and several veterans, all of which had been threatened, harassed, ridiculed and belittled on social media. As I listened to the guys talk about things people had written about them on Twitter, I realized that even these rough and tough NFL players can be bullied. There is nothing more cowardly (or silly) than personally attacking someone that you’ve never even met, and yet it happens day after day online. I dare say, not a single one of these online bullies would EVER be brave enough to say to an NFL player’s face what they have said online. Hiding behind their electronic device gives them a sense of security and social media gives them a voice – and a way to voice their opinions directly to athletes through mediums like Twitter.

I’m not naive. I’m not asking for sympathy for NFL players. I realize that they choose to play football for a living and therefore they choose the spotlight. However, they didn’t choose to be bullied, online or otherwise. [Jacob says “bullied” is not the right word to use… But I don’t know what else to call it!]

People feel the need to ridicule players when they don’t perform to their standards, which is just crazy. Have you ever had a bad day at work? Missed a meeting? Been late to an appointment? Lost a client? Didn’t close the big sale? Has your student ever failed a test? Or your child been disobedient? We ALL have bad days at work, no matter the profession. Usually a bad day at work elicits a “better luck next time” or passing the blame to [insert your excuse]. What excludes NFL players from that? The fact that their work is displayed for millions to see each week. Can you even imagine if your work was on network tv and shown to the masses? Yeah, me neither.

It seems so easy to bully NFL players. I mean, on the news they are portrayed (and sometimes rightfully so) as cheaters, womanizers, thieves, drunks, and even murderers. It’s easy to see them as something other than real people. However, when you’re on the inside of this fraternity of sorts, you see things a little differently. Before you decide to bully one of your fantasy football players, remember this: The VAST majority of men playing in the NFL are men of character and integrity. You may see them catch touchdowns on Sundays, but on Tuesdays they are visiting the pediatric cancer ward at the children’s hospital. On Wednesday evenings they are attending Bible Studies. Thursday nights are spent signing autographs for children at the local grocery store. The off-season is spent running non-profits and organizing fundraisers for charities. They use their breaks between practices to call fans with terminal illnesses. These men are not the thugs the media portrays them to be and they are certainly not deserving of the hate that is spewed at them when they drop a pass, throw an interception, or otherwise don’t play to the standard that would have helped win a fantasy football game.

So, fantasy football owners, my one request is this: Please be kind. What you say (or write) says much more about you as a person than the player you are writing about.

Regards,
An NFL wife