A Letter to Fantasy Football Owners – Football Friday

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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

Falcons Training Camp Begins

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Atlanta Falcons Training Camp – our first camp picture as a family of 4


Every time we switch to a new team I feel like a rookie wife all over again. Even though this is our eighth season (8? Really? How did that happen?) I was totally lost when I walked into camp in Flowery Branch, Georgia. As I walked in the gates with Luke and Lyla in tow, I realized I didn’t know a single soul. All I could think was, “here we go again”. Switching teams is a very lonely process at first. It takes time to find friends and meet the people that will soon become your support system. I so desperately wanted to see my old friends from Denver, but have already met one or two wives that seem to be very sweet, and for that I am thankful!

Last year, I was pregnant with Lyla and she was born in the middle of camp, so needless to say, we didn’t go to a single practice. In fact, we were away from Jacob for three weeks and it was miserable! I vowed to never be away that long again because as hard as it was on me, it was even more difficult for Luke to not have his Daddy around. So this year we will be going to practice every single day. Most people don’t realize that NFL players do not get to come home during training camp. They have a few days off during the 3 and a half weeks of camp, but other than that they do not get to come home. I know it’s nothing compared to the deployments that military families endure, but it is still hard to be a single parent and live in a city where you virtually know no one. While it isn’t easy, I sat at camp today and just soaked in how amazing it all is. That Jacob is playing in his eighth NFL season with his third team and we get to sit and watch his dream continue to come true. We are around the NFL so much that I often forget how special it really is… it’s truly a dream come true!

IMG_0516Luke was so excited to go to camp! He is ALL about football right now, but I’m still pushing for golf! Hah!

IMG_0520Atlanta is crazy hot, so Lyla stayed hydrated by drinking pouring water all over herself.

IMG_0563This is the moment we wait for all day! As soon as practice ends, the players head to the fan area to sign autographs and then… its a mad dash to Daddy! It’s so sweet to see how excited they are to see him. They both tackled him after practice today. He was pretty excited to see them too! It is totally worth wrestling my kiddos for three hours in the 100 heat to get to see this moment.

IMG_0536We get to spend about five to ten minutes with him once practice is over and then its back to work for Jacob. Thankfully, we know that we get to see him again tomorrow.

IMG_0569Jacob left his helmet on the field after practice today and Luke asked if he could go get it for him. They walked across the field and Luke had the biggest grin on his face. It was so cute to see how excited he was to be on the field. I think he’s enjoying becoming a Falcons fan.

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Luke Tamme in his daddy’s football helmet at the Atlanta Falcons Training Camp

On the Move

Well, we did it again. Jacob and I have been married just shy of eight years and we now have had seven addresses. Whew!
We found out that we were moving to Atlanta on March 18th while we were on vacation.
Then, we flew to Denver on the 25th to pack up and load all of our wordly possessions on a moving truck.

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Moving out of our Denver home in one day required large amounts of coffee!

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Jacob showing off that we did it! Every thing out of the house in ONE day!

Next, we drove to Atlanta to find a place to live on the 30th and moved in on April 9th. It has been a whirlwind to say the least.

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This kid had a rough first few days, but he has adjusted really well!

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This truck was realllly long… It had our stuff and two other families’ as well!

Everyone keeps asking, “Are you all settled in?” While I would love to say that yes, we are all settled in to our new home, that would just be a big fat lie! When we moved from Indy to Denver all of our boxes were properly labeled and color coded because, well, I love organization. However, with this move we didn’t exactly have time to be organized. We basically just started throwing things in boxes and labeled all of them “Misc.” So when it came time to unpack, it was basically one big scavenger hunt! Hah! We moved in on a Thursday and we didn’t find the sheets to our bed until Tuesday. Seriously. We were a mess!

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Told ya… a complete MESS! It looks a little better now, but not much! Hah!

We now have nearly all of the boxes unpacked, but there’s still a lot of work left to make this house our home. I feel like it takes a good three months to truly get settled in. I’m still opening the wrong cabinet to grab my coffee mug and I’m still opening the pantry door thinking it leads to the garage. We are so blessed to have a new home, but it’s going to take some getting used to!

Hand Embroidered State Pillows

Pillows from www.uncommongoods.com

How cute are these hand embroidered pillows? My parents started gifting us these pillows to commemorate all of our moves and I’m so excited to be adding another to our collection! I’m also really excited to be back in the South! It just feels like home!

Sunday Scriptures + Worst Blogger EVER

Hi, my name is Allison and I’m the worst blogger EVER! I really do love blogging, however, sometimes life just gets crazy busy and I don’t even have time to eat or sleep, much less blog. Since my last blog post A LOT has happened. Jacob signed a two year contract and is now playing for the Atlanta Falcons, we vacationed in Hawaii, flew to Denver and packed up our entire house in two days, drove to Atlanta and bought a house and just moved in last week. Whew. I’m tired just typing all that. All of these things are great blessings, but they can sure keep a girl busy and tired. Throw in a sweet baby girl who still doesn’t sleep through the night and you know why my face resembles a raccoon most days.  No matter how crazy, tired and unsettled life seems right now, Jacob has a great new job, our family is healthy and we are very blessed.

I’ll be blogging in more detail about what we’ve been doing the last month and promise to write more regularly! I would love to start by reigniting our family’s mission to learn the ABC scriptures. We’ve totally fallen off the bandwagon on this project, but we are ready to jump back on board!

ABC Scriptures K

My Bible study leader in Indianapolis would always ask us if we had any “wow” or “ouch” verses. Well, the verse this week is definitely an “ouch”. I interpret this verse to mean all kinds of evil, not just lies. To me, “evil” can mean gossip, slander or just using a hateful tone of voice. My mother-in-law always instructed her kids to speak more kindly by saying, “TOV” whenever she didn’t like their tone of voice. We now use that in our family as well. My goal this week is not to just keep my tongue from evil, but to use my words to be loving and encouraging in ALL circumstances… even when I don’t want to! Hah! It will certainly be a challenge, but memorizing this verse this week will be a great reminder!

You Can’t Win Them All

Losing is never easy, and Sunday’s game was no different. I was teary before the game started because I knew it might be our last game at Mile High Stadium, win or lose. The anthem was just beautiful, the crowd was electric and the roar of the pre-game fly over gives me chills every time. You see, Jacob will be a free agent this year and we don’t know where this crazy business will have him playing next season.

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Waiting for the game to start with my little buddy

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Player introductions on the jumbotron

 

Dealing with “lasts”is hard. You want to just soak it in and remember everything so you won’t ever forget what it was like. It reminds me of my senior year of high school, which was full of “lasts”. But Sunday’s game was an uncertain “last”. We may be back, we may not. That’s the nature of the business. So, after the game Luke and I were down on the field walking towards the tunnel. We stopped to take one last picture and I knelt down beside him and put my face next to his. I said, “Baby, soak it in. Look at the lights, see what they look like? Look at the scoreboard, see how big it is? Feel the grass, this is where Daddy played! We might not be back here, so just take one last look around.” I was saying this all to him, but really it was for me. So I could intentionally stop, take it all in, and remember.
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This pic was taken right before Luke and I had our talk about taking it all in

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Huddling up during warm-ups

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Jake lining up at fullback before going in motion

 

After the game, I found several wives and girlfriends and gave them hugs and we said our goodbyes. It’s always so awkward because these people who you’ve shared joy and pain with, who’ve prayed for you, who’ve been in this crazy NFL world with you in an instant can just be… gone. Even as a wife, a big loss, especially a season ending loss, makes it seem as if life is just crashing down. It’s just over. Done with. There is no more – until next year. But next year, even if we stay in Denver, it won’t be the same. Different coaches, different players, different friends. We will never have *that* team again. Oh sure, we will keep in touch through social media and texting, but it won’t ever be the same. While it is so sad, and boy did we cry some ugly tears, we have so many blessings! As one wife said as I hugged her goodbye, “You know what? What do we have to complain about? We are going home to healthy babies and healthy husbands!” She was SO right!
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Friends, teammates, Bible study partners, and all around just two great guys… in my opinion!

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Post game prayer circle at midfield

Once Jacob left the locker room, we walked out of the tunnel and stood in the parking lot and just stared at the stadium taking it all in. All he said was, “It was fun.” Gosh, it sure was!
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Last post game pic of the year of our fam (minus Lyla)

We spent most of yesterday packing everything we could into a u-haul trailer to begin the trek back to Kentucky. We are sad to leave Denver (even though we may be back), but could not be more excited to be going back home!
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Leaving the tunnel: Luke with his Granddaddy and Aunt SJ

Tonight we will have a little farewell dinner with some of our teammates and friends and I’m sure we will cry more ugly tears, but in the end it’s all just a blessing! The wins. The losses. The tears and frustrations. The friendships that will grow stale, but hopefully not. It’s all part of this awesome journey God chose us to be on and we are choosing to enjoy the ride!

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Miss Lyla didn’t make it to the game, but I couldn’t leave her out!

Football Friday: Game Day Gear

It’s playoff time in Denver and this game is BIG for our family and that other football dynasty of a family that a few of you may know, the Mannings. The Broncos are hosting the Colts (Jake’s former team) in the divisional round of the playoffs and I am so excited to attend the game. The Broncos played the Colts in their home opener, but since my sweet baby girl was only a month old, I opted to stay home and watch it on tv.  Needless to say, I can’t wait to watch the Broncos play the Colts in person this weekend! Here’s what I’ll be wearing on Sunday!
Bronco Game Day Wear

 

1. Under Armour cold gear mock t-neck shirt. It’s usually pretty chilly in Denver during the winter, so a cold gear base layer is a must. Most of my active gear is from Nike, but my go to on game day is from Under Armour.

2. My beloved jersey. This of course is a staple on game day. Some girls like to dress up for games, but you can usually find me in my jersey and jeans. You can get your own Jacob Tamme jersey here.

3. Tiffany & Co. heart charm bracelet. This bracelet is my good luck charm and I’ve worn it to every single one of Jake’s games since I received it as a gift from my sister in 2006.

4. Smart Wool socks. Don’t leave home without them. They are the warmest socks I own and they don’t itch or stretch out when you wear them.

5. Sorel Tofino Boots. I searched high and low for the warmest boots to wear to Super Bowl XLVXIII and these came out on top. They are waterproof, super insulated, comfy and I happen to think they are adorable.

6. 1969 skinny jeans from GAP. These are tried and true. I’ve been wearing GAP jeans since high school and I still love them. They fit great and don’t cost a fortune.

 

I hope you’ll be cheering for the Broncos this Sunday!