Father’s Pride

It was a cold night

Late in the season

A long season for this team

Of Friday night losses

One after the other

And few times to cheer

Late in the 3rd quarter

With the outcome never in doubt

The home team

Again hopelessly behind

When the coach began sending

The players from the bench

The ones who rarely played

In front of me was a small group

A family waiting

To see one of their own

Who rarely got to play

Except times like tonight

But you’d never know it

From how the family cheered

When number 56 trotted on the field

“That’s my boy!” yelled the man

And stood to clap and cheer

As the clock wound down

Mercifully it would seem

Now and then the announcer

Would say

“Tackle on the play by Mendoza”

And the father would stand and yell

“That’s my boy!”

Each and every time.

How can I explain how that touched me

In this case I just have no words

Here was a poor football team

Who rarely scored, rarely had an occasion

To even cheer

Losing every game

And here was a man

Whose son was only on the second string

Of a third rate team

And yet

Every little play the boy made

Every time they mentioned his name

And sometimes when they didn’t

The father stood and yelled

“That’s my boy!”

One of the very few cheers

From this side of the field

But loud

So everyone could hear

It echoed across the field

I know it could be heard on the field

“That’s my boy!”

It must have echoed in number 56’s heart

As it echoed in mine

A father’s pride is easy to find

On winning teams

In the eyes of those whose sons

Scored touchdowns or hit home runs

Or whose teams won the championship

But here is a father’s pride

At its deepest

Not only felt in his heart

But shared with all the world

At the top of his lungs

Over and again

Father’s pride

The team lost 42 to 7

But you would have thought

Number 56 scored time and time again

And I guess he did

In his father’s heart



10:43 PM

Aunt Dot’s

I have wanted to write this for a long time.  This actually happened at a Lake Worth High School football game before I became a School Board member.  Robin was appearing at half-time with a group of her 6th graders.  I stayed for the game even though it was so cold, but once the father started cheering, for some reason, I couldn’t leave.  The team lost 42 to 7 but you would have thought number 56 scored time and time again.  And I guess he did, in his father’s heart.  (Hmmm.  I had to add the last part to the poem).