Tag Archives: football

all summer in a day essay

There is nothing more exciting in parenthood than cheering on your kids in the things they do — sports, music, dance, etc. — and seeing them have fun.

Through the years I have worn many hats from Soccer Dad, Baseball Dad, Swim Dad, Cheer Dad, Marching Band Dad, Gymnastics Dad…the list goes on.

Of course you also show support by participating and helping out the teams and organizations.

I have painted soccer field lines, timed swimmers, worked concession stands, provided video of marching band performances, washed many cars in fundraisers and produced end-of-season cheer team and gymnastic videos.

All my kids started with soccer, and I cheered them on when they were kindergarten age.

At that age, it is more like mob ball, with the majority of the kids chasing the ball with no regard to positions and passing.

It’s all fun and gets the kids moving around.

Of course there were always some kids who would rather pick through the grass or stare at the clouds.

My youngest daughter during a soccer practice drill got bored and started doing cartwheels at the back of the line. Soon a bunch of the other kids wanted to try and then she was holding a cartwheel clinic  much to the chagrin of the coaches.

During my son’s first soccer season, his team of 4-to-5-year-olds faced a skilled team that proceeded to run the score up to embarrassing levels as the opposing coach kept playing his best players and taking advantage of our team’s inexperience.

I went home that day with no voice, as I and my fellow team parents turned up the volume in cheering and shouting for our team and giving the other coaches an earful of how unsportsmanlike they were.

I am surprised we were not banned from future games.

Baseball brought new challenges to cheering for your kid especially when you have younger siblings to take care of at the game. I love baseball but it can be very boring, especially for my son’s sisters. While trying to watch and cheer for my son, we also had to keep the girls busy with snacks and activities.

I had never experienced cheerleading before and competition cheer meets were mind-blowing.

Just imagine a packed gymnasium of crazy passionate cheer teams and their families and friends cheering them on.

The enthusiasm and fervor of these kids was amazing and infectious. I was immediately hooked and I became a Cheer Dad Extraordinaire.

I wore my team shirt, shouted and cheered along and was
team videographer.

The stunts and choreography of all the teams was incredible. I have total respect for these kids and coaches. My daughter’s high school varsity team went on to win a national championship.

If cheerleading competitions were loud, swim meets were deafening! The cheering and shouting in the confines of an indoor swimming pool were crazy.

These meets were a true challenge.

The larger ones usually lasted for hours — sometimes all day — and you typically got to see your kid in the water for seconds to minutes, depending on how many events they were in.

When my son wasn’t wearing swim trunks, he was wearing a marching band uniform and playing drums.

It’s amazing how talented these kids are. I loved seeing them perform at the different stadiums, especially Met Life stadium, home of the Giants and Jets.

Gymnastics is my latest sport and two of my daughters have competed over the years. We have been able to travel to tournaments near and far, including a recent one at Disney World.

There is some real camaraderie among the parents as we cheer the team on at each meet, wear the team apparel and colors.

I continue to shoot video and have run the audio at some of the home meets and been the DJ and presented the end-of-season slide show.

I even got to meet Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez when she visited the gym for a fundraiser.

Rich with Laurie Hernandez, gymnastics Olympic gold medalist and Dancing with the Stars winner.

I was humbled when they presented me with the team parent volunteer of the year last season.

It was totally unexpected.

I do all this for my kids and the rest of the team or group they belong to.

Time goes by too fast to miss any of it, and I am so glad I am able to be involved in whatever way I can.

 

Go! Go! GOAL!

I am facing a real dilemma. A quandary! Maybe even a predicament…

Okay, I might be overstating things a bit, it’s not like I’m losing sleep or anything like that but I can see this becoming a real problem.

I haven’t decided on what country to root for in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me! Not a day goes by that I don’t get asked, “Yo, Kaiser! Who you backing in the Cup?” or “Hey, Kaiser, you got your [insert country name here] jersey ready to go?” It’s becoming a real nuisance.

I know people from pretty much all over the planet and I’d hate to disappoint any of them by not backing their country. Heck, just today I received this note from a colleague:

You should always be for Brazil and Portugal unless they play each other. When Brazil plays Portugal you should be for Portugal. If Portugal loses at least it was to Brazil so you cry a bit but then always go celebrate Brazil’s victory anyway.

This is obviously serious business.

Any wannabe Captain Americas out there who, after reading this, want to get all up in my grill for not automatically supporting the U.S. of A. should just slow their roll. Have you seen the other countries in their grouping?!?!

Of course this whole bit of business would be a moot point if Puerto Rico ever qualified for the tournament. Don’t laugh, it could happen sooner than you think! Those in the know are beginning to recognize Puerto Rico’s soccer potential. The national team has made great strides over the past decade and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they made a serious run for a tournament bid in 2022.

Okay, maybe by 2026.

Getting back to my current plight I considered choosing a team by their jerseys but none of them wowed me. I thought I’d pick a team by whichever player had the best nickname but I was underwhelmed by most—although “Chicharito” almost sealed the deal for Mexico.

What I settled on was to just go down the list of groupings and eliminate any team that had even the remotest connection to anyone I knew. That left only one obvious choice for El Kaiser to root for.

Go get ’em, CÔTE D’IVOIRE!

I look terrible in orange but at least I won’t get any hard stares from friends or family.

And now for your listening pleasure, the best World Cup anthem EVER recorded!