Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 21, 2007, is my school’s annual Gator Bowl. Each year, for the last fifteen years, my school has put on a Gator Bowl. This is a football game between the fifth grade students and the staff of my school. The last day before Thanksgiving break is a half day of school and all of the students, staff and other spectators line up around a roughly laid out 80 yard football field.
I have been a part of each one of the games that have been played. I have coached the teachers, coached the students, played on offense, and my favorite, defense. I have always felt like the Gator Bowl served a greater purpose; the goal of the game has always been to pump up school spirit and have fun.
But the game means a more to me than that. It certainly is fun to run around and play football, but it is not important to me so that I can live some kind of middle aged football fantasy. It is important to me because 15 years ago I met my wife at the 1st Gator Bowl.
We had talked a little in the halls about this and that, but I started to really get to know her at the teacher practices. Right before the game we were walking down the hall together and out of nowhere she started singing some made up song. Immediately, I thought that was odd, because I thought I was the only one who did that- make up ridiculous songs and sing them out loud. I thought, “There is something different about her.”
In the game that day I played tight end and Amy was a running back. Late in the game, Amy ran the ball off the right tackle, while I ran my route on the left. As soon as she busted past the line, I came across the field and blocked three kids off of her. Touchdown!
Ever since that day, I have felt like I won.
So, each year the Gator Bowl comes around and I get a little sentimental. My wife and I still work at the same school. We share so much that I am sure other people think we should be sick of one another. Somehow we aren’t like that. The Gator Bowl always makes me feel like I have so much to be thankful for.