Football Brings Us Together

This post is sponsored by Future for Football. 

In America, there are actually five seasons: Spring, Summer, Football, Fall, and Winter. 

It’s nearing the end of August, a neighbor is firing up their grill, and the air is starting to feel a little brisk, and it just FEELS like football. Most importantly, you know that your team, the only team that matters, will soon start to battle it out for glory on the gridiron. 

Football season is so exciting. It’s hard to beat the experience of tailgating and the camaraderie of tens of thousands of people who are your instant friends for the day, and possibly forever. Good food, good drinks, and hopefully, a decent performance from your team. 

Football provides entertainment every single weekend as the weather gets colder, which in the Midwest, is a welcome distraction from the snow and sleet!

But the best part? It provides endless bonding opportunities. You could be anywhere in the US, even the entire world, and you meet someone who shares your football team. Did you just become best friends? YEP! 

Football brings us together.


iowa football
Image submitted by Brittney McNutt.

Now is the time to be a football family.

There have never been more options to play the game or be involved with the game.

From tackle to flag, modified, or co-ed, we’re fortunate to have so many different leagues and options available for people of all ages! What was once considered a game for boys and men is now available to everyone. The opportunities to play the game are increasingly gaining popularity, including options for girls and women. With various ways to play, not only will your child learn the fundamentals of the game or different play calls, but it will also give them a sense of camaraderie and teach them to work as part of a team. It may even give your daughter or son the potential for college scholarships!

Have you checked for a league near you? You can easily do so by visiting Future for Football’s website to see the options available in your area!

Many football teams are looking for volunteers to help fill different roles. Some of these volunteer positions could be: head coach, assistant coach, team manager, team parent, photographer, groundskeeper, or fundraiser coordinator.

Or perhaps, join a Fantasy Football league (like ESPN or Yahoo!) with your friends or family — it’s another great way to be involved in the game without participating physically! 

We were so fortunate to talk to a handful of football families and learn how football impacts their lives and brings them together through the sport of football. 

 

Image submitted by Katelyn Bradfield.
Image submitted by Brittney McNutt.
Image submitted by Kristy Staker.

Football brings us together through family time.

Whether you cheer for the same team or opposing rivals, watching the game with your family brings you closer together. Years later, you’ll have memories of your little ones cheering “touchdown!!” and your older kids starting to play football themselves. Football creates an environment for fun games, activities, and special bonds among family and friends.

“Watching or playing football together as a family not only gives us quality time together, but a ton of teachable moments unfold. Football gives us the tools to teach our kids sportsmanship, accountability, integrity, leadership and so much more. We don’t all play football, but we all cheer on and support the ones that do and it’s so fun to watch our kids support each other!” -Brittney M. 

“Football season means being with immediate and extended family all fall long. Extra time together and meals each game day with friends and family is a true blessing. We especially enjoy the holidays with the guys on the team who are from out-of-state or don’t have family members close by. They get to know our kids and we get to know them… truly incredible young men. I’ve also learned to never underestimate the number of hamburgers and scotcharoos an O-lineman can devour!” -Kristy S.

“In our house, there’s truly no better time of year than football season. My husband and I were both raised with football in our blood, so it’s only right that we raise our kids the same. Once the temps start dropping and the leaves start changing, the team colors come out. Football is something to pass on to our children; there’s literally nothing cuter than hearing your toddler yelling out in excitement for your favorite team.” -Haley B.

“I have loved teaching my kids about football the same way my dad taught me. A good meal, sitting on the couch, and getting to hear my daughter parrot positions and play while I whisper in her ear??? It’s so amazing. And the excitement that only a toddler who has no idea why everyone is cheering but wants to participate in is so contagious.” -Katelyn B.

“We have season tickets which allow us to spend time with my sister and her kids! It’s amazing family time.” -Kimberly P.

“Being a football family can be chaotic at times, especially as they get older and the number of practices per week increases. Your car becomes a locker room. On practice nights, you eat dinner immediately after school at 4:30 or 8:30-9:00 at night. Going to our son’s practices and games has brought us together in a completely different way. Before he expressed an interest, we were never into sports. Together, we learned about football and how to be a better “team” at home. Amid all of the crazy chaos and weird eating times, youth football has been a blessing to our family.” -Alyssa J.

tailgating heinz field
Image submitted by Alyssa Williams.

Football brings us together through friendships.

Who doesn’t love tailgating? New friends are made while cheering on the same team or maybe even gloating when your team gets a touchdown, but either way, friendships are developed. There is a sense of pride between friends when your team wins. It also helps to have a friend to lift your spirits when your team gets sacked for the fifth time. Wins are made sweeter, and losses are easier to handle with football friends by your side.

“Football brings family and friends, from far and wide, together to enjoy the sites and sounds. If your team wins or loses, the time you get to spend with each other creates memories that will last for a lifetime.” -Kimberly P.

“It’s an excuse to get together with friends and family to eat, drink, and be merry.” -Haley B.

“One minute you’re walking around a random parking lot, hoping to find somewhere to tailgate before the game, and before you know it you’re playing cornhole, fixing up a plate of gameday snacks, exchanging phone numbers with strangers, and talking about your favorite players. Some of my best football friends have come from tailgates!” – Alyssa W.

couple
Image submitted by Brittney McNutt.
couple
Image submitted by Alyssa Williams.
couple
Image submitted by Alyssa Burks.

Football brings us together as a couple.

It’s not only Match.com that brings people together… so does football! From first dates to proposals in the endzone, football can bring two people together for a lifetime. It is a great way to grow together!

“We met during football season, it was Marvin’s senior year in college and he was preparing for the NFL draft. I was the girl who went to football games to meet up with friends, so something that I was never interested in suddenly became a huge part of my life and strengthened our relationship in many ways. While he was playing football, our support and trust foundation was built. Now that he’s on the coaching side and our son plays football, things look a little different. But the game continues to bring us together as we work as a team to coordinate schedules, parent 5 kids & fit in quality time with each other when we can.” -Brittney M. 

“It’s one of the first things my husband and I did together was go to football games! He taught me everything to understand the game because I knew nothing.” -Alyssa B.

“From my Hawkeye-loving husband proposing to me (a STATE fan) in Ames, to my daughter’s first game at two months old, these are times I certainly won’t ever forget.” -Kimberly P.

“While I’d prefer to attend football games, it isn’t always an option. However, my husband and I are part of different Fantasy Football leagues. We enjoy spending days talking about our line-ups, watching games as a couple (and a family) that we normally wouldn’t watch, or conversing about how players are doing. And, with busy schedules, sometimes finding time to spend with our friends isn’t always attainable, so we also love that we can stay connected with our friends and have friendly competitions amongst them.” – Alyssa W.


Football brings us together to share tasty foods.

If you are not a huge football fan, you can still be a huge football food fan. Delicious snacks and tasty treats are sure to be found wherever you meet. So even if hearing “touchdown” doesn’t thrill your soul, the yummiest foods will make it worthwhile. Here is a quick go-to recipe we love:

Party meatballs:

Mix all ingredients. Put in crockpot on low setting until meatballs and sauce are heated through.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg homestyle frozen meatballs
  • 1 jar chili sauce (Heinz, looks like a cocktail sauce bottle)
  • 1 jar grape jelly

“Whether we’re getting together with extended family, friends, or just our own family unit, we get dressed in our comfiest team colors, grab our favorite drinks, and start cooking. Since I was a kid, the menu has pretty much stayed the same – Hamburger Velvetta Rotel Dip with tortilla chips, buffalo chicken dip, wings, pizza, nachos, and a dessert of some sort.

Somehow, we never get tired of it.

On the weekends during the season, it’s typical for crockpots and glorious smells to be filling the house. It truly doesn’t get any better than football season.” -Haley B

“Football season is synonymous with crockpot season in our household. Summer bodies are left behind as we embrace the nachos, the chicken wings, the beers, and the seltzers! It’s just an entire vibe.” -Alicia T

 

Football brings us together as a community.

Football fosters community and collaboration. Through practice and games, kids learn to hear constructive criticism, follow directions, and work together towards a mutual goal. These essential life skills will improve our community as we grow future leaders through today’s youth football programs.

“As adults, we deal with these things at work; friendships, family, and more. Sometimes, we find ourselves not knowing how to “cross the bridge” and it can be anxiety-provoking. This anxiety can negatively affect our interpersonal relationships and can lead us to retreat from collaboration opportunities, networking, and more. Navigating our children through these situations now will equip them with the tools to successfully “cross the bridge” as an adult, and in turn, help our community develop healthy relationships and communication skills through our future leaders.” -Alyssa J

brother sister football
Image submitted by Alyssa James.

Football fosters growth and resilience in our children.

Football requires hard work, dedication, and commitment. These attributes help our children learn, grow, and gain strength for what life will throw their way. Read below about how football impacts one local family.

“Football has taught us all to be more disciplined in all aspects of our lives. Our son has shown more responsibility with home and school duties. He also really values routine and schedules (before football, my attempt at establishing routines was ignored and turned into a crazy “free-for-all”).

Football also teaches resilience. My son’s team does not win every game. They do not always have “feel good” practices. There are tough coaching moments, hard conversations, relentless practicing, and disappointments.

All of these things are okay.

This is the best opportunity for you to coach your child to be resilient. With our son, we teach him that these things are only helping him learn, grow and understand the future. These “hard” things drive him to become not only a better player but a better human.

There are great days, and there are hard days.

Some days your kiddo will come from practice glowing and you need to be ready to celebrate those wins with them. On other days, your kiddo will come from practice with streaming tears,  sweat, and defeat and you will need to be ready to support, understand, and coach them to use it as a learning opportunity.

We have had the privilege of watching our child grow from flag football to tackle football.

This change/development in the program has challenged our son to understand that rules can change and he needs to be open and adaptable to that change. Not just in football, but in every aspect of life.” -Alyssa J

 

They say baseball is America’s pastime, so I guess that leaves football for the present!

 

Cedar Rapids Moms would like to thank all of the contributors that shared how football positively affects their lives. For information on how football can benefit your family, and to find a league near you, head to Future for Football. 


Visit FutureForFootball.com to find a league near you and for other helpful resources.

Owner of Cedar Rapids Moms, Alyssa, grew up near Backbone State Park, and moved to Cedar Rapids over 10 years ago. Married to her best friend, Kevin;  mama to Jack, Liv, and Theo; and dog mama to Stella and Milo, life is full of chaos, busy schedules, and lots of traveling. Her Type A personality is evident through her color-coded Google Calendar and her never-ending lists. When she's not stepping on Legos, hair barrettes, or chasing the kids, you can find her cheering on the Steelers or Hawkeyes, hosting friends and family, spending time in the kitchen, or planning her next vacation. 

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