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It’s Hard To Be A Fan When Your Son Plays Defense

October 11, 2018

I attended a football game today. It was the sophomore game for our local high school, Pleasant Grove Vikings. My son is on the team. It’s his first year playing football.

The game start time of 5:30PM was later than the sophomore games normally start. Fall has definitely come to Utah. It was about 50 degrees at kickoff and then dropped a lot after the sun went down. As parents we huddled on the aluminum bleachers and tried to stay warm. It was mostly a losing effort. It matched the results on the field.

Do you know why you attend a sophomore football game on a cold Thursday evening? You go to watch your son play, of course. My son is a cornerback, and he plays on the the kick return team. Cornerback is a position on the defense and the kick return team gets to play after the other team scores a touchdown or a field goal.

I love to see my son play. It makes me a bad fan.

My job has two parts: proactive and reactive. The proactive part I have to plan for and manage. The reactive parts can come out of nowhere. If something were to break right now, I’d pretty much drop what I’m doing and work on it.

The reactive part of my job is actually the funnest part. Sure, it can be inconvenient at times, but it’s rarely boring and I’m really good at it.

Offenses are proactive. They have the ball. They get to plan out what they want to do. They get to be the actors.

Defenses are reactive. They don’t get to do anything until the ball is put in play. They have plans, but those plans might change in an instant depending on what their opponents do. They are the reactors.

I enjoy the reactive aspects of my job the most. It makes me a good empolyee.

My son got to play a lot in the game today. I was happy. But, that’s the problem. The only way that my son gets to play is if the other team has the ball. If the other team has the ball, my son’s team has very few scoring opportunities. The defense did manage to score a safety. But, typically if your defense is on the field, it means your team isn’t doing well.

And when the other team scores, my son gets to play again. The other team scored 9 times. My son played a lot.

It’s hard for me to root for my son’s team. If the team does well, if their offense dominates the time of possession, if they prevent the other team from scoring, they will do well as a team. They’ll win. But, my son won’t play. I’ll go to the game, but mostly be bored as I watch my son patrol the sidelines.

My job is similar. When I have lots of outages, when I have to be reactive, address issues and find solutions on the fly, my job is much more exciting. If everything goes according to plan, I’m watching from the sidelines.

It’s safe, but it’s not quite as exciting.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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