So I have basically made a career (I think) of NOT telling people who my dad is, although I think everyone who reads this blog (thank you, I love you) knows that he used to coach football at BYU for a billion decades.
Anyway. I saw this article (see link below) in the D-news this morning, and it brought back a lot of memories. I got a call that other morning (ten years ago) from my dad saying he was calling a press conference to announce his retirement. That was the first I'd heard of it, because in truth the decision was a sudden one. I told Ken and the kids, and then I told my running partners Kathy and Sally while we sat on Kathy's porch listening to the birds and early morning sprinklers. For some reason I tried to do a cartwheel on the lawn and fell on my head. But I digress.
Later I drove to the stadium and went into the locker room with my mom and Dad's secretary, Shirley, where he broke the news to his players and a few of the sports guys from the papers. It was a very, very emotional moment--one of those times when you realize that life as you've always known had irrevocably shifted.
That last season was more painful than heady, although you can't complain about how it all ended that night in Rice Stadium. (My great friend Becky Thomas called that night, SCREAMING into the phone, saying, "WHO IS YOUR DAD'S SCRIPT WRITER?!" And then we decided if they ever made a movie out of his life, we voted for Gene Hackman to play my dad.)
As for me, I finally confessed that final season my lifelong desire to stand on the sidelines and watch a game up close and personal. My dad said why not? And why did you never ask before?
I can still hear helmets crashing, can still smell the scent of the field.
Here's the link to Jeff Call's piece.