Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ten years ago today

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.

10 comments:

LucindaF said...

I read this article this morning and thought of you and wondered what it was like for you. I think we've talked about it before, but I might've done a cartwheel since and fell on my head. Oh, wait...

I remember that game, how I cried for him, for the win, for everything that was BYU.

Here's to The Man, ten years later.

Lisa B. said...

I am apparently ready to cry at the drop of a hat, because I am crying about this. Have always admired your dad (from afar)--love very much the thought of you watching a game from the sideline, and of him saying yes.

Thanks for this.

Bob the Woodworker said...

Of course, what Ann didn't mention about standing on the sideline was that someone clearly assigned LaVell's oldest and best friend, Devan (who played with LaVell at Utah State) to stand by her side every moment of her sojurn on the field. It wasn't a task that could be assigned to anyone, no it had to be Devan. No one less than that could be trusted with protecting the apple of the coach's eye on the sidelines. It actually made the thing even a little more special.

wjmom said...

My dad was a HUGE fan of your dad, and I still can't live down the fact that I lent his biography to a friend without asking. The friend promptly "lost" the book.

My dad sent me this article this morning, and I thought of you. But I didn't want to blow your cover, so I chose not to say anything.

Thanks for blowing your own cover.

Thanks for sharing someone and something so personal for so long.

And give the fans' love to your super-amazing mom!

BBB said...

I almost got a little teary at the end of this post. Football will do that to you.

Josh and Kallie said...

I was really touched by this post and the article. How blessed are you to have such a sweet and amazing man in your life. (Those are some pretty big shoes and I would say Ken is filling them in nicely!) I love daddy/daughter stories, they have always been my favorite.

whirligigdaisy said...

Nice piece about your Dad. I can't believe you'd never watched from the sidelines. Sounds like something I'd do. Want to, but never ask to. Great post.

Tiffany said...

What a great article. Your dad is amazing, and has been admired/adored/revered by my family and my husband's family for as long as I can remember. I can't believe it's been ten years.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. You're pretty amazing yourself.

Happy anniversary to the whole family!

P.S. What was it like on the sidelines?

Donna said...

My darling son Trey watched so sadly as your dad coached his last game. Coach Edwards was as much a part of his life as Darrel Royal was of mine. Which means a great deal. I remember him looking at me with tears in his eyes when it looked the game was lost, "mom!! do something!! he can't lose his last game!" So we prayed. That's right I prayed right there, not to play well, not for a good outcome, but I prayed that LaVelle Edwards would win his last game.

And you know what? Heavenly Father heard my son and about a zillion other prayers, from a zillion other folks....no one will ever convince me other wise.

I love your dad....

much love,
Donna

Anne said...

Gene Hackman would be perfect!