Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Other Side of Football and Buffalo Chicken Dip

Today is Super Bowl Sunday!!!  We are getting ready to go to a party with friends, but I wanted to take a minute to look at another side of the game tonight, the personal side of the game.  As someone who views the game of football in a different light than 99% of you who will read this post, I don't see football as just a game.  As a coach's kid, I see it as a job, I get the importance of wins vs losses, the pressure the coaches/players/and yes even families face, and I understand the emotions behind every move.  I have had several thoughts racing through my mind the past two weeks as we learned about different players in this year's super bowl.  We all know about Peyton Manning and that he is as good of a person as he is a player.  However, most of us in the South had never heard of Derrick Coleman or Richard Sherman until lately, at least I haven't.  These three are going to be mentioned a lot in the pre game today and as a coach's kid and now as a mom of a little boy that loves sports, I have some mixed emotions on that. 

Nicholas LOVES football and he loves his Pawpaw's "boys" (also known as his high school football team).  He intently watches them and their actions on the field every Friday night.  He sees high school boys pray together, take a knee and pray when an opponent gets injured and he sees them help opponents up after they have been tackled. That is the kind of athlete I want my son to look up to.  

Peyton Manning shared how he views football and faith in his book.  He believes that the most important thing in his life is his faith, not football.  He is a humble, serious player.  He has earned the label best ever by working hard.  He is a Christian and he isn't afraid to share his faith.  He gives huge sums of money annually to charity, primarily his charity, The Peyback Foundation, which benefits inner city children. That is also what I want my son to see. 

Richard Sherman makes my head spin in that I have such mixed opinions regarding his presence in the media this week.  On one hand, I think he has a wonderful story of how he got where he is.  He overcame growing up in one of the most dangerous, gang populated communities in America and graduated from Stanford.  He wasn't drafted until the 5th round and had to earn his spot as a starter.  He also has never been arrested or failed a drug test. That shows that he has perseverance and the will to succeed. Also something I want Nicholas to admire in an athlete.  However, I do not agree with his behavior in his post game rant to Erin Andrews and have several thoughts about it, which won't go into here. THAT is not the type sportsmanship I want my son to see, but I understand emotions run high after a game, especially when you are the one who made the big play to win.  It saddens me that his life achievements are not what is being talked about by the media, but a moment when his emotions got the best of him. That makes me sad for him, his sport, and kids watching on TV. 

With that being said, what really, really makes me sad is that our society only are we focused on the bad stories, and not the good story buried under the headlines of Richard Sherman. It is a story that every little leaguer and high school athlete in America needs to hear.  The story of the first legally deaf NFL player to play in the Super Bowl, Sherman's teammate, Derrick Coleman.  Can you imagine the battle this kids has gone up against to get where he is today?  I can't and I pray I never have to know the pain he and his parents have faced.  He is the true hero in the Super Bowl this year.  This article says so much about his character.  I am blown away by his story and cry every single time I watch his commercial.  My heart hurts for the way he was treated as a child. I also cry knowing that football is a hard sport to learn and to play for someone without any disability, much less learning plays and playing with such skill he actually made it the highest level!  Now that is someone I want my child to know about.

I want Nicholas and other little boys to know that if you have a goal and you work hard, anything is possible.  You can be up against a disability, a bad environment or even a privileged child like Peyton, but anything is possible!  I want him to be humble, and I want him to always put his faith first. I hope we can put the big headline to rest and focus on the good things. 

So, now that my rant is over, who wants a yummy recipe?  I have had had 2 texts today asking for this recipe, so I thought I would share it here...

Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 cans of chunk chicken
3/4 cup hot sauce (I use Hooter's hot wing sauce)
1 cup ranch dressing
2 packages of softened cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
chicken flavored crackers

1. Drain chicken and make sure it is nice and shredded, no big chunks.  Heat over medium heat with the hot sauce.  
Next, add ranch dressing and cream cheese.  Stir well until melted and blended.  
Add the shredded cheese and continue to stir well until melted, then pour into a small crockpot.
I heat for 2-3 hours in the crockpot before serving.  Serve with chicken crackers and celery.

Hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the game tonight...
and GO BRONCOS!!!!