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Friends, family, football

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014 11:15 a.m. CDT

On Saturday, I spent the day at the Newton Kart Klub. It’s an amazing facility, but the one thing that I loved experiencing at the track was the families coming together and friendships being made while enjoying one thing: racing.

This feeling, for me, only comes around for only one sport — football. I know it’s 41 days until the kickoff of the NFL preseason, but among my family and friends, football is nearly a year-round tradition.

Football is a tradition that has been a major part of my family for as long as I can remember. If a game was being played during a family gathering, it was always on or being checked up on frequently. My grandpa Bud is a huge part of that tradition, with his passion of just sitting down to watch a game or playing me in a game of “Madden” or “NCAA Football.” This has expanded over the years to include my younger cousins, who have developed their own passion for the game.

The football tradition isn’t just a guy thing in my family. My grandmother, step-mom, sisters and cousins enjoy the antics of football. Most of the female members of my family are very traditional fans, so they don’t get picked on.

I would say one of my favorite female football fans in my family is my cousin, Deise, because she loves to trash talk and is a San Diego Chargers fan. I remember when she first told me she was a Chargers’ fan. Without missing a beat, I told her that I was sorry for missing out on the crucial years of her learning about football. She smacked me, as she knew what I was hinting at. I also figured it could be worse. She could be a South Carolina Gamecock fan.

I can’t wait to continue the football tradition with my family this coming season. One of the new traditions for this season will involve Sunday trips to Twin Peaks to pick on my cousin Deise while watching football. It will also have some classic tradition, including having some amazing Little Caesar’s pizza and sides dishes at my sister’s place while watching the game with my nephew, Rodney. My number one goal for the season, as it comes to family, is making the trip to the grandparents house in Creston for a weekend to watch a game and play Madden with my grandpa.

The tradition of football among my friends in high school has evolved a lot since many of us will be turning 30 soon. We used to have the tradition of an outdoor game of football during Thanksgiving weekend called the “Turkey Bowl,” which has slowly ended. Most would say its due to us getting old, but I think a major part of it is due to the fact many years have involved not major injuries, but without a doubt we could have created an archive of Skiff Medical Center advertisements.

A couple years ago, we made the decision to start a fantasy football league. It has many of the traditions of our outdoor game, with the exception of being outside in the cold and no physical injuries. It’s amazing how we can still trash talk like we were at the age of 18.

It goes without saying, once you find yourself getting older, friends move away and slowly life catches up with you, but the feeling of the tradition remains the same. It was amazing to see how this simple tradition has helped me gain a unique identity amongst the community.

In the end, my goals for the season, as it comes to friends, include:

• Going on as many Iowa Hawkeye tailgate adventures as I can.

• Bring Madden back to the big screen.

• Have a full list of new Kansas City Chiefs jokes to text to Ty Rushing on Sundays.

• Have a full list of South Carolina Gamecock jokes for Angie on Saturdays.

• Have fun and enjoy the two greatest things that come with football: friends and family.

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