Archive for the ‘Football’Category

Coach’s Wife

The minute I knew I’d be a Coach’s Wife forever came almost two years ago when my husband returned home from his first practice. The gig: First Grade Little Dribblers Basketball.

ME: “So, how’d it go?”

LOML: “Oh. My. GOD! It was like . . . like . . . Ohmygod. There’s this one kid. And he’s like, I don’t know, supertall. And he’s like . . . like . . . OhmyGOD hon, I think KOBE is trapped in this little kid’s body!”

ME: “Okay, so, you’ve got one kid on your team.”

LOML: “Shut up.”

But I knew. I KNEW.

He was hooked.

And then at the first game, I saw first hand how it would always be with him.

He felt the pain and disappointment of every missed shot. And the joy and excitement of every basket and free throw made. He was like a visual equalizer, bouncing and moving to the pulse of the team.

Even the parents in line at the snack bar could see it. It was an “away” game, so they didn’t know him personally. Behind me, I overheard one parent said to another, “That coach is friggin’ HILARIOUS. Dude’s all covered in sweat and shit from being all over the friggin’ court.” And then the other parent said, “Dude’s gettin’ the shit done, though. Hell he’s motivatin’ ME and I ain’t even a player!”

Fast forward to October 2010.

Jake was still smack in the middle of football season when the LOML decided to coach basketball again.

New school. New team. New drama. (Yes, there’s drama with 2nd grade basketball.) And even though there was a point during the season when I had to physically keep him from going after a parent who picked a fight with him not once, but TWICE in a span of 5 minutes (in addition to using profanity in front of Benny), he STILL maintained he was having the time of his life. Most of the team’s parents also maintained that if it weren’t for Troy (and his awesome assistant coaches), they probably wouldn’t have signed their kids up to play.

And at the end of basketball season, I settled in to what I thought would be a nice break before football when he got a request to coach little league.

And all I can say about THAT is I hated that he chose to do it, but glad he did it. If that makes sense at all.

Two weeks after the last baseball game, we signed Jake up for football. At the same time,Troy submitted his application for a coaching position on Jake’s team. A few days after that, he got a call to meet with the head coach.

When he returned home, I could tell he seemed disappointed.

“They’ve got too many apps for Jake’s team. The guy wants me to coach up one level because they need more people up there. I think he’s worried that I’ll let being Jake’s dad get in the way of coaching the rest of the team.”

And, after much discussion, we came to the conclusion that it was all or nothing – either coach Jake’s team, or take a seat in the stands.Troy called the coach to let him know, and that was the last we had heard of it.

In the mean time,Troy continued to toss the ball around and run drills with the boys in the front yard, getting Jake ready for the upcoming season.

Then yesterday, after I returned home from the grocery store, the LOML said, “What’s for dinner? Coach is HUNGRY.”

It only took a second for me to realize what he was telling me.

He got the job.

ME: “Wait . . . What?!!”

LOML: “Yep! I’ll be an assistant. Probably O-Line.”

And then he smiled. And his blue eyes did that thing that they always did when he knew he’d be coaching.

Father and son playing football in front yard.


ME, to Benny: “What’s mama’s name?”

BENNY: “Kaftheen.”

ME: “And what’s daddy’s name?”

BENNY AND JAKE [Together, in unison]: “Coach.”


07 2011

Aged Two Years in About Four Weeks

So I was processing images taken from Jake’s football picture day, and I realized that with the stroke of some clippers and the addition of a football uniform, he looks as if he’s gotten two years older.

This was Jake at the California State Fair in July:



Here's Jacob, looking all little and innocent and like he'd never hurt a fly.


Now, the photo below is Jake over the weekend. He knows nothing of the man named “Mean Joe Green,” but he sure resembles him in miniature stature:



"Hey kid . . . what the hell you're parents feeding ya, anyway?"


He had no idea I was photographing him, and I have no idea what he was thinking about. All I know is that Jake, in the picture below, reminded me of Bobby Boucher thinking about something that was pissing him off so he could tackle the hell out of someone.



"Captain Insano shows no mercy!"


There’s a story out there about how, when I was little, I would wear a football helmet EVERYWHERE. Once I get the facts together, I’ll write about it. In the mean time, Benzilla now wants a football helmet of his own. Anyone got an extra one lying around?



Well, if he puts it on backwards, he won't see the hit coming.



08 2010

And on the 2,613th Day, Daddy Got His Wish

I’ve got a backlog of stories about festivals and crazy kids and how I apparently won artwork for an auction that I don’t remember bidding at, but all of that has to wait.

Because more pressing issues have surfaced in the Lancaster household that bear revealing. But first, I need to provide a bit of background.

During the winter that Jake was three, he measured 3′ 4″ tall. And weighed around 50lbs. That December, we had to prove his age at a Chinese buffet, because the woman behind the counter thought he was at least six. Luckily, I was carrying his shot record book, which has his birth date stamped inside it. All that to save $7.

Now, before Jake was even BORN, the LOML and I had conversations about what we hoped our child would accomplish and grow up to be — just like any other new parents. And after he was born, and as we began to realize how big he was going to be, the conversations always turned to sports. “He’ll DEFINITELY be tall enough to play basketball!” or “Holy CRAP this kid will make an awesome middle linebacker some day.” And then the LOML’s eyes would glaze over as he dreamed of his first-born son scoring a game winning touchdown in overtime for Notre Dame.

Anyway, later that week (after the Chinese restaurant visit, just before Christmas, 2006), Jake & I were standing in line at a video store. In front of us was a rather large black man in a track suit, who happened to be holding a baby carrier with a blanket over it to keep out the cold.

I leaned down to Jake and said, “Sweetie, look . . . there’s a baby under that blanket.”

And before I could stop him, he lunged for the carrier and pulled the blanket up.

The guy instinctively pulled the carrier toward him and turned around. Embarrassed, I said, “I am SO SORRY! I told him there was a baby under there and he took it as permission to look under the blanket. He’s only three . . .”

His response was to throw his head back, and say “THREE?!”

And before I could reply, he began to pat around at his chest in an attempt to find a pocket. When he didn’t find what he was looking for, he put the carrier down, reached for his wallet, pulled out a card and said, “Ma’am, I’m a youth football coach . . . could you please do me the biggest favor EVER and call me when this boy turns six?”

And I said, “Oh-KAY Jerry Macguire! Just because he’s a big kid doesn’t mean he’ll want to play.”

And he said, “Oh, I can get him to play . . .”

And I smiled and nodded and took the card.

When the guy was done checking out his DVDs, he turned to me and said, “I’m serious. You call me.”

We never called him.

But the LOML sure did get a thrill when I returned home and told him what happened. And he LOVES to tell that story. Because he always dreamed that Jake would play football, and it was validation that a football coach would look at his boy and deem him worthy enough to play AT AGE THREE.

Fast forward to last week, when the LOML gave in to years pressure he’d been receiving from a co-worker (who happens to be a Jr. Pee Wee Football Coach) and took Jake to watch a practice session.

He called me from the field and said, “Hon, you should see him! He looks GOOOOD.”

And I said, “What? I thought he was just going to watch!”

And he said, “I know, but he wanted to get out there and the O-Line coach was all, ‘Dude, your kid needs to PLAY,’ so, I let him run some drills.”

That was seven days, 729 conversations, and several hundred dollars ago.

Tonight, when the boys came home from the field, the LOML was carrying one of those big gear bags that football players use to hold their uniform and pads.

So it was official.

I’ve given birth to a Jr. Knight.


Jake, growling and ready to attack

Please God, let me not turn into a maniacal football mother.



08 2010


The LOML won this handy dandy beverage cooler for me 12 years ago at the California State Fair by putting a dart through a balloon. This was waaay back when no one cared about the Colts and Peyton Manning had just graduated from Tennessee.

The carnie tried to give us a 49er cooler, but I asked for the Colts one instead.

“Shi-itt . . . I’d-a given that to you for free.”

Sorry Saints fans. You got a good story and all, but the Colts are just plain better. Buh-bye now.


02 2010