4 min read

Becoming a Child (like Fan)

Becoming a Child (like Fan)

Most of our readers have kids. Those that don't, probably will someday. But I think this applies to everybody and all relationships.

Monday was a total {expletive} show in my real life job. Chasing a problem down the rabbit hole took ~8 hours of my day. In the end I needed help from somebody who lives in Sydney so I logged back on at about 9pm to keep working on things with him. It was just a long, miserable day where everything that could go wrong, seemed to go wrong.

I work from home (nearly my entire company does). The hardest part of working from home is that my office is not soundproofed so I have 2 kids who get frustrated and yell because that's what you do when you're 2 and 3.5 years old. At about 2:30 in the afternoon, I reached my breaking point and I snapped. I felt like this tiktok:


Backup is on the way! #dadsoftiktok #wwe #stonecoldsteveaustin

♬ original sound - Sony Life

I had already come out a couple times and explained to my daughter that she needed to turn the volume down and that if I had to come out again she would have a timeout. She didn't listen and here we were - me raising my voice telling her that it was it. Then she thought it was a good idea to tell me I was "stupid" (note: she learned this from the 3 year old daughter of some Ute fans that live down the street from us - coincidence?*). That was it.

She was sitting in her high chair at the time. I couldn't send her to her room, there are toys in there. So I did the next reasonable thing that came to mind - picked up her high chair with her in it and set it in the entryway so she could stare at a blank wall. She obviously did not like this and the flailing began and after some struggle to get her all the way in and buckled I snapped again told her that if she didn't stop I would spank her - and she didn't stop, so I spanked her. And then we finally got to the timeout, afterwards we talked about needing to listen and follow directions that it is hard for me to work at home and be able to take breaks to come play for a few minutes if it is too loud, etc.

Fast forward to bedtime. It was her half birthday so at this point after I finished work we had gone to a splash pad, got her french fries (her favorite) and done bathtime. I laid down next to her on her bed and talked to her about what happened earlier and apologized for how I treated her earlier that day when I had gone overboard. I told her that grown ups get frustrated with work just like she gets frustrated when her baby brother takes her toys. And that sometimes we scream and yell too when we're mad (and even spank - all things we tell our kids not to do).

She calmly said: "Yeah - when we get frustrated and mad we need to take a deep breath and count to 4".

If you haven't had little kids in the last decade this may seem really profound to you. If you have, you probably recognize it:

She told me I should try it at work today. And she said she was sorry for yelling and not listening. Then she asked if she could give me a hug and I said "of course!" and she reached out, put her arms around my neck and said "BIG SQUEEZE" and hugged as hard as she could then gave me a kiss on the cheek.

I've been thinking about that since then, and it lines up with another one of our "More than Football" submissions that we got, which we will include here.

If I were to become more like her, more like a child, I would be quick to forgive. I wouldn't hold grudges. I wouldn't let something that ruins a moment ruin a day. When I take her to a sporting event - I may be annoyed by the outcome, but she doesn't care. In her world she got to go see the lights and the teams and eat junk food and nachos and get to spend time with Dad. The score was an afterthought - which don't get me wrong, winning matters and we need to compete, but winning is far from the only thing. Kids start to get frustrated when they realize they have some control over the choices in their life and they want to exert their opinion and have a say - but at the arena or the stadium, the choice is the food and the company, it doesn't even cross her mind to be upset about the play on the field to the point of being angry because she cannot control that.

I think as adult fans we can learn from that - don't let a loss ruin your week or keep you up at night. There's bigger fish to fry in the world. And that bring us to our submission:

I've always had a rough relationship with my dad. We never saw eye to eye on a lot of things and it seemed like I was never quite living up to his expectations no matter what I did. The one thing that always brought us together was football, especially the Cougars.
I always wanted a great relationship with him, but it just didn't seem to happen. He had a temper, he worked a lot, it definitely could've been worse, but it was far from great. But every time we flipped on the game, we had that.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are watching BYU football. A&M in 96. Chad Pennington and an undefeated Marshall in the Motor City bowl. Staley vs Tulane in 2001 to open the season and running down the sideline against Utah and the camera shaking with the crowd noise.
Beck to Harline, Hall to Collie, George in OT.
KVN vs SDSU, Nebraska and Boise in 2015, Wilson to Simon in Knoxville.
The best memories I have with my dad revolve areound watching BYU together. Things are better now as time has gone on and we've both matured, but the old faithful of conversation topics are always: How is the team going to be this year? Who will step up and replace Allgeier? How do you think we'll do against Arkansas?
We get upset when we lose and the games are sloppy, but looking back on my childhood, I don't really remember most of the losses - I remember like yesterday the great moments and more than anything I remember being there together.

*They're actually our very good friends. This is a joke. We purposely bought houses on the same street.