Every late-night practice, every phone call and text, every moment he had was going to someone or something else. He was willingly giving everything he had. He was devoted and dedicated to helping others achieve.
In case you are eyeball deep in a playoff run, constantly scrolling Football Scoop, about to start coaching yet another sport, or already looking at next year’s prospects, let me remind you that it is already December. This means your amazing, remarkable, beautiful, intelligent, epic wife/fiance/girlfriend is soon to need some gifts that match her amazing-ness.
The behind the scenes is where the nitty-gritty happens. The stuff no one sees is what really matters and the reason these men and women who are coaches do what they do.
I knew it would be sad to lose a game. Or many games. Losing is never fun. Sure there would be sad times. But I didn’t know that we would always keep disappointment in tow. As a coach’s wife disappointment follows you like a flatbed truck and manifests itself in so many ways that can be hard to breathe.
In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, that is the one thing of which I am sure. Even if you don’t step on that field again, your senior season matters.
I hate this feeling of distance, like you're holding me at arms length, even if it's just to protect me. Protect me from issues at work. Protect me from hard stories. Protect me from the anxieties racing through your head.
It is easy to become frustrated with you when you haven’t been home for the 400th meltdown and for the 50th fight requiring a referee. It’s easy to not care about what you’ve been doing while I have been handling the home front, but I do truly care.
My goodness the magic of this month. The seasons starting to (finally) shift, sweater weather creeping in and, since I’m from Texas, the temperature outside is finally below the temperature of my pumpkin spice latte. Bring on fall!
Oh, and it’s Bandtober.
This month, a blur of activity and chaos swirls about our household. There is a football game each weekend and then mere hours before or after, there’s also a band competition—an event that typically runs 12-18 hours long dependent on our advancement during the contest.
There used to be a time where I would relish in dusting off of my knee high boots and finding a new fall lipstick color… add a pumpkin or two to my dining table and smell the sweetness of nutmeg and savor the thought. But Bandtober makes “wife-ing” a full contact sport—packing at least 3-4 meals weekly to be eaten on the road or perched curbside, and don’t even get me started on what juggling the man-cub and household chores turn into.
All I gotta say is: Thank You Curbside Pick Up Inventor.
The result of our choatic ballet is becoming a part of what I consider to be one of Texas’ greatest traditions. Regardless of where you’re from, I think we can all agree, there is an undeniable magic to Friday Night Lights.
It wasn’t until recently that I came to know not all teams have a band. For me at least, when I walk into the stadium, there’s just this amazing moment each game when the crowd roars alongside the cheerleaders chant in harmony underneath the glare of the stadium lights—and right alongside those groups, is where I live. When you hear that snare drum or tuba bass line and you unconsciously start dancing, that’s what fills my tank for the rest of the week.
It’s during those moments when all of these groups come together that make this life so wonderfully worth it. It takes everyone—the cheerleaders, the choir, the announcers and coaches, the football team and trainers, and yes, that marching band, to make a stadium more than just another stop on my map. It makes it home.
When you hear that mix of all those voices and music and heartbeats, it’s all of those beautiful groups coming together that give my heart strings the tug I seek.
Bless the hundreds of students and staff that congregate together to make all of those memories come to life. Every one of them has a different part to play, but every one of them has their school spirit in their hearts, and that’s where we unite together in our hard work and grit.
But for me, this month at least, I’m blessed to hear that very last note of the very last marching show for the year.
When you’re standing on the sidelines with tears falling knowing they gave it their all—it also means, I did too.
This month is all about getting to follow around my favorite musicians and watching them use their blessings. I think we find that with all of the sports sideline wives support. You cry at wins, at losses, and the progress in between. They are my kids—you want nothing but the highest honor bestowed on them. There is a peace in all of this chaos. Peace that God placed me here without explanation, but with purpose. I’m merely a supporting role in His perfection, but what a ride it is.
This month, if I may request, add me and my musical wives to your list of prayers we are all sharing. We are doing double time in a world where every beat counts.
Move over PSL …. Happy Bandtober!
If I was you, I would try supporting these men that give their energy, time, passion and love to your children ... using football as a tool to prepare them for life. Especially when your son is with the coach more than you. Get to know them, how you can help, get to know their families sitting next to you in the stands. I’m sorry if they made a play call you disagree with; they have quite a bit on their plate.
You, my husband, are what the world needs more of. A person who longs for the success of winning, but knows that life’s best and most important lessons are learned through the process.
When the alarm system dings for the open door, I feel a breath of relief exhale. A helper and a second teammate has finally entered the game.
Then, he sits in his arm chair and before I can ask how his morning went or what they ate for lunch, snores resound from his side of the room.
This thought continued to nag me. Why do I care? Because he doesn’t care. He finds it completely wasteful. He doesn’t need anything, and neither do I. So why do I want one?? Am I really that worldly?
But maybe it’s not about the gift,. Maybe it’s more about what the gift represents.
Suddenly, I have a teammate. And this teammate wants a say in things. (The nerve.) I buck against this relinquishing of control every single year. I hold it close to my chest, tight-fisted, wondering why you don't trust me, why you don't respect me, thinking, "Don't you REALIZE I'm fully capable of doing this on my own? Don't you REALIZE I've been doing it on my own for months?"
As awkward as that moment was, it was a reality check. Even though the season severely limits my husband’s time with our children, I am not a single parent. My friend reminded me it is worth the extra work to include Ordell in as many parenting decisions as possible even in the height of the craziest seasons.
There will be times that you may not fully understand my struggles. There will be times when the crazy feels too overwhelming. There will be times when you may not show us your love as well as I’d hoped, and vice versa. There will be times when you may feel like you aren’t giving your all. But the beauty of this is that good teammates don’t ever give up on each other.
What I do know is there will be many more days filled with tears as we drive away from the field. There will be many more missed moments and milestones that have to be sent to our coach via video. And there will be more days where 40 minutes is all we can get.
But there will be many more highs too.
Today is my husband’s first day of football camp, and I cannot help but get so excited thinking about this upcoming season. It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in the excitement of the beginning of the season, as we anxiously await the first game day. However, as coaches’ wives, we know this time of year brings much more to the table.
I often see coaches’ wives dread this time of year. The term “football widow” is even used to describe what we go through in the fall. A “football widow” often refers to a coach’s wife who must temporarily cope with the death of her relationship during football season.
To be entirely honest, I can assure you this will never be me, and my reasoning is as follows.
For one, when I married my husband, I knew that football was such a major part of his life (well, OUR life) as we had grown up together and football had played such a central role. Together, we have made it through roughly 12 football seasons (playing and coaching); so I knew that come July, his life gets busier, and much sweatier, as he spends countless hours in the hot sun for lifting, conditioning, camp, and two-a-days.
I knew that his dedication to his team would never waiver and that coaching football was something that would always be a part of our marriage.
With having two boys as well, I knew that football would likely forever be an essential part of our lives. Because of this, we plan. We know ahead of time that we typically are not home for dinner and that we have to eat on the fly. We know that our time is limited together throughout the week, so we make the most of our Sundays together. And we know that while times are busy, we have each other’s support, one hundred percent.
I never want my husband to feel like his family does not support his coaching. We are a team, and that team does not split because of other commitments.
And to be honest, football season draws us even closer. We stay up late talking about how practice went and which boys excelled that day. I help talk him through decisions if he needs an ear to utilize. And I help to reiterate how important his role is as a football coach and how much those boys look up to him.
Are there days when we get frustrated with each other and things go downhill? Absolutely. It would be unfair of me to pretend everything is smooth sailing all of the time. There are days when he comes home grouchy from a bad practice or an unexpected loss, but instead of allowing it to dictate the remainder of the day, I talk through it with him and make sure that he knows football does not stop at the door.
Every bit of his coaching life and his team are welcome in our home at any time. Not only is coach there to support these boys, but I am as well. It is my duty as a coach’s wife to support him and his team. I knew what I was getting into.
It is challenging, but it is also the most rewarding life there is. Seeing coach light up after a win and our boys cheering on their dad and the team is something that gives me an unexplainable amount of joy. Hearing those boys thank me for cupcakes will never get old and will only continue to assure me that this is the life we were destined for. This is our purpose.
So, I will never be a “football widow” because our relationship doesn’t ever die in the fall. In fact, it flourishes.
Football gives us life. And what a time to be alive…
But Coach, it’s important to remember that while she CAN independently handle the flat tires, collapsed pipes, and mice even when they happen all in the same week, the more she handles alone, the more she can begin to feel isolated.
This is part of marriage. It’s not as if one of you is choosing to only be 20% or 50% or whatever percent. The percentage may be dictated by what’s going on with your job, with your children, or with your family.
So I will take the hard because it means we haven’t given up; we’re still in the fight, still hanging on. It’s what gives us depth and makes the good times feel so good, the peaks feel so dang high. I’ll take it because I know whatever follows it will be worth it.
Because you, my love, will always be so worth it.