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Spring Youth Football: Even A Tornado Won't Stop It

What off-season?

The Easter Bunny does not hop in the leaves of autumn.  Thanksgiving Turkey is served with cranberry sauce, not strawberries or raspberries. Santa ‘s sled travels through snow and ice, not across sand, to deliver presents.

Some sports are meant to be played at a particular time of year.  I know well the ebb and flow of spring baseball and track; the lazy post-baseball game dinners where no one wants to worry with homework or bedtime. The official countdown to SUMMER!

But what happens when football is played in the spring?  Football is a sport played in late summer, fall and winter, starting with two-a-days in the oppressive heat and humidity of August, continuing through the delightful tailgate feasts before games on crisp fall days, and ending in a winter wonderland during bowl and play-off season.  Who expects to see a blanket of bluebonnets and wild flowers on the way to a football game?

In case you're confused, I'm not talking about spring football here; a few practices held in the spring in preparation for the full season to come, perhaps capped off by a scrimmage or two. 


I am talking about a real football season.  With play offs! 

My son has playing a full slate of football games this spring.  Talk about falling into spring!

Duck and cover, but then come to practice

There are two things that come to mind when one thinks about the great state of Texas. Number one, of course, is football.  That's a given.  But second, is violent spring weather; spring weather just as grand and powerful as the gridiron.

A few weeks ago, some huge and angry storms passed through North Texas. The National Weather Service counted 12 tornadoes touching down between Dallas and Ft. Worth.  One tornado, classified as an EF-2, touched down a mere 5 miles from my son's football practice field.

Fortunately, no one was killed or severally injured, but with so much wind, water and damage, I assumed football practice would be cancelled.  No doubt baseball would have been canceled. We were soon to learn that spring football had a different weather protocol.

Our coach called from the other side of the Metroplex to say that the field had been spared.  It was muddy, he said, but playable. I was shocked! He asked me about the sound in the background.  I explained that the tornado sirens were still going off and everyone was in Duck and Cover mode.  Coach thought I was referring to the famed Oklahoma Drill  "No coach," I said,  "It is not a drill! My son was under his desk at school! I could not even bring him home, as the schools were locked down." Tornado and lightning

Eventually, my son arrived home. When I told him practice was still on, he was up for it.  After all, what's a little straight-line wind? We drove to practice with the storm waning.  Things seemed to be okay.  As we got closer to the practice field, we noticed cars with branches sticking in their grills, leaves everywhere and bearing the tell-tale pockmarks of hail damage.  We felt so lucky to have escaped.  We arrived 20 minutes late, but the field was in  pristine condition, and the weather was fresh and cool after the passing storm. The other Oklahoma Drill went on as scheduled.

Mother Nature: a football fan?

There are a number of important lessons to be learned here.  To begin with, Mother Nature must be a sports mom! She either did not want to sit through a baseball double-header (as I wrote about recently, my son gave up baseball this year), or is a football fan herself.  Perhaps that's why we do don't have tornadoes in the Fall in Texas. Apparently, football is too powerful!

In the fall, teams keep practicing until they run out of daylight.  In the spring, the days keep getting longer and longer, so you never know when practice will be over. 

An alternate universe

I am getting used to this alternate universe. Regular season is ending, and our version of the Bowl Championship Series will be upon us beginning May 1st.  I guess I will have to start marking April 30 on my refrigerator calendar as my alternate New Year's Eve!  To ring in the new New Year,  I guess I'll bake peach pie instead of pecan, and replace the black-eyed peas and collard greens with baby garden peas and spring greens!

Still an open question is what to serve for my Super Bowl Party on May 12th, providing our team makes it through the play offs. I am used to making chili. it will already be hot, so maybe Popsicles will cool things off.  No stylish jeans, boots or furs for this Super Game. Only shorts and lots of sun screen.

I am settling into this strange off-season world! Seems time to catch some sales and see things from a new point of view.  I better hurry and book my  "Spring Break" trip! September will be here before I know it!

Gretchen Rose is a wife and mom of a teen and tween in Dallas, Texas. She and her husband are owners of KidzMat, the premier organizational equipment for all youth sports teams.  She is a frequent MomsTeam contributor.