Things Not To Yell At A Football Game

C.J. and I have been going to a lot of football games lately. Us! At football games! I know, right?!

We go to support our favorite player, Chase, who is now a football-playing high schooler*.

There we sit in the stands – C.J. sandwiched between Matt and I.

Matt is good at watching football. C.J. and I are not.

Matt yell-cheers things like “Come on D!” and “Look for the hole!” while I laugh at the sexual undertones. Then, he tells me to grow up.

I don’t know what to yell-cheer. So mostly I don’t. But every once in a while the urge comes over me.

Like, when one of our players gets the ball and starts running for a touchdown.

“RUN!” I yell-cheered when it happened at the last game. “RUN! RUN!

The player must have heard me yell-cheering because, sure as shit, he kept running. I saw a player from the other team getting dangerously close to him.

“DON’T GET HURT!” I yell-cheered even louder and with an extreme sense of urgency.

Matt whipped his head in my direction.

“Did you really just yell that?” he asked.

“Yeah. I didn’t want him to get hurt.”

Matt said that’s not a good thing to yell-cheer during a football game. So I had to scratch that off my list of possible yell-cheers.

Our player didn’t get hurt. Instead, he got a touchdown and the stands went wild (as much as they do at freshman football games).

“Did we get a homerun?!” C.J. asked. Matt put his head in his hands. C.J. will never remember that football has touchdowns and baseball has homeruns.

C.J. fills some of his football spectating time reading People magazine because it arrives in the mail on Thursdays and Chase’s games are on Thursdays – it’s like it’s meant to be. Last year, C.J.’s teacher told him that he needs to read more nonfiction. People magazine is his preferred nonfiction reading material.

I make him watch the game whenever Chase is playing.

“Chase is going in,” I say and nudge him.

“What number is he?” he asks.

“Number 59,” I say.

(Three minutes later.)

“Chase is going in,” I say and nudge him.

“What number is he?” he asks.

“Number 59,” I say.

That goes on all game long. Matt scoots a little further away from us.

We’ve been to about five games so far and I always manage to yell something that I guess I’m not supposed to yell.

Most recently it was “RUN!!!” followed by “BE CAREFUL WITH HIS KNEES!! THEY DON’T BEND THAT WAY!!!”


C.J. and I looked at Matt wide-eyed and horrified.

“Oh, and he’s allowed to yell that?!” I asked. I try not to sit by that dad now.

The first few games, C.J. would watch the cheerleaders flip and do acrobatics while saying under his breath “I can do that” and the ever-humble “I can do that better.” In true C.J.-style, he’s made friends with a handful of the cheerleaders and is now convinced they are cheering specifically for his enjoyment. They call out for him by name when he arrives at the games (with the latest People Magazine and an iced tea in hand). He sits and smiles and waves at them as they do cheers and wiggles his body in a way that tells me he knows the cheer routines and is holding back from doing them along with the cheer team. I don’t think he can hold back for much longer.

When Chase first started playing football during summer break a co-worker asked me what position he plays and my response was “well…he’s not the runner or the thrower.”

I realized that I needed to learn more about Chase’s new sport. Now, I know he plays defensive tackle and offensive tackle.

C.J.’s hobbies and passions are easy for me know about and be supportive of because they are typically things I was or am currently drawn to.

I have to try a little harder with Chase. I like trying. Chase is a source of constant wonder for me. I’ve never witnessed a cisgender straight boy grow into a man. He likes things that I know nothing about, which means I get to learn along with him or have him teach me. All while mothering him, guiding him and worrying about him every freaking minute of every damn day.

“Did you see that play?!” Matt asks.

“No, I told you, when Chase is playing I have to laser focus in on his head to watch for traumatic brain injuries,” I say.

Chase is still my little preemie baby, even though he’s taller than me and my head rests on his shoulder when he hugs me.

“I like watching you play,” I tell him.

“Thanks, Ma. I like having you there,” he says.

If only he knew the embarrassing things I yell-cheer in the stands.

*Sit down in advance if you are going to tell me how awful high school football is. It is one of the activities Chase wants to participate in and we support him in his passions the way we support C.J.


About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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13 Responses to Things Not To Yell At A Football Game

  1. Ellen Bekier says:

    Loved reading this…made me smile.You are an amazing mom and I can definitely relate to the no knowledge of football….it is great that this is family time and love your never ending support of your children…this is what parenthood is all about.
    I look forward to your next blog.

  2. Lance says:

    Still LOLing.
    Confession: I only started going to my high school’s games because I developed a crush on one of the players. The opposing team once intercepted and I yelled “Hey, get your own balls!”. I was a bad 90’s teen movie character.

  3. LoriT says:

    All three of my kids liked different things. I did a lot of yell-cheering the wrong things! How else do we learn? “Go Chase! Don’t get hurt!”

  4. Liz Matthews says:

    My gender creative son likes the cheerleaders at the high school games (we go because his sister is in the marching band)…but doesn’t understand why the boy cheerleaders don’t get to have pom poms…pom poms are his favorite part, and it’s totally not fair!

  5. mdaniels4 says:

    Like another said, it’s the support you give your kids for the interests they have, which is the important part. My kid really wanted to play football. I think he liked the idea of suiting up. Anyway. First game the opposite runner broke through the line, coming straight at him. I’ve never seen someone back pedal that fast. Lol! I cheered from the sidelines that he’s going the wrong way! You need to get the runner, not lead him to your end zone! He decided football wasn’t for him. Wise choice.

  6. Nancy A Overman says:

    As a flute player in the marching band, I learned that the only thing I should yell (in order not to reveal my lack of knowledge of the game) was “Go!” (Kind of like your “Run!”)

  7. Gabrielle New says:

    I love how supportive you are of both your children and their varying interests.

  8. David says:

    Sit down with CJ and watch Damn Yankees — He’ll love Gwen Verdon – and he’ll maybe learn about baseball – that’s how I finally learned the basics of the game.

  9. This is a lovely way of talking about how to be a good parent to multiple children; as a soon-to-be dad, I really appreciate the inside look. 🙂

  10. Stephanie Longden says:

    You have such a lovely way with words. So thankful to you for sharing xx

  11. j9tigger says:

    I have to say that there are boys on the cheer squad at our high school, but they don’t wear the same uniforms as the girls, they wear boy uniforms, but it might be time to rethink that…

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