Having a Father that takes the hands on approach to parenting not only leaves a lasting impression on a son, but it also leaves lasting memories. For me, many of these memories included Saturday football games (Yes, at one time BYU played all their football games on Saturday) or evening basketball games. The common denominator between all the memories is the love we had for each other, and the love of the Cougars.
For as long as I can remember my parents have had season tickets for BYU Football and the tickets never went unused. Most games it was my Mom and Dad going on a date, in other cases one or the other took one of the kids to the game. On a special occasion a third or fourth ticket could be found and one or two kids would go in some combination of family time. Many memories were created in the old Cougar Stadium, and the current LaVell Edwards Stadium.
One memory that will stay forever is of the impromptu games of catch played on the south lawn. Back in the day the cheerleaders would throw out small rubber footballs that fit it one hand. They would have the date and the names of the teams playing stamped on the ball. It seems that we received more than our fair share of these balls while growing up, so I have come to believe that they sold these same balls and my Dad didn't "happen" to get one from the cheerleaders each and every game. These footballs were always obtained before the game started so that when halftime came along, we would make our way to the small grass section in the south or east sides of the stadium and throw the football back and forth. Although some of the game memories blur together, these moments have been forever imprinted in my heart and mind.
As I grew older and started to have children of my own, we made it a point to start taking the kids early to the games. When I decided it was time to purchase a pair of season tickets, we made sure that we purchased the two seats next to my parents. My kids have always treasured the time they were able to spend with Grandpa (and Grandma) at these games and seemed to gravitate away from me and squeeze between my parents. These are memories they will never forget as we continue to go to games without my Dad.
Last year we went to our final game with my Dad as we watched Taysom Hill tear apart the Texas Longhorns. Looking back, it was the perfect last game. Not only did I and my son Aidan have the chance to watch an amazing performance with my Dad, but we also were given two extra hours under the bleachers to share even more time. I will never forget the way my dad took Aidan with him to find ponchos, played in the flood that swept through the stadium, and even took him away from me long enough, so Aidan could eat his Cougartail without me getting a bite.
My Dad will never read this post, and on his last Father's Day with us he will not reminisce about the Cougars with us, but we will never forget the memories that he helped create in our lives. BYU has always played a big part in my relationship with my Dad. From here on out, each and every football game that we attend, it will be with the knowledge that Dad (and Grandpa) will be right there with us, cheering for our BYU Cougars. Happy Father's Day to all the BYU Dad's in the world!
Share memories about your Dad with us in the comments below!