Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's that time of year again!

They're two words most NFL wives dread hearing - TRAINING CAMP. Those two words elicit a range of emotions - fear, excitement, exhaustion - and not for our husbands, but for us! Once a year, our guys pack up their bags and head to a local college to get ready for the season. For three-and-a-half weeks, the guys practice hard, sometimes twice a day. Injuries happen - getting hurt during the preseason can be devastating as it may impact your chances of making the team. The team needs healthy players who can contribute after all. The guys will play several preseason games against other teams - this allows the coaches to work on their game plan execution while giving them the opportunity to analyze the talent on the team. They have to have an opportunity to analyze talent because the roster will be cut by thirty guys by the time the season begins. That's right - almost half the guys who start out in training camp will get cut at some point. Every single year, Ryan always seems to be one of those guys on the bubble who may or may not make the team. He's been cut several times before, and it's the worst feeling in the world. Knowing that possibility is real, and knowing the emotions that come along with it can be terrifying. But Ryan is going to make a good run at the starting fullback job this year. He's feeling healthy and, I dare say, confident. So we're both looking forward to an exciting camp!

So Ryan leaves on Wednesday to report to training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York. That's about an hour-and-a-half away depending on how fast you drive. For almost a month, I'm a single parent, managing the household, taking out the trash, paying all the bills. Wait, I do that most of the time anyway. But it is the most difficult time of the year. Taking care of Will solo is no easy task. We manage though - I think we're going to have lots of trips to the zoo and Chuck E. Cheese's in our future.

I try to get to camp once or twice a week to check on Ryan and see how things are going. I love watching practice - you can feel the excitement in the air as the new season approaches. The fans cheer when one of the receivers makes a catch - they boo if a pass is dropped. The fans line up for autographs after practice - not mine, of course. Although I've tried to give it out a couple of times without any takers.

People ask me all the time if I'm a football fan because of Ryan. The answer is "no." My father was a high school football coach, and he cultivated my love for the game early on. When I was little, he would take my sisters and I to the Dallas Cowboys camp in Thousand Oaks, California. I have loved the game since I was little. Having a husband who plays the sport is a wonderful bonus.

Stay tuned for my training camp adventures!!!

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