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  • Madden Football, Trash Talking and Parenting

    Madden Football 15


    It's football season! College football is in full swing. The NFL is up and running and just completed week three. Madden Football released Madden 15. Guys, get excited!


    Football is here!


    I really believe that, when Andy Williams wrote, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" he actually wrote it about this time of the year and not Christmas. In fact, I think the opening song lyrics actually went something like this...


    It's the most wonderful time of the year
    With the coaches all yelling
    And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer"
    It's the hap-happiest season of all
    With those big game-day greetings and big draft-day meetings
    With fantasy football
    It's the hap-happiest season of all...


    Our household, like many around the country, loves football. So in honor of the season starting, Carter asked me if I wanted to play Madden. My response, "Uh ya. Let's go. You're about to get smoked kid." So he chose Denver and Peyton Manning. I decided to take it easy on him and chose the Chicago Bears. I haven't played Madden in over a year. Maybe a year and a half. So he opened up a 21-0 lead on me in the first half. The only thing that was better than his Madden skills, were his trash-talking skills. The boy's mouth would make Richard Sherman proud... minus the cussing and swearing of course.


    Then, the second half began. He kicked off to me. I ran it back 34 yards. One pass later... end zone! (21-7) Carter's not phased. He keeps talking, confident he's gonna win. A few series later and now in the 4th quarter, after two interceptions and two more passes to the end zone, it's 21-21. Still confident, but a little bit quieter, Carter throws another interception. I throw an interception. He fumbles deep in my territory. There's one minute and 32 seconds left. I drive into field goal range with 46 seconds left and I... put. it. through. the. uprights. (24-21)


    There's 46 seconds left. And knowing there's still time, Carter is still confident he can get the job done.


    I kick off. He runs back to his 27 yard line. Now, there's 41 seconds left. First pass, first down 12 yards down the field. 38 seconds left first and 10. Pass by Carter... incomplete. Another pass by Carter... incomplete. Still, another pass by Carter... incomplete. It's now 4th and 10 with 22 seconds left. Carter is visibly nervous. He knows this could be his last shot. He hits the "A" button to hike the ball. Scrambles to the right. Throws it down field to Thomas where my defender (who I let be controlled by the computer) knocks the ball down. Game. Over. At which point, I get up, do the Superman move like you see above and let my trash talking take over and I emphatically and dramatically declare...


    "Who's your daddy now, boyeeee!"


    I thought Carter would break down in laughter. Instead, Carter, who is EXTREMELY competitive, just...




    And through real, gigantic, salty tears my nine year old declared...


    I'm a loser! I thought you were taking it easy on me!...


    He then promptly went to upstairs to his room to lay in his bed in defeat.


    I felt horrible. I gave him a few minutes alone to gather himself together, then I went up to see how he was doing. We talked for a bit. Then, I helped him get ready for his soccer practice and sat on the front porch with him while he waited for his ride.


    As I sat there with Carter, I realized that Kids have basic expectations of dads. Sons have basic expectations of fathers. And, more importantly...


    Kids have unspoken expectations... expectations that, in the moment, we as parents may not even be aware of.


    These unspoken expectations are different in different situations. There are unspoken expectations for each and every moment with our kids. And while we as parents may not be aware of them, it's still up to us to take care of them, to be mindful of them and to hold them as close as our kids do. Because our kids' unspoken expectations are bigger and more powerful to them then their spoken expectations of us.


    So, as we go about our days with our kids, lets, as parents, be thinking about our kids' unspoken expectations of us. Because I guarantee...


    they're thinking about them for sure.