When Game Time Is Family Time, Everyone Wins

family watching football on TV

Growing up, I was as far from a sports fan as you could possibly get, sticking to quieter, more solitary pursuits like reading and art. My dad did have season tickets for the local hockey franchise, but even when I was lucky enough to tag along with him to a game, I didn’t look forward to the action on the ice as much as I did the hot dog and ice cream I knew I’d get for dinner.


These days, as a mom to a pair of boys, sports of all kinds dominate much of my time. And thanks to my sons’ enthusiasm, I now appreciate that there’s much more to watching games than the food part (although I’m pretty sure my kids still think food is pretty crucial, given the large quantity they regularly consume during a game!).

Part of why I wasn’t really into sports as a kid was the fact that I hated losing. I simply could not tolerate it, in any form. So I’m particularly grateful that my kids have embraced an opportunity to learn how to cope gracefully with not winning, even as spectators. They understand that playing the game means that sometimes you lose, and sometimes you win. They’ve learned that it’s okay to be disappointed, or even angry (within reason, of course), when your team doesn’t do well. It just makes the victories that much sweeter.

What’s surprised me most about my kids’ love of football is how I’ve tapped into my own inner sports fan when we watch the games together. We get excited, all of us, about every amazing play, every bad call, and every touchdown. I marvel at how much they know not just about the rules of the game, but about the players and the teams’ history, too. And my heart swells when my dad – still a devoted sports fan himself – gets in on the game-watching action with his grandsons, forging a bond I was never able to share with him in quite the same way.

How does your family bond together over football, or another sport?


Amanda Genge is a writer, editor, and mom of two boys who is not ashamed to admit that she likes watching football games as much for the snacks as the action on the field.

Image ©iStock.com/Svetlana Braun

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