Soccer….Family Style

The Parenting Take Away From AORally
March 7, 2011, 4:11 pm
Filed under: Family Fun, Supporter Culture, Uncategorized

My reasons for going to the AO Rally had nothing to do with parenting. I love taking my kids to games, but the Rally was something I wanted to do for me. I remember June 5, 2002, being in the stadium for the moment (or 90 some moments) that the US beat Portugal after coming off our last place finish in the 1998 World Cup. Doug and I were up late talking in our room that night about how cool it was to be there in such a pivotal moment for US Soccer. When I heard about what American Outlaws were planning for this Rally, I thought that the event had the possibility to be another epic moment in US Soccer history, and I figured it was time for me to get serious about AO DSM chapter leadership, and on both counts, it did not disappoint.

But even though my intentions were self/chapter serving, we did have two very interesting discussions at lunch with the Soccer Family Style Family (ages 8 and 3-1/2). The first was about facebook photos. I was flipping through the photos on my phone and commented that a few of them were not facebook worthy as they contained some things that should stay in Vegas. When people question how close I keep my kids to the supporters section, I have to think, isn’t it better for your kids to learn lessons on what not to curse, post to facebook, etc from OTHER people? I think so.

Then we talked about Grant Wahl’s Campaign for FIFA President. We talked about political corruption, and the things that FIFA has done to lose some of our respect. We talked about the need to stand up to injustice, and how even if he doesn’t win (he admits it’s a long shot), it’s important to push the discussion forward to the best of each person’s ability. OK, I admit, it’s over the 3 year old’s head, but you could see my daughter’s wheels turning. She gets it, and that’s a cool thing to see as a parent.

And did I mention that I got to meet Mama Donahoo? That’s right, Mom of two of the American Outlaws founders Korey and Chris Donahoo. She didn’t believe me when I told her she was my hero, but really? When you’re trying to raise good soccer supporters in the US….who would you rather meet? It was epic for me, Mama Donahoo.

We’re working on our statement on Grant’s candidacy…you’ll have to stay tuned for that one. Until then, remember….American Outlaws….not just for kids. It’s for parents too.

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