Thursday, November 1, 2018

The 7 Worst Kind of Football Fans

My husband is the Offensive Line coach for South Dakota State University. We play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.....and it is a tough one.  The Sagarin computer ratings (USA Today) rate it as the best conference at the D-1 FCS level. All I know is that it’s the hardest conference that we’ve ever played in......almost every game is a battle. In our three seasons at SDSU we have been so fortunate to be surrounded by an incredibly loyal Jackrabbit fan base. Our family has truly embraced being much we even had Jack (the school mascot) in our family picture.

In my opinion.....a fan has one primary job. It’s to show up and support their team. Some “fanatics” take it to a much higher degree, while others have problems with the show up and support parts.  In the 16 years my husband and I have been married, he has coached at 9 different schools at the FBS, FCS, and Division 2 levels. I have experienced all kinds of fans at the different levels and regions of college football. I certainly have not seen it all.....but have seen most of it when it comes to fans. So today, I want to fill you in on some of my 7 least favorite types of fans I have encountered in my 17 seasons as a coach’s wife. 

1. The Hecklers. They bully the opposing team’s fans often resorting to swearing and harassing them....even in front of their children. This callous fan has even stooped as low as to cheer for a player on the opposing team getting hurt during a game. I have, unfortunately, witnessed this from a particular team in our conference and it never sits well with me.....please have some class and remember that is someone’s son playing out there.

2. The Leave Early “fan.” This drives me nuts....especially if it’s a close game. Why do you leave early?!?!?? You paid to watch a watch and support your team. After years of seeing this I have come to the conclusion that it’s usually two types of people. One the “fan” who is trying to beat traffic or the one who is ready to celebrate before they even know the actual score of the game.

3. The Social Media Troll. These are the fans that hide behind their computers bashing other teams, or even worse their own team, players, and coaches. Don’t get me wrong....I am all for a great rivalry. But starting quarrels on the internet with opposing fans or continuously being negative about your own squad simply shows that they have nothing better to do.

4. The Fair-Weather Fan. The one that helps fill the stands when his team is winning championships, but won’t show up for the following game day after a tough loss. They love up the coaching staff after a W, but will put up a for sale sign up at your house when you lose a game. Even the best of teams face adversity....step up and show up for your team. 

5. The Moneymaker. Money means more to this fan than loyalty. They’ll sell their tickets to the opposing team’s fans in a minute if they can make an extra buck. If you can’t go to the game....sell them to your own fans....even at a loss, or donate them to a fan who may be going through a tough time and can’t afford to buy tickets. Your team deserves a true home field advantage.

6. The Inopportune Fan. This fan can be real noisy on game days. Don’t get me wrong, I can be REALLY noisy on game days too, but NOT when our offense has the ball. For those of you who don’t understand actually want your team to hear the plays when they’re on the field. Save that voice for when the other team has the ball....especially on 3rd Down!

7. The Fan with all the answers. When your team Punts on 4th down, this fan always thinks we should have gone for it. If a run doesn’t should have been a pass. They say hindsight is 20/20, but this fan takes it to the extreme. Coaches work a lot of hours and spend a large amount of time away from their families perfecting a game plan, but this fan thinks his play calls would be better with no preparation other than a tailgate. When you scream out what play you think should have been called....or you utter the words someone should get fired....please remember you may be sitting close to a coach’s family, and we sacrifice a lot. If this fan knew as much as he thinks he knew, the AD would come out of his suite at halftime to hire him. 

A “True” fan enthusiastically devotes themselves to the their team. Their loyalty remains in good times and in bad....Not only during championship seasons or after great wins, but during rebuilding years and crushing losses. May your team be blessed with many “True” fans this season....and not too many on the list above.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Gearing Up For GAME DAY!!!

I have a mission every year when the football season rolls around. I am on the hunt to discover new treasures for game day. 
Here are some of my current faves so you can show some real team spirit in the stands this season:

1. The Fly Fox Apparel. I am just loving their game day tees. Great quality and each design has its own unique statement. One of my absolute favorites in the collection reads.....”My Game Face Includes Lipstick”πŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸˆπŸ’„πŸ‘„

2. Sweet and Sublime. I stumbled upon this amazing Facebook page through my work on the AFCWA (American Football Coaches Wives Association) Board of Directors. They have the most amazing tees that are of the highest quality.....and that’s not even the best part......she’ll even customize it for you. T-shirt style, team colors, names, I’d say that’s a touchdownπŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️🏈

3. Recycled tees. I found this adorable company last month called Loveworn. It’s upcycled clothing from recycled tees. She takes your t-shirts and can turn them into a custom bag, scarf, tee, skirt, or dress for you or your little football fanπŸ‘š♻️πŸ‘—πŸˆ

4. Haute Threads. Speaking of recycling.....this online boutique will take your favorite game day t-shirt and recycle it into a cute dress or romper. She’ll work with you on fabric to fit your own personal style. Super cute while giving you a one of a kind look on game dayπŸ‘š♻️πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸˆ

5. Tote the Pigskin. I found these bags a couple seasons ago, and they will still be in the my starting lineup this season. Being a “boy mom” I now have one for almost every sport my sons play, but of course, the football bags are my favorite. You can find them on Etsy at the Ball Park Leather. Or, if you love a good monogram like I do, the shop Kaitlyn G Kreations (Also on Etsy) will customize them for youπŸ‘œπŸˆ.

6. Tailgate in style. The Kickasserole dish is perfect for tailgating, making any appetizer a crowd pleaser. You can have it customized with your favorite team from a number of shops on Etsy. A game day wine glass is also my favorite way to celebrate a big win. Just don’t forget to put your glass on your astro-turf football coaster when you are doling out fist bumps and high fives. You can find these coasters from The Tattooed Butterfly shop on Etsy.πŸ»πŸŒ­πŸˆπŸ·πŸ‘ŠπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

7. Coach’s Leather. I found another great little shop on Etsy that was started up by a football coach and his wife. They have adorable keychains, wallets, and business card holders, all made out of recycled game used footballs. They are an ideal gift for you or your favorite coach. Use the promo code BEAUTYBABESANDBALL and you’ll get free shipping on any order.....SCORE!!!!!♻️🏈

8. Queen of the Tailgate. Now this is a website that has the girly football fan at heart. You don’t need to be from the south to look cute on gameday ladies. From their “Sideline Sweetheart” to their “Killer Kickoff” dress, this online boutique is a one stop shop for game day dresses. They carry a variety of colors to celebrate your team in style, as well as “state” tanks and accessories that coordinate with your winning game day lookπŸˆπŸ‘—.

9. Hobby Lobby anyone?!?!?! Some of you may already be aware of this little gem, but for those of you that don’t....Hobby Lobby has an aisle they put out every Summer packed full of fabulous football items for the fall. From tailgating supplies to football’s basically a coach’s wife’s dream. There are always a few new pieces each year, so you can add to your collection every seasonπŸˆπŸ›’.

10. Have an Accessory Game Plan. My husband loved the football dress socks I recently bought him to accent a suit. The online shop the Sock Drawer has a selection of football designs for Men and boys. Just don’t forget about the little ladies in your life with these cute football head wraps from Knots from Nix. An etsy shop that carries top knots which can be customized from preemies to adults sizes too. They say Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.....if that’s the case....these low top football shoes I found are sure to bring some luck to you this season. The online website Sports Locker HQ carries them in both Men’s/Women’s sizes in just about every team color.πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ§‘❤️πŸ’œπŸ–€

Friday, August 3, 2018

A Shoutout to the Coach’s Wife

A shoutout to the coach’s wife....
Who makes the game of football her life.

When her husband starts working with his new team.....
His wife handles movers, boxes, and everything in between.

She cheers her heart out throughout the season.....
She’ll bake for her boys in uniform without a reason.

She’s the one standing up on third down...
Always supporting her husband after a tough loss makes him frown.

The coach’s wife is at each and every game....
She knows all her husband’s players by number and name

She’s in the stands and holding together the home everyday.....
While he’s at the office figuring out all the right plays.

While her husband is off recruiting and traveling the land.....
She’s the glue keeping it all together, just as they’ve planned.

Through all the wins, the losses, the ups, and the downs of this life.....
One of the strongest women out there is the the coach’s wife.

by Kimberly Eck

Monday, July 16, 2018

REAL Thoughts From a Mom While Potty Training:

So we are starting potty training. Anyone who doesn’t have a toddler right now is probably thinking.....”that’s great!!!”.....but, I’d be lying if I told you I was thrilled at this news.  Let’s be real....Moms currently living in their bathroom potty training probably have some of these thoughts......

1. Do I have to? Am I the only lazy Mama that has literally dreaded this day? The pure mess of it all makes me think diapers are so much easier.

2. I just want to leave the house!!!! No seriously.....If you want to know what potty training is like.....I have gone to the potty with my son ten times so far’s not lunch time yet. Good luck leaving leaving the house.

3.  Is that water😳?!?!? When you start questioning if you are stepping in pee or water you know you’re smack dab in the middle of potty training.πŸ’¦πŸ˜³πŸš½

4.  Is Bribing my child wrong? Things like potty candy, stickers, and potty charts become an  everyday negotiation to get them on the potty.  It can be pure desperation.πŸ­πŸ¦πŸ™πŸΌ

5.  Why now!!!! My husband, who spends most of his time away from the home as a college football coach, is very excited about potty training right now (of course). I on the other hand am questioning....”Cant this wait till after the football season?”πŸ“†πŸš½πŸˆ

6.  I should seriously consider putting a chair in the bathroomπŸ€”.  The last two days, I have spent more time in our bathroom, than I have in any other room in the house.

7.  Do you have to go potty? Trust me...those 6 words will make up at least 85% of your thoughts and words between 7 am to 8 pm.

8.  Again?!?!? You realize your toddler has outsmarted you by starting to control his pee so he can get more potty candy and stickers.

9. Laundry...laundry.....and more laundry. The second most popular room in your house during potty training....the laundry room. Invest in plenty of underwear for them, and you may want to consider “less is better” when it comes to clothing....when there is an accident, everything gets wet.

10.  “Booty call.” It’s giving the phrase a whole new meaning! It’s a daily announcement from your toddler letting you know it’s time to wipe his bottomπŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸš½πŸ€¦πŸΌ‍♀️.

Good luck potty training to all my toddler mamas.....after the day is through....pour yourself a glass of wine!!! You’ll need itπŸš½πŸ™‹πŸΌ‍♀️πŸ·πŸ˜‚

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Sixteen things 16 years of being married to football has taught me:

My husband and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary today on June 1st. Through the ups and the downs.......the wins, and the losses......This is what I’ve learned being married to the game.

1. Marriage is never going to be 50/50. You have to sometimes give more than the other spouse in times of need. Any coach’s wife learns that REAL fast! During their husband’s season it can feel a lot like 10/90.

2. Don't listen to the critics. We've had people (even those close to us) doubt if our relationship could ever work. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed proving them wrong....on and off the field.

3. Listen. Pure and simple. It’s not my job to be the coach and tell him what I think he did wrong after a tough loss. It’s my job as his wife to be there for him..... to listen and support him.

4. The grass....or turf...isn't always greener on the other side. Water and take care of your own grass.....and you won't need to look for anything more. 

5. Date.....a lot. We have 4 kids and we date more now then we did with only 2. It's a break from chaos and time to enjoy each other. Even if that “date” ends up being somehow related to football....take it. I’ve learned to appreciate any and all time together. Coaches wives have to find the silver lining

6. You’ll cry. You’ll fight. Just don’t forget to laugh....sometimes it will even be at each other.
7. You’ll Grow. We’ve learned from our ups, downs, and in betweens. With every win, tough loss, hectic move, or transition....we learn and we grow.

8. Celebrate. Sometimes I joke with my husband that my birth wasn’t planned to accommodate football (my birthday always falls during winter recruiting.) His falls right in the middle of fall camp. I’ve learned in this crazy life it doesn’t matter when you celebrate as long as you get to.

9. Don’t compare. They say comparison is the thief of joy. Not everyone’s football journey is yours.....not everyone’s marriage looks the same.....or is what it seems.

10. Everyone has a love language. I read this book written by Gary Chapman a few years ago called The 5 Love Languages. We all have a language and I believe it's important to know yours and your spouses. 

11. You learn to love the not so easy to love parts of your spouse. You know all those things that annoyed you or you hated about  an old boyfriend.....for some reason when you really love someone they just don't bother you as much.

12. Communicate. There is a reason lack of communication is one of the leading causes for divorce. We talk about any big/little decisions together. Coaching jobs, money, camps, etcetera.

13. Protect. I've got his back and I need him to have mine. We are a team. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again....there’s no “i” in team right?!?!

14. Things are not always what they seem. No marriage is perfect....not one. There is a lot of work involved in staying together. We are still working on us.....every single day.

15. Be supportive. I am his biggest fan in the stands and he's my extra set of hands at home.....well.....when he can beπŸ‘°πŸΌπŸˆπŸ‘πŸΌ

16.Love and keep the faith. I’ve learned through the years of this crazy profession to not take the transitions personally. Love each other and keep the faith that God has a bigger plan for you.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Talk DERBY to ME.......

On the first Saturday of May, I will be attending my 6th Kentucky Derby at the Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. They say it’s the most exciting two minutes in sports.....I say it’s everything leading up to the race that makes it an event you don’t want to miss.

I’ll be honest.....growing up in Madison, WI, I did not know much about the Kentucky Derby, and I had never even heard of the Kentucky Oaks (The Friday before the Derby when 3 year old Fillies run the featured race). I wasn’t quite ready for my first trip to the Derby back in 2008, when I bought a single, simple black hat from Macy’s to wear for both the Oaks and Derby day.

Since my “rookie” year in 2008......I’ve stepped up my game big time! This year I have planned and perfected for months so that I have just the right dress with the most fabulous custom-made hat to go with it. And one hat just isn’t enough for two straight days of racing.....πŸ˜‰Thank you Dee’s you never disappoint. 

So whether you are headed off to your first Derby this year, or it is just on your Bucket List for’s what to expect during Derby.

“Hats Off”
You will not believe the Facinators and Hats you’ll witness in just two days in Louisville. I mean when or where do you get a better opportunity to go all out with a show stopping hat, exquisitely decorated with netting, flowers, and/or feathers. Many of the men choose to go with a very dapper look wearing an old school straw boater hat or fedora as well.

“Dress like a lady...or gentleman”
There’s usually some exceptions in the “infield” (the grassy area inside the oval track frequented by college students), but the majority of those in attendance take pride in showing off their “Sunday best.” Women are in classic spring dresses, and men are dressed in nice shirts and seersucker jackets. Coming dressed to the nines is the correct Derby attire.

“It’s all in the details”
Colorful neckties and bow ties are standard amongst men, and I personally favor when they are impeccably paired with a matching pocket square. Having just the right accessories can complete your look. Personally, I tend to stay away from big earrings while wearing a hat and to quote Jackie Kennedy “Pearls are always appropriate.” Don’t forget to looked polished with a mani and pedi. The right shade of lipstick, and amazing lashes will only enhance your eyes with your hat.

“Shoe Game Strong”
The Horses aren’t the only ones who have to have on the right shoes. This has been challenging over the years because it’s a long day on your feet. In my opinion, a heel is an absolute must, but have a pair of your favorite Tory Burch flats or flip flops stashed in your purse to throw on at the end of the day.....your feet will thank you.

“In the Bag”
I prefer bringing a straw or fabric handbag/clutch to finish off a spring inspired look. I always bring my Tory Burch tote to throw in my clutch, flats, and any little necessity a lady needs to look her best for a day at the races. You can always leave that at your seats.

“When in Rome”
....or at Churchill Downs πŸ˜‰..... It’s always acceptable to toast the post time of the first race with a mimosa or bloody Mary. The front runner for cocktails to have at the races, however, will always be a Mint Julep or a Lilly. There is an old Kentucky proverb that says “keep your friends close & your bourbon closer.”

“All bets are NOT off”
When betting on the races it’s essential to know whether you want your horse to Win, Place, or Show (ie. finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Selecting the winning horse of the Kentucky Derby definitely adds to the fun. When it comes to picking winners, I like picking horses based on their name, but friends of mine swear by picking them by the color of their silks or by their coat color.

To quote the American author Irvin S. Cobb “Until you go to the Kentucky Derby with your own eyes, behold the Derby, you ain’t never been nowhere and you ain’t ever seen nothing.” So if you are not counting down the days to Derby weekend like I am.....well then I guess as any good southern woman would say.....”Bless your heart.” πŸŽπŸ‘’πŸ‘—πŸ‘ πŸ₯ƒ