I’ve blogged before that I’m not all that interested in sports. Not as a spectator. Not as a player. And I think part of that stems from living in a neighborhood where people are so completely over-the-top about sports. You can’t just sign your kid up for a baseball team at the local park district, you have to get him on a traveling team and plan your vacations around his all-star game schedule. And if he plays basketball, you’ll need to sign up for special shooting clinics. And football? Well, he’s going to need a personal trainer at the very least. It’s gotten so bad that parents actually talk as if they are grooming 7-year-olds for college scholarships. But Kenny Chesney has changed my mind.
Now that his “Boys of Fall” is on the radio all the time, I can see the joy in football. Specifically, the team spirit of it all. I know that his song paints a very vivid picture of what a high school football team means in a small town: sports-page clippings on the coffee shop wall, players wearing their game-day jerseys in the hallways at school, calling out “Yes, sir, we want the ball,” and helmets, cleats and shoulder pads. I can see all that in my head without even watching the video. But what I hear when I listen to the lyrics is the message about “I got your number, I got your back, when your back’s against the wall.” And most importantly, “You mess with one man, you got us all.”
When I heard the title of this song, I just assumed it would be a deafening rocker that would serve as an anthem at pre-game pep rallies. I had no idea it would be a country ballad powerful enough to take me from an anti-football mom to the one who’s counting the days until tryouts.