I could describe the golden outfits my high school kids wore, the echo of their chants off the home side stadium seats, the adrenaline of the coaches leaping in the air, the camaraderie of the boys who faced the adversity of individualism to become not just a team, but a family -Each moment worth ample description.
However, the moment to which my heart clings occured with less than 2 minutes left in the game. My husband, one of Union High School's football coaches, serves the team from the pressbox, talking to his peers about the strategy from a bird's eye view. Typically, he arrives on the playing field a handful of minutes after its completion - but not last night. Last night, with a sometimes three, sometimes two-score lead, Joey left the pressbox early. When he emerged from the stairs on the home side of Chapman Stadium, I spotted his staccato step from my spot on the opposite side of the field. Wade and I were talking and just as I was about to say, "There's Dad-" Wade turned, saw his father, and his lanky legs stretched into a hard sprint.
I have only seen him run that hard and that fast when he would run away from his sister having aggravated her to the point of violence. But run he did, the length of the endzone. When Wade's six foot four frame reached his daddy, his arms opened swallowing his five foot eleven inch hero, his idol, and the two stood there in full embrace as if they were the only two in the stadium - Joey's girth lost beneath the width of Wade's love.
I watched the same phenomenon occur the winter of 2010 when Taylor and the Union Varsity Cheer Squad won the National Championship in Orlando, Florida. After the medals had been handed out, she leaped from the crowd directly into her daddy's arms - crying with sheer joy.
Game or no game - that's winning.