Friday, October 11, 2013

Faculty Football Coach for the 49ers

So this is the personal account of being chosen as the guest Faculty Coach for the first homecoming football game for the UNC Charlotte 49ers.  You can read my professional thoughts about football at UNC Charlotte here.

The gist of my reaction?!  IT'S SO FLUFFY!!!

I am not cool and I'm not going to pretend I'm cool.  I am so excited about this!  The kids are practically vibrating and levitating they are so excited about it!  Even Dave is a bit keyed up, in his own Midwestern way.

So here's the scoop:  earlier in the semester, an email went out describing an honorary "faculty coach" position for each of the home football games for our inaugural football program.  I, along with several hundred other faculty, volunteered.

Imagine my surprise and IT'S SO FLUFFY delight when I found out Tuesday, I'd been chosen for the upcoming game. WOOHOO!!!

On Tuesday afternoon, I took a tour of the Judy Rose Football Center along with the other faculty coach.  Then I picked up Conor at the bus stop (in Myers Park), surprised him with the news, and ZOOMED back to the football practice fields at the University to watch the team practice.

It was way cool.  We talked to Coach Lambert (the head coach) for a bit.  We watched the players do the things the players do when they practice.  We learned about how we are modeling ourselves after UT San Antonio, another university in a big town that is successfully starting up a football program, and we generally felt pretty special.  Conor, taking after me, was completely uninhibited in showing his delight in being on the practice fields.  He was thrilled when the head coach high fived him.  When one of the players said "Hi!" to him, he swooned.

We are not cool people and it is not our aspiration to be such.

Tonight (Friday), the whole family is going to watch a movie with the football team at the Student Union. (Who knew the Student Union had a cinema?!) And then we will eat dinner with the team at the main student dining hall.  Tomorrow, we watch the team do their "traditional" 9:49 walk down the sidewalk to the stadium and then watch the game, cheer, and otherwise feel pretty darn special.  We also have some pre-game field passes that we are looking forward to using.

It's going to be a long, fun Friday night and Saturday.  And I have no doubt the twinnies are going to have a few meltdowns.  But IT'S SO FLUFFY!!

Faculty, compared to employees in larger for-profit corporations, get so few perks in our work lives.  No one tries to woo us with free tickets to the Panthers, Bobcats, Wells Fargo Golf Championship.  We don't get free cookies/popcorn/muffins from the insurance brokers or other sales people trying to win our business.  Free coffee from the student honor's club is rare enough (once ever that I can remember?!) that it gets faculty worked up and in a happy mood, even if it is stale and cooled off by the time we find out about it. Leftover bagels from a dissertation defense is still worth an email to all the faculty.

But THIS.  THIS EVENT Freaking ROCKS.  And the kids think I am an extra-special, cool mom for getting this honor.  Indeed, Bridget stood up on her chair and shouted YOU ARE SO ROCKING ON!!! at dinner on Tuesday night.  I don't mind being the hero to the kids.

I am psyched about this.  I even dreamed about it last night.  The game is on local TV this weekend.  Look for me, the middle aged, overly excited professor in green cheering on the team and being thrilled about being a 49er.

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